Ahead of his next album’s release soon, Wyclef Jean has released the first single off it and it pays tribute to one of Nigeria’s music legends, Fela Kuti.
In his interview with XXL Magazine, the Haitian rapper and Musician said the lead song is inspired by the Nigerian Afrobeat legend and it samples his ‘Eko Ile’ track.
Aptly titled ‘Fela Kuti’, the singer says his intention with the song is to ensure the kids google the name when they hear it in the song.
‘Fela Kuti’ is the fourth track on the album titled Carnival III: The Fall and Rise of a Refugee.
‘I decided to name it Fela Kuti because for me, I feel like we be thinking of [Bob] Marley, we give a lot of people from our past props, so when the kids hear Fela Kuti, I really want them to Google it.’
‘For me, the same way kids can have songs called ‘Wyclef Jean’ who are influenced by me, I want kids to know who Fela is and what he means.’
Wyclef also pointed to similarities he sees between the Afrobeat legend and himself as inspiration behind the song.
‘Fela Kuti studied jazz in England. Wyclef studied jazz at Vailsburg High School. Fela Kuti then went back to his country and tried to help his country by running for president. Wyclef, you know, did the same thing.’
‘Fela Kuti’ was produced by Supah Mario, with Wyclef deciding to work with the producer after hearing his work on Young Thug‘s song, ‘Wyclef Jean.’
‘This is what happens when you put two generations together that inspire each other,’ Wyclef said of their link up.