The king of Afro-Funk jam music, Manu Dibango continues his quest against the king of pop, Michael Jackson. The trouble all started when the Camaroonian saxophonist belted out the soon-to-be-classic line: “mama-koo mama-sa maku ma-ku-sa”. After the clip was lifted by NYC DJ’s at the outset of the disco move, Michael Jackson sampled it a decade later on his smash funk pop hit “Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin”, in the process turning the line into “mama-say mama-sa mama ma-ku-sa.” Dibango had previously sued Jackson and settled out of court, but has been roused again by an unauthorized sampling from one superstar female vocalist in Rihanna. The Guardian has this to say about the matter:
Dibango actually already sued Jackson back in the day, and the two settled out of court. But when Rihanna’s people cleared the Michael Jackson sample, they didn’t get Dibango’s permission, and now he wants his. Dibango is now suing Sony BMG, Warner Music, and EMI over the use of that chant.
Manu Dibango has an extensive back catalogue, including 1982’s Waka Juju , a breakthrough in Jazz/African Soul fusion, Afrijazzy and the recently released compliation The Very Best of Manu Dibango: Afro Soul Jazz From The Original Makossa Man . All Music Guide proclaims “Dibango is Cameroon’s, and perhaps Africa’s, best-known jazz saxophonist” and boasts that “Dibango’s output has been prodigious and multi-faceted. He has worked with musicians as diverse as Fela Kuti , Sly Dunbar , Robbie Shakespeare , Don Cherry , and the Fania All-Stars .” Read up on the drama at Pitchfork and do yourself a favor and familiarize yourself with the Makossa Man’s work by hitting up his official site here !