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Seun Kuti and Egypt 80 - Struggle Sounds / AfroPop Worldwide review

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"Struggle music, struggle sounds" are the opening words on "Struggle Sounds," one of three tracks on a new EP from Seun Kuti and Egypt 80, also entitled Struggle Sounds. It straight away lays bare the raw sentiment embodied in all that follows. The Afrobeat groove originally perfected by his father, Fela Kuti, has never sounded tougher, performed here by Fela's band Egypt 80 with a very clear production from Robert Glasper. It is the perfect backdrop for Seun's socio-political songs, lyrically more manifesto than protest. The second cut, "Gimme My Vote Back (C.P.C.D)," talking about the abuse of the democratic vote by the powers that be, has a message that transcends the borders of Nigeria, well known for its byzantine politics and networks of unseen influence. It's no surprise Afrobeat was born there, nor that it would be popular in America, formed as it was from the musical conjoining of the two continents. It takes a firm leadership and distinctive vision to manifest the latent power of Afrobeat. Seun shares that ability with his late father and is an equally fierce and vociferous proponent of the rights of his people.