OK, now to the case of Mama Say Mama Sa Mama Makossa. Here's the story: in 1972, Cameroonian pop star and sax man Manu Dibango recorded what would become a top forty hit a year later: "Soul Makossa."
By the way, Makossa means dance in Cameroon's Duala language. In 1983, Michael Jackson recorded "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'" on his "Thriller" album.
It also had that "Soul Makossa" chant in it. Manu Dibango sued Jackson over the copyright infringement. Jackson admitted he borrowed the line -- although allegedly HIS chant was in Swahili, not Duala -- and the two artists settled out of court.
Now Dibango has brought another "Soul Makossa" case against Michael Jackson and Rihanna. It seems that the king of pop gave permission to R & B singer Rihanna to use his version of the chant in her big hit "Don't Stop the Music."
Let's rewind and hear the three versions of that line. Here's Rihanna...
And here's the original by Manu Dibango. And finally, here's Michael Jackson's 1983 chant. Jay Fialkov, deputy legal counsel here at WGBH in Boston and professor at the Berklee College of Music.
The French judge is expected to rule on the case in mid-February. I say when in doubt, just refer to the original thought.
So let's leave you with Manu Dibango's "Soul Makossa."