Mama-se, mama-sa, mama-coo-sa

On today’s very funky Put the Needle On the Record show hosted by Billy Jam, the WFMU DJ played Afrika Bambaataa’s version of Soul Makossa. If you spent a good part of 1983 trying to moonwalk to Michael Jackson’s Thriller, you will hear echoes of I Wanna Be Starting Something, especially the final bridge, which features the chant “Mama-se, mama-sa, mama-coo-sa.” Jackson was referencing Soul Makossa, a single by Cameroonian saxophonist Manu Dibango, which is supposedly the first disco record. Bambaataa got a hold of the song for his 2004 album Dark Matter: Moving At The Speed Of Light. I can’t vouch for the original, but Bambaataa’s is an excellent, driving piece of sci-fi tribalism.

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