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Friday, September 11, 2015

Iyanya (Nigerian Afrobeat Song) - "Kukere" (lyrics & partial English explanations)

Edited by Azizi Powell

This post showcases the Nigerian Afrobeat song "Kukere" by Iyanya.

This post is part of a pancocojams series of songs that include the line "Who God bless, no man curse. Other songs in this series are Bob Marley- "Who The Cap Fits" http://pancocojams.blogspot.com/2015/09/the-who-jah-god-bless-no-man-curse-line.html)

I-sasha -"Who Jah Bless" (Reggae) http://pancocojams.blogspot.com/2015/09/the-who-jah-god-bless-no-man-curse-line_95.html

and Sizzla - "Rasta Bless" and "Solid As A Rock" http://pancocojams.blogspot.com/2015/09/the-who-jah-god-bless-no-man-curse-line_11.html.

Lyrics for all of these songs except "Jah Bless" are also included in these posts.

The content of this post is presented for cultural, entertainment, and aesthetic purposes.

This is only a sampling of songs that include "Who Jah bless, no man curse'" etc. or "Who God bless, no man curse".

All copyrights remain with their owners.

Thanks to Iyanya for his musical legacy. Thanks also to the publisher of these sound files on YouTube, the transcriber of these lyrics, and all those who are quoted in this post.

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INFORMATION ABOUT IYANYA
From https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iyanya
"Iyanya Onoyom Mbuk (born 31 October 1986), known by his mononym Iyanya, is a Nigerian recording artist, singer, songwriter and performer. He is best known for winning the 2008 MTN Project Fame West Africa as well as for his song "Kukere".[2][3] He is the co-owner of Made Men Music Group, a record label home to artists such as Emma Nyra, Tekno, Selebobo and Baci. Iyanya sings in English and Efik.[4] He released his debut studio album, My Story, in 2011. It was supported by the singles "No Time" and "Love Truly". Desire, his second studio album, contained the singles "Kukere", "Ur Waist", "Flavour", "Sexy Mama", and "Jombolo". He won the Artist of the Year award at The Headies 2013.

Iyanya was born on Palm Street in Calabar, Cross River State, Nigeria.[5]

2012–13: Desire
Main article: Desire (Iyanya album)
After visiting his hometown of Calabar and seeing people's affection for the Etighi dance, Iyanya decided to do a song that would popularise the dance that originated in Calabar.[12][13][14] He teamed up with producer DTunes and recorded "Kukere", a single that achieved global success, particularly in Nigeria, Ghana and the United Kingdom."...

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SHOWCASE EXAMPLE : Iyanya - Kukere [Official Video]



officialiyanya, Published on May 14, 2012

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INFORMATION ABOUT THE DANCE THAT IS PERFORMED IN THIS "KUKERE" VIDEO
Etighi, a traditional dance from the Akwa ibom state of Nigeria, is the dance that's performed in this video. That dance is called the "One Drop" in Jamaica (as per comments in this and other YouTube discussion threads of "Kukere" and of the Etighi dance.)

Here's an excerpt from an online Nigerian discussion forum that discusses whether this dance should be performed in church:
From http://www.nairaland.com/1066979/dancing-azonto-kukere-church-appropriate/1 "Re: Is Dancing ' Azonto & Kukere ' In Church Appropriate ?" by enuelly: 2:12pm On Oct 06, 2012
"@op.. I read your post with a smile, reasons for smiling known to me ooh jawe
Azonto is a dance style indigenous to the Ghanian people and it blends well when you dance to the azonto beat, there is nothing wordly about it, dance na dance.

Kukere is not a dance style, I'm sure you mean Etighi dance and its indigenous to Akwa ibom state where iyanya is from, Kukere is an ibiono language meaning 'Don't think'.

These dance has been in existence since forever these guys just made it popular by putting it their songs, so if you go to a calabar/akwaibom churches Etighi dance steps are normal dance steps and if you go to Ghana na azonto dey flow.. So if the beat suggest alanta please dance alanta to it and not Micheal Jackson break dance but if the beat suggest Etighi or Azonto please dance accordingly, in the presence of God na fullness of joy plenty for there ooo. "...
-snip-
Akwa Ibom state is in the old Calabar kingdom.

"Alanta" is another Nigerian popular dance style.

The English translation that I've read the most for "kukere" is "Don't worry".

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LYRICS: KUKERE
(as sung by Iyanya)

All my ladies
All my ladies
Nse nse decale (oya decale)
*D tunes* on the beat
ale, ale ale
All my ladies
All my ladies
Nse nse decale (oya decale)

Kukere kukere kukere
I get money o
Kukere kukere kukere
Oya make we rock o
Sangele sangele sangele
Till the early morning o
Sangele sangele sangele

oohhh na na na na
ye ye ye ye ye
oohhh na na na na
ye ye ye ye ye
oohhh na na na na
ye ye ye ye ye
oohhh na na na na
ye ye ye ye ye

Thankful for all he has done
So me I wanna have some fun
Steady rocking to the early morn
Call your friends dem, make dem come
Yes you could see a star was born
I am a Don Corleone
Come get some
I am on the run
Enemies dem fire burn

Who God don bless e
No man can curse e
You say, you say

ale, ale ale
Kukere kukere kukere
I get money o
Kukere kukere kukere
Oya make we rock o
Sangele sangele sangele
Till the early morning o
Sangele sangele sangele

oohhh na na na na
ye ye ye ye ye
oohhh na na na na
ye ye ye ye ye
oohhh na na na na
ye ye ye ye ye
oohhh na na na na
ye ye ye ye ye

Today na for jolly e
So shakey ur body
This one na happy day
Oya make we dey rock o

Kukere kukere kukere
I get money o
Kukere kukere kukere
Oya make we rock o
Sangele sangele sangele
Till the early morning o
Sangele sangele sangele

oohhh na na na na
ye ye ye ye ye
oohhh na na na na
ye ye ye ye ye
oohhh na na na na
ye ye ye ye ye
oohhh na na na na
ye ye ye ye ye
Who God don bless e
No man can curse e
You say, you say

ale, ale ale
Kukere kukere kukere
I get money o
Kukere kukere kukere
Oya make we rock o
Sangele sangele sangele
Till the early morning o
Sangele sangele sangele

oohhh na na na na
ye ye ye ye ye
oohhh na na na na
ye ye ye ye ye
oohhh na na na na
ye ye ye ye ye
oohhh na na na na
ye ye ye ye ye

Source: http://www.freenaijalyrics.com/lyrics-iyanya-kukere/
Posted By Bukie, on April 9, 2012

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EDITOR'S NOTE
As a general statement, "Kukere" is a dance song in which the singer brags about how bad [good] he is, how he's a star, how he's got it goin on with the ladies, how he's got money etc. The singer gives thanks to God, quotes a few folk sayings, and encourages others to shake their body until the early morn and rock with him or like he does.

Here's some explanations about and guesses for certain words and phrases in this song. Please correct and add to these explanations and guesses. Thanks!

"kukere" = "Don't worry". [I don't know which Nigerian language "kukere" is from of if it's Nigerian pidgin English.]
But here's a comment from that video's discussion thread that provides some information about the language[s] besides English that are used in this song:
Mayen Nneoma- Obot, 2014
"+oriolori89 He's actually speaking Ibibio/Efik and he's from calabar which is where my father is from. While most other songs you will hear are igbo which is my mom's language. U might also hear yoruba at times."

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"*D tunes* on the beat" - I wonder if "D tunes" is the name of this record's producer. For instance, the words "Selebobo pon the beat" is the beginning of Nigerian singer Yemi Alade's hit record "Johnny". Selebobo is that song's writer and producer.

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"Nse nse decale" - Google translate indicates that "nse nse" means "section [to] section" in Igbo. But I'm not sure if that has anything to do with that phrase in this song. If it does, it might mean "Move or dance from side to side".

Here's a comment from that video's discussion thread about the word "decale"
Stephane Djedje, 2014
"this is decale coupe from Cote d Ivoire which has its roots from Ndombolo from Congo! Viva Africa. Went crazy in Paris when they played it!"
-snip-
Click https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coup%C3%A9-D%C3%A9cal%C3%A9 for information about "Decale coupe". Note that there's considerable disagreement in that discussion thread about whether this music and dance are from Ndombolo or Decale Coupe. However, at least one commenter wrote that because the singer used the word "decale" that meant that was the source of this music (or dance). (I'm not sure if I understood the comment.)

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"Oya" apparently means a number of things in Nigerian pidgin. "Oya make we rock o" may mean "Let's rock. "Rock" means "dance".

http://www.naijalingo.com/words/o/alphabet
Oya = Let's get it on [or] it's on
Oya na =1. Let's go; 2. It's time

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"Thankful for all he has done
So me I wanna have some fun" - I'm thankful for all that God has done, and I want to have some fun (celebrate my good fortune)

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"I am a Don Corleone" - refers to the head of the fictitious Mafia family in the hit 1972 American movie The Godfather

**
"Who Jah bless, no man curse" ("Who God bless, no man curse") means that no one can successfully curse (do evil toward) anyone who Jah (God) blesses (is treated very favorably by God) because that person is under God's protection.

These lyrics are based on the Old Testament Biblical passages Numbers 22:1 – 24:25. Those verses tell the story of Balak, king of Moab [who] hired Balaam to curse Israel, in order to save Moab, but God blessed Israel and cursed Moab. https://thatnextlevelthinking.wordpress.com/2013/02/03/no-one-can-curse-what-god-has-blessed/

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RELATED POST
Click http://pancocojams.blogspot.com/2015/09/people-in-african-diaspora-embracing.html for the pancocojams post entitled "People In The African Diaspora Embracing Their African Identity". That post featured forty comments from Iyanya's "Kukere" video.

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