Puerto Rico-based Yoruba-guided act ÌFÉ performed two days back as part of the Caribbean Cultural Center African Diaspora Institute’s virtual AfriBembé Festival.
Included were originals and covers: new song “Fake Blood,” the group’s Yoruba-fueled rendition of the classic “Higher Love,” and “3 Mujeres (Iború Iboya Ibosheshé),” among others.
A standout of the set, however, was the electronic, hip-hop and R&B duo Otura Mun and Lavoski’s take on J Dilla’s “Fuck the Police.”
The clip was shared to Instagram yesterday (Sept. 21) with this caption, attributed specifically to Otura Mun:
“The rhythm used here as a backing track is called Oriza, popularized by Cortijo y Su Combo in their hit song by the same name. I wanted to put something out that would keep up the message of fight and no nonsense as we work to defund and defeat and completely dismantle the policing system in the United States and beyond. Even though N.W.A. probably has the better known version of Fuck The Police I always dug Dilla’s flip on the tune. I tried to sort of take his version and meld it with the percussive feel of another Dilla classic “Rico Suave Bossa Nova”. At the end of the day, the message is what counts. N.W.A. and Dilla said it then and we say it now, these fuckers have gotta go,” he wrote.
Though typically a sizable group in concert, this particular ÌFÉ show was a stripped-down one in terms of personnel; it featured only producer and frontman Otura mun and singer Lavoski, a new addition to the collective. Despite the assumed limitations of a duo, however, the set was robust in sound—compelling, engaging and everything else that ÌFÉ, a decidedly spiritual project, always is.
The event also included Los Rakas, Synead, and many other artists connected to the African diaspora. You can stream the entire Caribbean Cultural Center African Diaspora Institute’s AfriBembé Festival festival on Facebook here.