This post provides information about Makossa music, and showcases a sound file of the song "Soul Makossa". This post also showcases sound files or videos of three of the numerous songs that included an adaptation of "Soul Makossa"'s catchy "ma-mako, ma-ma-sa, mako-mako ssa" refrain. Those featured songs are "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin', by Michael Jackson", "Rhythm (Devoted to the Art of Moving Butts)", by A Tribe Called Quest and "Rihanna -Don't Stop the Music".
The content of this post is presented for historical, folkloric, entertainment, and aesthetic purposes.
INFORMATION ABOUT MAKOSSA MUSIC
"Makossa is a type of music that is most popular in urban areas in Cameroon. It is similar to soukous, except that it includes strong bass rhythm and a prominent horn section. Makossa, which means "(I) dance" in Duala, originated from a type of Duala dance called kossa, with significant influences from jazz, ambasse bey, Latin music, highlife and rumba. While the makossa style began in the 1950s, the first recordings were not seen until a decade later. Artists such as Eboa Lotin, Misse Ngoh and especially Manu Dibango popularized the style outside of Cameroon in the late 1960s. Makassi is a lighter style of makossa. Makossa in the 80's saw a wave of mainstream success across Africa, and to a lesser extent, abroad, as Latin influences, Martinican zouk, and pop music changed its form.
The two musicians largely credited with modernizing makossa are sax player Manu Dibango and Emmanuel Nelle Eyoum. Eyoum started using the term 'kossa, kossa' in his songs with his group Los Calvinos. But it was Emmanuel 'Manu' Dibango who popularized it to the world with his song "Soul Makossa", which came out in the early 1970s."
INFORMATION ABOUT SOUL MAKOSSA AND ITS ADAPTED REFRAIN
From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soul_Makossa#The_refrain_and_its_adaptations [Hereafter given as "Wikipedia: Soul Makossa Adaptations"]
"Soul Makossa" is a 1972 single by Cameroonian makossa saxophonist Manu Dibango. It is often cited as one of the first disco records. In 1972 David Mancuso found a copy in a Brooklyn West Indian record store and often played it at his Loft parties. The response was so positive that the few copies of "Soul Makossa" in New York City were quickly bought up. The song was subsequently played heavily by Frankie Crocker, who DJed at WBLS, then New York's most popular black radio station. Since the original was then unfindable, at least 23 groups quickly released cover versions to capitalize on the demand for the record. Atlantic eventually licensed the song from the French record label Fiesta. Their release of it peaked at number 35 on the Billboard chart in 1973; in 1999 Dave Marsh wrote that it was "the only African record by an African" to crack the top 40. At one point there were nine different versions of the song in the Billboard chart. It became "a massive hit" internationally as well."
Click that same link for a list of records that include an adaptation of the "Soul Makossa" refrain.
FEATURED SONG FILES OR VIDEOS
Example #1: Manu Dibango & le Soul Makossa Gang Live in Paris 2005
Virado RoostUploaded on Jan 10, 2012
From http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=33hwJw8qxgs uploader's comment for 1983 Soul Makossa Dance Version:
"Manu Dibango, an African jazz saxophonist, scored a huge hit worldwide with "Soul Makossa." There was no escaping this in 1973-it was everywhere and how I remember. An out and out classic by Manu Dibango."
From "Wikipedia: Soul Makossa Adaptations"-"The [Soul Makossa] song's refrain consists of the phrase "ma-mako, ma-ma-sa, mako-mako ssa", which is a play in the word "Makossa", Dibango's main music genre. After the popularization of the song, the phrase was adapted and used in several popular songs..."
Click http://www.lyricsmode.com/lyrics/m/manu_dibango/soul_makossa.html for this song's lyrics.
Example #2 Michael Jackson - Wanna Be Starting Something - (HD-720p) - Live
Kelly Gentili, Uploaded on Aug 28, 2011
From "Wikipedia: Soul Makossa Adaptations" - "An adaptation of the "Soul Makossa" refrain is found in] "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'", by Michael Jackson — during the song's final bridge; altered to "mama-se, mama-sa, mama ku-sa"
Click http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/michaeljackson/wannabestartinsomethin.html for this song's lyrics.
Example #3: Rhythm (Devoted to the Art of Moving Butts) A Tribe Called Quest
patr1ckf1994, Uploaded on Jan 17, 2012
Off of A Tribe Called Quest's 1990 album Peoples Instinctive Travels And The Paths Of Rhythm
From "Wikipedia: Soul Makossa Adaptations" - [The "Soul Makossa" refrain is included in] "Rhythm (Devoted to the Art of Moving Butts), by A Tribe Called Quest — altered to "mama say yah, ma-ma ku-sa""
This song's lyrics are posted by the video uploader at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pcpZOLSVqmE
Example #4: Rihanna ~ Don't Stop The Music (Live NRJ Music Awards 2008)
MrOfficialRihanna, Uploaded on Aug 2, 2011
This song was first released in 2007
Click http://www.elyrics.net/read/r/rihanna-lyrics/don_t-stop-the-music-lyrics.html for the lyrics of that song.
Those lyrics include this adaptation of the "Soul Makossa" refrain: "Mama-say, mama-sa, ma-ma-ko-ssa"
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS AND THANKS
Thanks to Manu Dibango for composing and performing "Soul Makossa". Thanks also to the other composers & performers whose songs are featured in this post. Thanks also to those whose information I quoted, and to the uploaders of these featured sound files & videos.
Finally, thank you for visiting pancocojams.
Viewer comments are welcome.