Soul Makossa is a song that I’ve been searching for off and on for nearly 20 years. While the song was popular when I was little, my best memory of it comes from a movie (as always). There’s a scene in Robert Harmon’s HBO Film Gotti where Armand Assante, Frank Vincent and William Forsythe sit at a nightclub with the song playing in the background. I knew the melody, but for years, I couldn’t find the name of the song. I finally found it about two weeks ago on YouTube after seeing Gotti again, and am adding this entry so I don’t lose it.
Earlier this week, I heard that musician Manu Dibango passed away due to complications from Covid-19. One thing about Soul Makossa I didn’t realize was that part of the lyrics were used in Michael Jackson’s “Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin'”, and by extension, Rhianna’s “Don’t Stop the Music”. This lead to a lawsuit by Dibango against both parties, though supposedly Jackson settled it out of court with Dibango.