With Afrobeat being one of the most popular genres in the music industry right now, all praises are definitely due to Fela Kuti for originating the term and style of music overall. Thankfully, Carhartt WIP is doing just that for the Spring/Summer 2019 season with a fresh capsule collection that pays tribute to the legendary Nigerian music pioneer.
The collection features signature Fela Kuti typography on a printed shirt, shorts, hat, jacket, as well as various printed tees. A limited edition reissue of Kuti’s Live In Detroit 1986 LP, originally released by Strut Records in 2012, will also be available.
Colors, patterns and details are all sourced from Kuti’s legacy, with Carhartt WIP cementing his influence with a limited-edition vinyl reissue of the out-of-print Live In Detroit 1986.
An Afrobeat genius
Over the course of his brief 58 years, Kuti developed the Afrobeat genre, blending touchstones of music from West Africa with tenets of American funk and jazz to create an elaborate high-energy fusion. Beloved in his native Nigeria, Kuti was an unrelenting champion of human rights, delivering politically-charged vocals enmeshed with his band’s intricate grooves.
Carhartt WIP’s collaborative capsule is the brand’s largest musical collaboration to date, with a full range of shirts and accessories directly inspired by Kuti’s music and the vibrant culture of his native Nigeria. For instance, an all-over print hat, shirt and shorts all boast stylized “FELA” graphics across a green base, with bright yellow colors that match button-up shirts and co-branded Carhartt WIP tags seen elsewhere in the range.
Elsewhere, a comparatively muted long-sleeved white shirt is emblazoned with “DRUGS ARE NOT ALLOWED IN THE SHRINE”, a phrase inscribed at the entrance of the New Afrika Shrine, a venue and showcase of Kuti’s history erected by Kuti’s son Femi after his father’s original Afrika Shrine burned down in 1977. The Fela Kuti collection will launch April 4 via Carhartt WIP’s website, physical stores and select stockists.