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Knitting Factory Records
Performed by Fela and his Africa 70 at the renowned Berlin Jazz Festival in 1978, this live recording of V.I.P. is possibly Fela’s most profound vilification of the Nigerian government. In his very public address to the European crowd, Fela explains that V.I.P. – normally “Very Important Personality” – really stands for “Vagabonds in Power”, a direct jab both at the Nigerian authorities and power structure, as well as the ruling class. Musically lush, this was to be the last performance of the Africa 70 due to inner strife, mostly having to do with, ironically, complaints about pay (rumors were that Fela had announced his intention to fund a presidential run with the spoils from Berlin). After this performance, the group disbanded.
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