Expensive Shit is one of Fela Kuti’s most notorious pieces, and for good reason. The title track chronicles an attempt to charge Fela for possessing weed with some funny details.
The afrobeat pioneer was known for his bravery in confrontations with politicians and senior police or army officers. He was busted in 1974 when police raiding his home saw him swallow a joint. A succession of officers and goons tried to get him to fess up to no avail. Eventually he ended up in front of the head of Nigerian Interpol, who told him “I’m going to talk to you in my office….” “You get office?” Kuti asked sarcastically. “You foolish stupid bastard! You low-down sonofabitch, you dog, you goat, you…..” Fela would spend the next threes days in jail while the authorities waited for him to produce an incriminating sample. He and his cellmates would swap waste buckets and the police were forced to let him go without any evidence. The track itself is a tough piece of afrobeat that features extended solo from trumpeter Tunde Williams. On the flip is a cut that is worthy of a 12″ on it’s own. “Water No Get Enemy” is slower in pace but no less powerful. Fela is front and center with his trademark tenor sax and the rhythm section is tight as ever. Absolutely essential for funk freaks, anyone remotely interested in afrobeat or any heads in between. Lab exclusive ‘water blue’ variant; highly recommended.