Fela Kuti

Authority Stealing

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Authority Stealing garnered Fela Anikulopo Kuti one of his most severe beatings by the hands of the Nigerian government. Fela is blunt in his attack on the figures of government that were responsible for stealing large sums of money in the form of market control. Ironically, the government arrested him (and other outspoken citizens) for an armed robbery, meanwhile beating Fela close to death. Strangely, the rhythm section on this song rolls on in a very mid-tempo, non-reactionary pattern. The solos are low-key and lackluster. All the while, Fela accuses the authority figures of being worse than armed robbers and deserving of hanging. Authority Stealing was originally distributed by Fela's own Kalakuta Records as no other company would touch it due to its inflammatory remarks. Authority Stealing is a critical record as historical and cultural comment but not for its musical innovation. [MCA released Authority Stealing and V.I.P. as a two-fer in 2000.]

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