Prior to his 1997 death, Fela Kuti was a Nigerian multi-instrumentalist musician and composer, pioneer of Afrobeat music, human rights activist, and political maverick; in his post-mortem legacy, he is an inspiration … and years later his impact is still being celebrated, most recently by Milkcrate Athletics.
DJ, designer, and all-around creator, Aaron LaCrate has released the official Fela Kuti x Milkcrate Athletics collaboration T-shirt, and it’s what you’ve been waiting for.
The press release insightfully describes the meaning behind the collaboration that brings both Kuti and LaCrate’s attitude to life.
Fela inspired a nation and a continent to question authority. The current state of affairs in the world couldn’t be more questionable. Over the decades, his songs against the ruling governments of colonial and post-colonial Africa have shown universal appeal.
Milkcrate Athletics and Aaron LaCrate share a similar rebellious attitude in the creative process, and this collaboration between Fela Kuti and Milkcrate exemplifies Fela’s double-edged word play. 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.
And it wouldn’t be a true Aaron LaCrate production if there wasn’t a dope track to boot. Check out the remix of “Sorrow Tears and Blood” that pushes the message one step beyond. Get ready to move.
Be sure to cop the t-shirt here.