It caught my eye a couple of years ago, and I haven’t got any satisfactory answer as to their accidental or deliberate inclusion in the structure of the song.

Fela is notable for his retention of the classical jazzy style of music from America and a deliberately African(ized) and political lyric form along with heavy beats and horns. Rhyming for him would have been out of the ordinary. But in the song Trouble Sleep, I noticed the following (the rhyming is emphasized):

Tenant lost im job

E sit down for house

E dey think of chop

Mister Landlord come wake am up

He say mister pay me your rent

Wetin e dey find…

Mister husband marry for church

E make big party

They e start to spray

because him love im wife

This im wife come run away

Bank manager run come

E say mister pay me your debt

Wetin e dey find…

It looks more like an accidental rhyming, especially since no such structure (if we could call it that) appeared anywhere in the second verse which I omitted in this transcript. Yet, It will be interesting if it turns out that the maestro had deliberately worked rhyming effects into one of his famous ballads. What do you think?

_________

UPDATE:

Fela’s first son -a former band member, and an Afrobeat musician of note in his own right (been nominated twice for the Grammy) – Femi Kuti, responded to my post earlier this evening, on twitter:

Fullscreen capture 4212013 41515 PM.bmp

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I guess that settles that!

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