Erykah Badu Curates New Volume in Fela Kuti Box Set Series
Erykah Badu is compiling a box set of her favorite albums by pioneering Afrobeat saxophonist, keyboardist, and bandleader Fela Kuti. Badu’s collection is the fourth in a series of celebrity-curated, limited-edition Fela Kuti reissues. Kuti was intensely prolific, and Badu’s selections—1976’s Yellow Fever, 1977’s No Agreement, 1977’s J.J.D. (Johnny Just Drop), 1979’s V.I.P. (Vagabonds in Power), 1980’s Coffin For Head of State , 1984’s Army Arrangement, and 1992’s Underground System—fall just outside of the ranks of the most famous LPs in his catalogue.
Badu also composed seven essays to go with the seven-album set, which also comes with unreleased photos of Kuti and additional commentary from music critic and historian Chris May. In a press statement, Badu wrote: “Fela Kuti is a Fucking Genius. Please listen to these tracks, preferably with a nice blunt.. with a nice slow burn.”
The previous, third installment in the box set series was released in 2014, and curated by Brian Eno. The first two sets were curated by Questlove and Kuti’s former collaborator and legendary Cream/Blind Faith drummer, Ginger Baker. Badu’s Fela Kuti Box Set #4 is out December 15 through Knitting Factory Records.