Afrobeat originated from the southern part of Nigeria in the 1960s where Kuti experimented with many different forms of contemporary music of the time. Prevalent in his and Lagbaja's music are native African harmonies and rhythms, taking different elements and combining, modernizing, and improvising upon them. Politics are essential to afrobeat, since founder Kuti used social criticism to pave the way for social change. His message can be described as confrontational and controversial, which can be related to the political climate of most of the African countries in the 1960s, many of which were dealing with political injustice and military corruption while recovering from the transition from colonial governments to self-determination. As the genre spread throughout the African continent many bands took up the style. The recordings of these bands and their songs were rarely heard or exported outside the originating countries but many can now be found on compilation albums and CDs from specialist record shops.