This song made the US Top 40 only briefly, but later became notable for two reasons. First is the 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.
Its second claim to fame is the pop culture phenomenon 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. Some consider it the first disco record.
Joshua - Twin Cities, MN, for above 2