I always knew Fela Kuti as the person who invented Afro-beat and one most influential musician all of time.
Here is documentary on him you can watch on youtube split up in to several parts.(part 4 or 5 is missing but you can find it on google video)
It talk about how his political music was so strong the the Nigerian government saw it as a direct threat and sent to military to kill his grandmother, rape his 27 wives, destroy all his recording, and jail him.
He also started his own religion, which many considered him a prophet.
Music from Brazil is dope too.
Jorge Ben, "Take It Easy My Brother Charlie"