“Water No Get Enemy” is arguably Fela Kuti’s most iconic song (certainly amongst fans of The Soulquarian movement, anyway). So it’s no surprise that a cover of the tune–complete with Black Thought delivering the hook in his best Naija accent–was the highlight of the day when The Roots rocked Central Park’s Great Lawn this past weekend for the Global Citizen Festival, bringing a live set packed with fan favorites and classic covers, including a monumental performance of Fela Kuti‘s “Water No Get Enemy.” Their live take on the Expensive Shit B-side follows recent interview footage of Questlove breaking down his first encounter with Fela’s music in Santigold‘s car. The Roots performed the anthemic afrobeat funk with the Antibalas horn section and Fela’s queens from the Chop and Quench band. Click the links above or below to check out the performance via Okayafrica. OKA has the full backstory as well–read below and scroll down for a few more fun takes on the Fela classic.
Over the weekend the legendary Roots crew rocked the historic Great Lawn at Central Park. In addition to performing “The Seed (2.0)” and a cover of Curtis Mayfield‘s “Move On Up,” their set included a special step into afrobeat. Joined on stage by the horn section from Brooklyn’s go-to afrobeat outfit Antibalas and a team of Fela’s queensfrom the Chop And Quench band, the Roots launched into a cover of Fela Kuti & Africa 70‘s Expensive Shit B-side “Water No Get Enemy.” This latest chapter in Roots / Fela history comes just a month after Okayafrica TV got a hold of extended footage ofQuestlove’s Finding Fela interview, which has Questo telling the stories of how he came across Fela’s music in Santigold‘s jeep and how he got a morning phone call fromJay Z after an early showing of the Fela! musical.