I do not like Fela Kuti, but not for lack of trying. My good friend, very rare CHUD blogger, and double bandmate John Makarewicz worships the dude and has burned CD’s of the guy’s work and played his stuff a lot when I’ve been a captive in his car and though I like the afrobeat style once he opens his mouth I want Zakes Mokae to rise from his grave and kick Fela Kuti’s grave.
That said, there’s no denying the guy’s stamp on the world of music, particularly the funk arena. He lived a colorful, violent, debauchery-filled, and outspoken life. Then he got AIDS and fucked off the planet.
He also had 27 wives and killed some people, so there’s that.
Now the filmmaker named Steve McQueen who’s never banged Ali McGraw [as far as we know] is going to bring Fela’s life and death to the screen thanks to Focus and its wise leader James Schamus.
It’s an intriguing tale for sure, one that can evolve somewhere neat and provide a huge leading role for someone hopefully not named Denzel, Will, or Ken Wahl but someone deserving like Chiwetel Ejiofor or an unknown.
Hopefully they use his full name for the title, because I want to see a marquee in a couple of years that reads:
Another Paranormal Activity
The Blind Side
Olufela Olusegun Oludotun Ransome-Kuti
Per Variety and their silly jargon.