30 Sept 2022

Nigeria

"Pafuka na quench" 

'Fela classic from 1974. Fela recorded the album after choosing to emphasize his African heritage and nationalism in his music. CONFUSION is a commentary on the confused state of post-colonial Lagos and it's lack of infrastructure and proper leadership at the time.'

"Confusion" is the gold standard of long-form funk, and easily the most essential Africa '70 album. A watershed moment for music, and an album that will change the way you look at the world. A must-hear. -msnvwls

'This Afrobeat epic contains just one eponymous track clocking in at just over 25 minutes in length, and beginning with a mysterious and psychedelic musical interplay between Fela on organ and Tony Allen on drums. As the song takes on a righteously funky groove, Fela evokes the chaos of Lagos — the multitude of regional dialects, the gnarly traffic jams, the absence of a policeman to take charge — as a metaphor for the larger problems of post-colonial Nigeria.'

'On this one-song concept album from 1974, Fela Kuti, a.k.a. The Black President, and his band, Africa 70, capture all the bewilderment and frustration of Lagos at the beginning of Nigeria’s oil boom. Part One’s freeform intro resolves into a monster Afrobeat groove, with Kuti’s sinuous electric piano weaving in and out of Tony Allen’s intricate, polyrhythmic drumming, while an insistent horn section moves the piece forward. Part Two ups the ante with Kuti’s accusatory—and still, sadly, relevant—lyrics: “When we talk, say confusion/Everything out of control.”'

'Casual listeners sometimes say that Afrobeat all sounds the same. While it does not, of course, any more than hip hop or opera or jazz all sounds the same, it is true that Afrobeat’s signature characteristics did become codified during the mid-1970s. But Fela continued to experiment musically right up until the end of his life. There is nothing codified about Confusion, for instance, which throws away any alleged rule book. Taking up where Ginger Baker’s trippy production of He Miss Road left off earlier in the year, it begins with a five minute, free-rhythm dialogue between drummer Tony Allen and Fela on electric piano. Full of distorted, spacey textures, it sounds like the overture to a sci-fi movie. And that is just for starters. Originally released by EMI.'

Confusion Pt. 2 Lyrics

When we talk, say confusion
Everything out of control
When everything out of control
He go say he pafuka

When we talk, say confusion
Everything out of control
When everything out of control
He go say he pafuka

Dem be three men wey sell for roadside-o
Dem three speak different language-o
Dem speak Lagos, Accra, and Conakry
One white man come pay them money-o
He pay them for pounds, dollars and French money-o
For the thing wey he go buy from them
He remain for them to share am-o
Me I say, na confusion be that-o
He go say he pafuka o
Before-before Lagos traffic na special, eh
Before-before Lagos traffic na special, eh
Number one special all over the world, eh
Number one special all over the world, eh
You go get Ph.D. for driving for Lagos, eh
You go get M.A. for driving for Lagos, eh
You go get M.Sc. for driving for Lagos, oh
For me for me I like am like that, eh
Ah-ha-ha-ha, na my country – why not?
For me for me I like am like that, eh

For Ojuelegba
For Ojuelegba
For Ojuelegba
For Ojuelegba
For Ojuelegba (Lagos City)
For Ojuelegba
For Ojuelegba
For Ojuelegba
For Ojuelegba, moto dey come from south
Moto dey come from north
Moto dey come from east
Moto dey come from west
And policeman no dey for centre
Na confusion be that-i o
He go say he pafuka o

When we talk, say confusion
Everything out of control
When everything out of control
He go say he pafuka

Notes
Pafuka (Pidgin language): It's the end of it!
Quench (Pidgin language): Finished, dead.
Wetin? (Pidgin language): What?


Fela Ransome-Kuti & The Africa 70 – Confusion

Label: Knitting Factory Records – KFR-010
Format: Digital
Country: US
Released: 1974 / 2009
Style: Afrobeat

1. Confusion (Parts 1 & 2) 25:36

Credits
Arranged By, Producer, Tenor Saxophone, Piano, Vocals – Fela Ransome-Kuti
Artwork – Remi Olowookere
Baritone Saxophone – Lekan Animashaun
Bass Guitar – George Mark Bruce
Congas – Daniel Koranteg, Henry Koffi
Drums – Tony Allen
Guitar [Tenor] – Segun Edo
Maracas – Isaac Olaleye
Percussion [Sticks] – James Abayomi
Rhythm Guitar – Tutu Shoronmu
Trumpet – Tony Njoku