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 Manu Dibango Soul Makossa - What a tune

The Continent of Africa didn't seemed to be getting its fair share of the Music Media press when it came to Pop/Dance/Black music within the past. However, that was to change this song came out during the year of 1972 which changed everything. The song in question is known as "Soul Makossa"

At the (March 2015) time I was busy spring cleaning the House down, and had the radio on. I was getting through my house hold chores when the Dj on the radio put on the track in question that generated a smile on my face.

I raced upstairs to my attic as that's where I still keep my vinyl; to see if I had myself .purchased the song myself. I had done, but, and it is a big but; it was on one of those compilation albums. Not the actual single release.

The song had really captivated my soul and put a spring in my step as I was cleaning down the House and hearing the track on that radio show. So I have decided to write a article about it.

The music of Funk was headed by the Worlds Number One, Soul Brother which is (James Brown); who at that time was conquering the world with this brand music.

However, the continent of Africa return the compliment themselves with this funky groove of their own.

The person in question that created such a single was no other than Emmanuel "Manu" N'Djoké Dibango. (Born 12th December, 1933). He is a Cameroonian saxophonist and vibraphone player. He developed a musical style fusing jazz, funk and traditional Cameroonian music. His father was a member of the Yabassi ethnic group, though his mother was a Duala. He is best known for his 1972 single "Soul Makossa". - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soul_Makossa

The song was composed for occasion of the 1972 African Nation Cup and become an anthem during the rest of the competition. However, the Cameroon team got knocked out of the competition, and the become lost for some time.

The song managed to gained mass appeal once again this time on a worldwide basis during the year of 1972, when the New York legendary Dj, who is David Mancuso. Found a copy of the track within a West Indian record store based in Brooklyn, New York, Usa.  From hearing it himself and falling in love with the track himself. David played it as often as he could during his parties (Loft Parties).

The response to the song led to people searching feverously for it, and the few copies that were found were purchased immediately.

Whenever it was dropped on Dance floors within in New York it lead to "dance battles" on the dance floors within that city. Blacks, Italians, Latin's, whites couldn't get enough of this groove and all of the wanted to strut their stuff when this monster tune came on.

The song that is "Soul Makossa" eventually got heard by New Yorks premier Black Radio DJ at the time which was Frankie Crocker. He was the top Radio/Dj at the time on the station that was WBLS (New York City). Once Frankie started playing this on his show the song was on every ones lips.

It is one of the records that has been labeled as being one of the first Disco Records ever made. But for me it isn't a Disco record its self. For me it is pure Funk. However, at the time this type of record could only be heard playing out within a public place within Disco's. In fact many music critic's state that either Barry White or Issac Hayes made the 1st ever Disco records.

Since it original release was so obscure so many versions came out on a number of different record labels. Apparently around 23 different record labels could be found that had their own version of the song! So was the demand for the tune.

During 1972, the label called Atlantic Records eventually licensed the original pressing of the song on the French label called Fiesta, Atlantic records released the single as two song single with the single called "Lily" being on the B-side.

The single would peak at #35 on the US BILLBOARD HOT 100chart in 1973; at one point, nine different versions of the song were on the USBillboardHot 100 chart at the same time.The song would also become an international hit leading to even more cover versions by various groups around the world. (Broughton, Simon; Ellingham, Mark (2000).World Music: The Rough Guide. p. 441.)

The song gained even more populance in modern times, the song was used in two song by major artists. These artists are Michael Jackson within his song called "Wanna be starting something"1993 and Rihanna's "Don't stop the music".

The vocal sample or chanted vocal "ma-mako, ma-ma-sa, mako-mako ssa", that is present in Soul Makossa was used within Michael Jackson's -"Wanna be starting something"1993, and Rihanna sampled the same part of the Michael Jackson song which he used for his own "Wanna be starting something" track.

Michael Jacksons Wanna Be Startin - A GREAT TUNE

In 2009, Manu Dibango filed a lawsuit against Rihanna and Michael Jackson claiming that both of them had used the "Hook" - "ma-mako, ma-ma-sa, mako-mako ssa" - without his permission.

Rhianna -Dont stop the music - Another big hit for Rhianna

Michael Jackson admitted that he borrowed the line and settled the case with Dibango out of Court. However, when Rihanna asked Michael Jackson if she could use the same hook from his track that is "Wanna be starting something", he approved that she could use it without remembering to contact Manu Dibango.

Dibango lawyers took the case to court (Paris Court) , demanding 500,000 Euros in damages that should have been paid by Sony BMI,EMI and Warner until the issue was resolved. http://www.theguardian.com-RihannaandMichael-jackson

As you have been reading there is lot of history within the song. But one thing is for sure. It will never die. Its just too funky.

 Well that all folks for me now anyway.

Please This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. me here. If you want to discuss anything mentioned here in this article.

Dj Mistri and the Electric Soul Show © www.electricsoulshow.com