Tuesday, February 2, 2010

ROCK Sex: 'Mama-se, Mama-sa, Ma-ko-Ma-Ko-ssa'

ROCK Sex goes sax crazy.

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 DJs in 1972 and became such a regional hit that at least nine cover versions rushed in to capitalize on it, including 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), a 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 (also, Trovajoli)...

ARMANDO TROVAIOLI -"Sesso Matto (Sex Crazy)" (1973)

The chant also had clear impact in this famous hit by MICHAEL JACKSON ten years later...

MJ -"Wanna Be Startin' Something" (1982)

"Soul Makossa" has been covered by Afrika Bambaataa, and sampled by Jay Z ("Face Off"), Rihanna ("Don't Stop the Music"), Wyclef Jean ("The Carnival"), The Bloodhound Gang ("Mama Say"), and A Tribe Called Quest ( "Rhythm (Devoted to the Art of Moving Butts)").

"Makoosa... Akeela Mama
Ko mama sa maka makoosa Mama ko mama sa maka makoosa
Mama ko mama sa maka makoosa
Heyyyy soul makoosa..."

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