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The Come Again: 1er Gaou by Magic System

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People, if this is the first time you're playing this song: get ready to grin, and dance, and grin, and hit replay, and then be pissed because you never found this song before, grin again, and hit replay.

Okayafrica's second installation of The Come Again is this compulsive zouglou beat from Ivorian group Magic System - a quartet of dudes from Marcory, one of Abdijan's ghettos. Originally released in Cote D'Ivoire in 1999, the song broke all barriers and rose to the top of the charts in France, Belgium, and Switzerland (topping out at number 4 in France) in 2002, and has since found its way into every dance club from the top of the African tectonic plate down to Cape Agulhas.

"1er Gaou" ('premier gaou' which loosely translates to 'first fool') tells the story, in French and French-Ivorian slang, of lead singer Salif 'A'Salfo' Traoré's ex-girlfriend coming around again once he gets good n famous - to take her back would make him areal fool. I'm sure a bunch of superstars amongst us can relate.

 

 

 

Music
Photo by Don Paulsen/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Hugh Masekela's New York City Legacy

A look back at the South African legend's time in New York City and his enduring presence in the Big Apple.

In Questlove's magnificent documentary, Summer of Soul, he captures a forgotten part of Black American music history. But in telling the tale of the 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival, the longtime musician and first-time filmmaker also captures a part of lost South African music history too.

Among the line-up of blossoming all-stars who played the Harlem festival, from a 19-year-old Stevie Wonder to a transcendent Mavis Staples, was a young Hugh Masekela. 30 years old at the time, he was riding the wave of success that came from releasing Grazing in the Grass the year before. To watch Masekela in that moment on that stage is to see him at the height of his time in New York City — a firecracker musician who entertained his audiences as much as he educated them about the political situation in his home country of South Africa.

The legacy Masekela sowed in New York City during the 1960s remains in the walls of the venues where he played, and in the dust of those that are no longer standing. It's in the records he made in studios and jazz clubs, and on the Manhattan streets where he once posed with a giant stuffed zebra for an album cover. It's a legacy that still lives on in tangible form, too, in the Hugh Masekela Heritage Scholarship at the Manhattan School of Music.

The school is the place where Masekela received his education and met some of the people that would go on to be life-long bandmates and friends, from Larry Willis (who, as the story goes, Masekela convinced to give up opera for piano) to Morris Goldberg, Herbie Hancock and Stewart Levine, "his brother and musical compadre," as Mabusha Masekela, Bra Hugh's nephew says.

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