Fela Kuti, Africa 70 – Expensive Shit
Expensive Shit is the twelfth full-length album by pioneering Afrobeat artist Fela Kuti and his Africa '70 band, released in 1975.
Throughout the early seventies, Fela Kuti lived in the Kalakuta Republic in Nigeria, a compound that also housed his family, his bandmates, and a recording studio. Due to Kuti's vocal anti-militaristic views, the police saw him and his compound as a political and social threat, often arresting Kuti and raiding the compound.
The title of the album and first track refers to an incident in 1974. The Nigerian police planted a joint on Kuti. Before he was arrested, he ate the joint, but the police brought him into custody and waited for him to produce the (titular) excrement. According to legend, he managed to use another inmate's feces and was eventually released.
The second track is inspired by a Yoruban proverb about the power of nature and the universe.
In its review of MCA Records' 2000 Expensive Shit/He Miss Road CD, Pitchfork wrote "it's all too easy to get caught up in Kuti's discography. Start with Expensive Shit and don't miss the road onward." Nick Reynolds from BBC Music called it a "classic Afrobeat reissue" and said the title song is "sarcastic, hilarious and righteously angry [while] 'Water No Get Enemy' is even better with a great latin tinged sax/chorus riff."
It was ranked number 78 on Pitchfork's "Top 100 Albums of the 1970s" list. In the year 2020, in their list of "The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time" published by Rolling Stone, "Expensive Shit" was ranked the 402nd best album of all time.
A Expensive Shit
B Water No Get Enemy