ROCK Sex goes sax crazy.
Today, the cultural relay of "Soul Makossa".
MANU DIBANGO, a saxophonist from Cameroon, set off an international sensation with his single "Soul Makossa".
This extremely obscure flipside was picked up by New York DJ David Mancuso on a trip to Europe in 1972. His incredibly influential listening parties at The Loft lit the fire for other prominent NYC DJs to pump their parties with its propulsive groove, and became such a regional hit that at least nine cover versions rushed in to capitalize on it, including such diverse artists as The Lafayette Afro-Rock Band, Babatunde Olatunji, and The Fania All-Stars.
The real version was then licensed and became a Billboard Soul hit (#35), and a market breakthrough for African artists that would then open the door for attention to Fela, King Sunny Ade, Youssou N'Dour, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Zap Mama and scores more.
Crucial to the song is its chant of "mama-se, mama-sa, ma-ko-ma-ko-ssa"...
MANU DIBANGO -"Soul Makossa" (1972)
Showing the global impact of Dibango's song, listen to this soundtrack homage by Italy's great film composer ARMANDO TROVAIOLI (a.k.a., Trovajoli)...
ARMANDO TROVAIOLI -"Sesso Matto (Sex Crazy)" (1973)
The chant also had clear impact in this famous hit by MICHAEL JACKSON ten years later...
MICHAEL JACKSON -"Wanna Be Startin' Something" (1982)
"Soul Makossa" has been covered by Afrika Bambaataa, and sampled in Jay Z's "Face Off", Rihanna's "Don't Stop the Music", Wyclef Jean's "The Carnival", The Bloodhound Gang's "Mama Say", and A Tribe Called Quest's "Rhythm (Devoted to the Art of Moving Butts)".
Mama ko mama sa maka makoosa Mama ko mama sa maka makossa
Mama ko mama sa maka makossa
Heyyyy, Soul Makossa..."
© Tym Stevens
-The Real History of Rock and Soul!: A Music Player Checklist