Saturday, June 12, 2010


Very interesting article here about various pillagings of African music for Western pop hits down the decades, including Michael Jackson's incorporation, in "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'," of the chorus from Manu Dibango's "Soul Makossa"; Rihanna's re-use of the same chorus, after asking permission...from Michael Jackson; the song that became The Tokens' "The Lion Sleeps Tonight"; James Brown's turning a Cameroonian song into "Hustle!!!"; and more.

The example of Timbaland and Missy Elliott stealing a riff is particularly interesting, because this YouTube video demonstrates just how blatantly Timbaland has jacked multiple Bollywood and Middle Eastern songs over the years. The guy's a straight-up kleptomaniac.

And of course the contemporary news hook is that Shakira's done the same thing, pillaging a Cameroonian song called "Zangalewa," originally recorded by a group called the Golden Sounds, for her horrible World Cup theme song "Waka Waka."

Here's a link to the Shakira atrocity (which isn't embeddable, apparently)...and here's the Golden Sounds' original...

...which, unbelievably, is now on YouTube credited to Shakira.

And here's a compare 'n' contrast video that includes yet a third version, by another Latin group (just so you know I'm not merely picking on Shakira here).

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