n 1977, the Nigerian Army raided the Kalakuta Republic, Fela’s large commune. Fela was severely beaten, the women were raped, houses burned, and his mother was thrown from a window and killed.

Written after the raid, Coffin for Head of State reiterates Fela’s stance on the corruption of the Nigerian government, a message that caused the raid itself. The song also recounts how Fela and his supporters carried his mother’s coffin to the Dodan Barracks in Lagos in order to shame those who carried out the attack.

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