Dibango was born Emmanuel Dibango N’Djoké at 11:00 PM WAT (10:00 PM UTC) on 12 December 1933 in Douala, Cameroon. His father, Michel Manfred N’Djoké Dibango was a civil servant. The son of a farmer, he met his wife travelling by pirogue to her residence, Douala. A literate woman, she was a fashion designer, running her own small business. Both her ethnicity, the Duala, and his, the Yabassi, viewed this union of different ethnic groups in a poor manner. Emmanuel had no siblings, although he had a stepbrother from his father’s previous marriage who was four years older than him. In Cameroon, one’s ethnicity is dictated by their fathers, though he wrote in his autobiography, Three Kilos of Coffee, that he has “never been able to identify completely with either of [his] parents.”
Dibango’s uncle was the leader of his extended family. Upon his death, Dibango’s father refused to take over, as he never fully initiated his son into the Yabassi’s customs. Throughout his childhood, Dibango slowly forgot the Yabassi language in favor of the Duala. However, his family did live in the Yabassi encampment on the Bassa plateau, close to the Wouri River in central Douala. While a child, Dibango attended Protestant church every night for religious education, or nkouaida. He enjoyed studying music there, and reportedly was a fast learner.
After being educated at his village school, in 1941 Dibango was accepted into “the white man’s school”, 2 kilometres (1 mi) from the compound. While there, he was forced to learn French. He admired the teacher, whom he described as “an extraordinary draftsman and painter.” In 1944, French president Charles de Gaulle chose this school to perform the welcoming ceremonies upon his arrival in Cameroon.
He was a member of the seminal Congolese rumba group African Jazz, and has collaborated with many other musicians, including Fania All Stars, Fela Kuti, Herbie Hancock, Bill Laswell, Bernie Worrell, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Don Cherry, and Sly and Robbie. In 1998 he recorded the album CubAfrica with Cuban artist Eliades Ochoa .
The song of the same name on that record contains the lyrics “makossa”, which means “(I) dance” in his native tongue, the Cameroonian language, Duala). It has influenced several popular music hits, including Michael Jackson’s “Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’”, as well as his re-recording of that song with Akon, the Fugees’ “Cowboys”, and Rihanna’s “Don’t Stop the Music”.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.
He served as the first chairman of the Cameroon Music Corporation, with a high profile in disputes about artists’ royalties. Dibango was appointed a UNESCO Artist for Peace in 2004.
Soul Makossa (1972) Fiesta records
O Boso (1973) London/PolyGram Records
Makossa Man (1974) Atlantic Records
Makossa Music (1975)
Manu 76 (1976) Decca/PolyGram Records
Super Kumba (1976) Decca/PolyGram Records
Ceddo O.S.T (1977) Fiesta Records
A l’Olympia (1978) Fiesta Records
Afrovision (1978) Mango/Island/PolyGram Records
Sun Explosion (1978) Decca/PolyGram Records
Gone Clear (1980) Mango/Island/PolyGram Records
Ambassador (1981) Mango/Island/PolyGram Records
Waka Juju (1982) Polydor/PolyGram Records
Mboa (1982) Sonodisc/Afrovision
Electric Africa (1985) Celluloid
Deliverance (1989) Afro Rhythmes
Happy Feeling (1989) Stern’s
Rasta Souvenir (1989) Disque Esperance
Live ‘91 (1994) Stern’s Music
Wakafrika (1994) Giant/Warner Bros. Records
CubAfrica (with Eliades Ochoa) (1998)
Editado por [usuário excluído] em Mai 7 2009, 4h03
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