Soul Makossa (4:26)

Cover of Africadelic

From Africadelic and 52 other releases

“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 now unfindable, 23 or more 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 #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.
“Soul Makossa” was originally recorded as a B-side for “Mouvement Ewondo,” a song about Cameroon’s association football team.

It is probably best remembered for the chanted vocal refrain “Mama-ko, mama-sa, ma-ka-ma-ko-ssa”, which was also used in Michael Jackson’s 1983 “Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’” (albeit in a different key with a not-so-monophonic melody) during the song’s final bridge. It is also sampled in the hip hop song “Face Off” by artist Jay-Z on his album In My Lifetime, Vol. 1 as well as the single “Don’t Stop the Music” by Rihanna. “Makossa” means “dance” in Duala, a Cameroonian language.

Tags

Everyone’s tags

More tags

Play with Spotify

Albums featuring this track (53)

Similar Tracks

  Track   Duration Listeners
Fela Kuti - Zombie 12:25 76,415
Manu Dibango - Big Blow 5:56 4,110
Manu Dibango - New Bell 6:48 12,117
Matata - Talkin' Talkin' 4:36 10,573
Fela Kuti - Lady 13:48 37,552
Oscar Sulley & The Uhuru Dance Band - Bukom Mashie 5:07 22,452

Listening Trend

43,370listeners all time
110,820scrobbles all time
Recent listeners trend:

Explore more

Shoutbox

Leave a comment. Log in to Last.fm or sign up.

Top Listeners