Life for female artists in the 70’s was not a piece of cake in Western Countries. Men were still reckoning that their right place was at home, cleaning and cooking, taking care of their children. Imagine what it could have been in Nigeria, where patriarchal tradition was surely heavier and deeper than in Europe or in the USA. Despite this cultural barrier, in this west Africa country, a pair of twin sisters, Taiwo and Kehinde Lijadu composed a string of attitude-laden albums throughout the 70s decade, before moving to the US in the early 1980s. That attitude has been also influenced by the punk wave, with an untaught similar vocal approach. Their lyrics moved from righteous political needling and calls for uprising riots (“Get out! Fight! Trouble in the streets!”), to something far more complex and troubled. “We’re cashing in, prostitution, yeah, we’re cashing in, revolution yeah,” they sing, brightly and blithely on Cashing In. “Poverty is still a common sight.”
This a cocktail of cynicism, new-feminist fury and despair the white British punk anti-system Sex Pistols might have recognised. Let’s put attitude aside now, and let’s talk deeper about their music: an Afro-Beat Soul Disco, genuinely thrilling. You can catch echoes of many kinds in their sound: Fela Kuti’s funk, of course, but also the insistent pulse of disco, guitars and organ from psychedelic rock, acoustic folk and the heavy bass of African drums. At its best – the hypnotizing groove of Bayi L’Ense, or Life’s Gone Down Low’s (Listen it on Buggstories https://buggstories.wordpress.com/2012/02/20/6-track-of-the-day-by-la-nina-lijadu-sisters-lifes-gone-down-low-a-woman-has-being-shot-during-a-strike-at-pumas-factory-cambodia/) super-cool disco funk. The Lijadu Sisters music is as tough as the women who made it.
Lijadu Sisters – Bayi Lense
Written by MarcoPres
Follow him on Twitter @MarcoPresz https://twitter.com/#!/marcopresz
Lijadu Sisters: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lijadu_Sisters
Fela Kuti: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fela_Kuti
Black Feminist Blog: http://blackfeministmind.wordpress.com/