If you’re acquainted with the Michael Jackson track “Wanna be Startin’ Somethin’” (or if you’ve heard one of its plenty of covers and samples Wanna it is in Startin’ Somethin’” | that Sampled?">1) you’ve more than likely wondered come yourself, “What the hell does mamase mamasa mamakusa mean?” Some cite misheard lyrics together the beginning of the phrase, while rather assume it’s a international language. Well, guess what? They’re both wrong.

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Michael Jackson’s “Wanna be Startin’ Something"”

The fourth single released off Jackson’s 1982 Thriller album, “Wanna be Startin’ Somethin"” begins like most songs. The lyrics room cryptic but coherent: “Too high to obtain over, too low to get under” Wanna be Startin’ Somethin’” | Genius">2. But then we progression to scandalous accusations of vegetablehood. And also ultimately the whole song culminates in some scat-like mumbo jumbo recurring over and also over again.

Many people hear different things: “mama sa cudae”, “mama to speak mama sa mamakusa”, “mamasai mamakusa” and even “macusa”. The official lyrics, follow to album liner notes are “ma ma se, ma ma sa, ma ma coo sa”. Wanna be Startin’ Somthing” |Thriller | 1982">3 but what does it all mean? Well, the doesn’t median anything. Technically.

Manu Dibango’s “Soul Makossa”

But the based off of a stop from the tune “Soul Makossa” soul Makossa” | Soul Makossa | 1972">4 released in 1972 through a groovy-ass saxophonist indigenous Cameroon called Manu Dibango. “Soul Makossa” is a funky jam with the text “mama-ko, mama-ssa, makomako-ssa” recurring over and also over again transparent the song.

The scat lyrics space a play on the Duala word makossa and also the object of the song’s tribute. Makossa is a layout of music originating in Cameroon Makossa in Cameroon” | Music in Africa | 2015">5 in the 1950s and also 60s and also evolving from Western influences (like Latin jazz and also instruments), and also Pan-African influences (like the claps and also chants the kossa dancing).

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A te after dancers shook their booties come “Soul Makossa”, Michael Jackson ‘borrowed’ the refrain for his Thriller monitor “Wanna be Startin’ Somethin’” Wanna be Startin’ Somethin’” | Thriller | 1982">6. The chant underwent minor pronunciation changes—probably because of Jackson’s distinctive writing process Michael Jackson Shot down a Plagiarism fit by Singing” | reality Fiend – with Karl Smallwood">7— till it came to be the scat-like mumbo-jumbo us remember today.