- Personnel includes: Fela Kuti (vocals); Lester Bowie (trumpet).
- Recorded between 1972 & 1989. Includes liner notes by Rikki Stein, Jacqueline Grandchamp & Michael W. Veal.
- Audio Remasterer: Adrian Morgan.
- THE BEST OF THE BLACK PRESIDENT is simply a stellar collection that bests any two-disc collection out there as it represents the continued evolution of Fela Kuti's music from the 1960s through the 1990s. Compiled by son Femi, many tracks are edits of the originals -- "Gentleman," "Water Get No Enemy," "O.D.O.O." -- whose power is not reduced. Still others are second-halfs -- like "ITT," "Coffin for Head of State," "No Agreement," "Army Arrangement," and "Shuffering and Schmiling." Still others, such as "Zombie," "Sorrow Tears and Blood," "Shakara" and "Roforofo Fight," are presented in their original form. The track lineup is stellar; the sound has been completely remastered from the Fela reissue series sponsored by Barclay in France. There are also two fine liner essays from Jacqueline Grandchamp-Thiam and Rikki Stein (his friend and manager for the past 15 years of his life).
Rolling Stone (p.124) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "Fela Kuti's Nigerian Afrobeat remains a potent cultural force....The song selection is killer..."
Rolling Stone (3/2/00, p.95) - 4.5 stars out of 5 - "...[his] fusion of West African chant, gospel call and response, and pounding funk remains one of the enduring musical hybrids of worldwide pop....way ahead of his time in using repetitive looping elements as the basis for genuinely hypnotic trance."
Down Beat (4/01, p.76) - 4 stars out of 5 - "...His mixture of raw energy and sophistication is as remarkable today as it was when he first put it all on wax..."
Down Beat (p.84) - 4.5 stars out of 5 - "He not only invented a thrilling hybrid of propulsive polyrhythms accented by James Brown-like horn charts, but used the music he dubbed Afrobeat as his pulpit."
Vibe (5/00, p.176) - "...His finest work, culled from a lifetime's output of more than 50 albums....Activist, motivator, and supreme musician, Fela has left behind a final gift for his following..."
Dirty Linen (p.63) - "[A] dozen or more musicians backed Fela's long, sprawling songs with inter-weaving rhythms and brass accents, which he topped off with confrontational lyrics."
Mojo (Publisher) (9/01, p.143) - "...Intelligently distills the most potent moments of Kuti's career....an excellent introduction confirming his godly status."
Mojo (Publisher) (p.94) - 5 stars out of 5 - "The definitive Fela package by any measure, including 'Zombie' and "Roforofo Fight' in full..."
Paste (magazine) (p.66) - "[T]here's no better overview of the simmering overload that was Kuti's patented Afrobeat -- a meld of funk, jazz, Nigerian highlife and Yoruban drum ensembles..."