This is a 3-part critique of Lágbájás seminal album “We before Me” released in 2000 (selections from the double album “We”/“Me” released a year before). I delve deep into the multi-dimensional perspectives of Lágbájá as a musician, a performance artist, and a political satirist.

Part III:

Súúru Lérè pulls from a rich tradition of political satire to tell us the history of Nigerian democracy.

Seriously Funny

Satire must be able to do two things simultaneously to be effective: entertain as it provokes thought. It employs a range of concepts to do this, humor to inspire joy and give relief, sarcasm to ridicule and provoke, mockery which attacks as it amuses and irony to show shortcomings and hypocrisy. If done well, its intent…


This is a 3-part critique of Lágbájás seminal album “We before Me” released in 2000 (selections from the double album “We”/“Me” released a year before). I delve deep into the multi-dimensional perspectives of Lágbájá as a musician, a performance artist, and a political satirist.

Part II

The costume Lágbájá wears in Feyin E, which is reminiscent of the Egúngún, stuns when refracted through an art-historical prism, it finds us searching for meaning in the unknown and pondering our existence.

Looking At Loss

Seeing does not preclude belief. For the Yoruba, religious practices and divinity systems are typically hidden or shrouded in secrecy. An example of this are the crowns with beaded veils worn by the Oba, which visualize the deep correlation between power and concealment. Another example is masquerades like the Egúngún who are ancestors reincarnated. For an…


Lágbájá Revisited (Part 2): Drums, Divinity, and Democracy

This is a 3-part critique of Lágbájá’s seminal album “We before Me” released in 2000 (selections from the double album “We”/“Me” released a year before). I delve deep into the multi-dimensional perspectives of Lágbájá as a musician, a performance artist, and a political satirist.

Part I

Konko below shows us the value of the old and the wealth of the new as it identifies the Yorùbá musical influence on Afrobeat.

Body Language

Sometimes Yorùbá can sound like singing, it has a rhythmic bounce in the mouth and leaves a euphonic ring in the ear. The diacritics and heavy tonal use are responsible for this intrinsic musicality because they alter pronunciation. This quality makes it perfect for songwriting because it lends itself easily to alliterations, rhymes, metaphors, and double…


An analysis of the pivotal album Shoki Shoki

I write about Femi Kuti’s extraordinary ear, his famed album Shoki Shoki, and how it’s cultural and political messaging remains timely even 21 years later. This album is the coming of age in a journey to connect black consciousness through music. I put a spotlight on an often forgotten but important element in the Afrobeat and Afrofusion zeitgeist.

Cool as Chlorophyll

When a seed germinates in a dark room it eventually opposes the pull of gravity and its leaves grow towards a window in search of sunlight. In the Yoruba ethos, darkness “okúnkún”, is symbolically…

Maria Somorin

Yoruba art history buff and Afrobeat enthusiast.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store