‘Birth of Afrobeat’


Review by The Minister of Information JR

In September 2017, the Chicago Afrobeat Project released their fourth studio album, “What Goes Up,” featuring Afrobeat pioneer Tony Allen. During their time together, Allen would recount his role in creating the Afrobeat genre.

“Birth of Afrobeat” is a seven-minute short that was directed by Opiyo Okeyo, and it has been selected to screen at the San Francisco Black Film Festival. Tony Allen is a legendary drummer, who is not as well known as his famous colleague, the late great Fela Kuti, in co-founding Afrobeat.

And although Fela is famous all across the world in certain circles, the rhythms of Afrobeat have not been widely recognized in the ghettos of the U.S. in the way that Bob Marley and Peter Tosh’s reggae is accepted, loved and known. So we in the U.S. have a way to go in learning about Afrobeat and the music of Lagos, Nigeria, and the San Francisco Black Film Festival is leading the way by featuring such an unknown international icon’s mini-biopic on its lineup. Continue reading…

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