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Afropop Premiere: Chicago Afrobeat Project’s “Race Hustle”

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  • Chicago Afrobeat Project

Afropop is pleased to premiere Chicago Afrobeat Project’s new single, “Race Hustle,” from the upcoming album What Goes Up.

Born out of a jam in west side Chicago in 2002, the band now marks a milestone in its career with this release. When they flew Fela Kuti’s original drummer Tony Allen in from Paris, hoping to gain some knowledge straight from the source, through several events including workshops, the group was originally planning to record two songs with him as well. But realizing the vibe in the studio was so strong—playing with CAbP reminded Allen of sessions with Fela himself, he said—the master drummer decided that the music had to keep flowing. They recorded a 10-song album together, resulting in the first Tony Allen collaboration in North America.

Chicago Afrobeat Project

In “Race Hustle,” an overwhelming atmosphere of urban struggle rises from chanting protestors introducing the song. Singer JC Brooks tells us stories of resistance in the city, while the fusion of Allen’s experienced, solid beats with deep synth waves and intricate horn lines provides a perfectly fitting background.

Watch out for Chicago Afrobeat Project’s next single, “No Bad News,” to be released on Aug. 25, and for our review of the full album, What Goes Up, out on Sept. 15.

Tony Allen releases his own debut album for Blue Note Records, The Source, on Sept. 8.

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