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Seun Kuti + Fela’s Egypt 80

Familial comparisons are often inept yet inexorable when it comes to young artists extending the legacies of their predecessors. As for 25-year-old Seun Kuti, he not only has to grapple with being compared to his father, Fela Anikulapo Kuti, the Nigerian superstar who forged Afrobeat into a global phenomenon; he also has to deal with measuring up to his older half brother, Femi Kuti, who’s been a leading light in 21st-century Afrobeat for the past decade. The dilemma is similar to, say, all the Marleys to emerge after Ziggy took the reggae reins in the mid-’80s.

Looking like a spitting image of his father’s imposing athletic build and rugged handsomeness, Seun also brandishes a saxophone like his father (and brother, Femi) and fancies incisive political messages and fist-pumping chants atop incessant Afrobeat grooves that percolate with the interlocking syncopation of James Brown’s Soul Power, embellished, at times, with skronky dissonance associated with free jazz. Given that Seun fronts his father’s Egypt 80 band on his enchanting debut, Many Things (Disorient), it’s obvious that he feels no pressure to distance himself too far from Fela’s shadow.

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