Manu Dibango | Best of 68-18


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ARTIST | MUSIC | BEST OF

MANU DIBANGO

1968 ~ 2018

ARTIST

Manu Dibango

(Emmanuel Dibango N'Djocke)
[1933-2020], Douala, Littoral, Cameroon

#manudibango

· Biography

Emmanuel N'Djoké Dibango, better know as Manu Dibango, was a Cameroonian musician and songwriter who played saxophone and vibraphone. 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 was best known for his 1972 single "Soul Makossa".

He died of COVID-19 on 24 March 2020.

Manu Dibango was a member of the seminal Congolese rumba group, African Jazz, and has collaborated with many other musicians, including Fania All StarsFela KutiHerbie HancockBill LaswellBernie WorrellLadysmith Black MambazoKing Sunny AdéDon Cherry, and Sly and Robbie. He achieved a considerable following in the UK with a disco hit called "Big Blow", originally released in 1976 and re-mixed as a 12" single in 1978 on Island Records. In 1998, he recorded the album CubAfrica with Cuban artist Eliades Ochoa.
The song "Soul Makossa" on the record of the same name contains the lyrics "makossa", which means "(I) dance" in his native tongue, the Cameroonian language Duala. It has influenced popular music hits, including Kool and the Gang's "Jungle Boogie". The 1982 parody song "Boogie in your butt" by comedian Eddie Murphy interpolates Soul Makossa's bassline and horn charts while "Butt Naked Booty Bless" by 1990s hip-hop group Poor Righteous Teachers heavily samples its musical bridge and drum patterns.
In 2009 he filed a lawsuit claiming that two Michael Jackson's songs, "Don't Stop the Music" and "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'", used the "Mama-say, mama-sa, ma-ma-ko-ssa" hook without his permission. According to Dibango, the line is from his 1972 single "Soul Makossa". Agence France-Presse reported that Jackson admitted that he borrowed the line for "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'" and settled out of court. When Rihanna asked Jackson in 2007 for permission to sample the line, he allegedly approved the request without contacting Dibango beforehand. Dibango's attorneys brought the case before a court in Paris. The judge ruled that Dibango's claim was inadmissible: a year earlier, a different Paris-area judge had required Universal Music to include Dibango's name in the liner notes of future French releases of "Don't Stop the Music", and, at the time of this earlier court appearance, Dibango had withdrawn legal action, thereby waiving his right to seek further damages.
On 8 September 2015, Michaëlle Jean, Secretary General of the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie, honours Manu Dibango with the title of Grand Témoin de la Francophonie aux Jeux Olympiques et Paralympiques de Rio 2016 (Special Representative of Francophonia to the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games).

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