Fela and Africa 70 release Gentleman, the first fully formed Afrobeat album and the prelude to Fela’s mid-1970s purple period, when one masterpiece follows another in rapid succession. On the title track, Fela asserts the primacy of traditional African culture and ridicules the adoption of European clothing by Nigeria’s middle and upper classes, identifying it as an example of the post-colonial cultural inferiority-complex which he says is hampering Nigeria’s (and indeed the whole of independent Africa’s) development. He will explore this theme further in the future.
Fela begins performing the song “N.N.G. (Nigerian Natural Grass),” a play on the Nigerian Petroleum Corporation’s Nigerian Natural Gas. Fela never records it because once he does record a song he stops performing it. He wants to keep “N.N.G.” in his live repertoire indefinitely.
Newspaper reports say that Fela has accused Paul McCartney, who is in Lagos recording his album Band On The Run, of coming to Africa to “steal the black man’s music.” McCartney invites Fela to the studio to hear the album-in-progress and Fela immediately retracts the charge. He invites McCartney to the Shrine, where he is made to feel welcome and has a fantastic night.