Suggest a Songfact / Artistfact
Album: Electro Funk, Vol. 2Released: 1972Charted:
A native of Cameroon, Dibango has enjoyed a long career as a musician and songwriter, developing a fusion of Jazz and African musical styles. This song, which came early in his career, was introduced to American listeners by legendary New York City radio DJ Frankie Crocker.
This song made the US Top 40 only briefly, but later became notable for 2 reasons. The first is its refrain, "Ma-ma-se, ma-ma-sa, ma-ma-kossa," which Michael Jackson borrowed for his 1983 hit "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'
," but without Dibango's permission. Dibango eventually reached an out-of-court settlement with Jackson over the lyrics. The second reason is the genré, and the pop culture phenomenon, that the song set in motion. "Soul Makossa" was so popular as a dance song that its style began to be emulated and further developed by American dance musicians - and eventually took on a life of its own. As a result, this is now widely regarded as the first Disco record.