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3.7.14

#THROWBACKTHURSDAY: Angélique Kidjo - Agolo

Angélique Kidjo - Agolo | Ses Rêveries

With a few minutes to spare (in the UK, at least), here's the first African throwback, I think - and it's not by a Nigerian [gasp].

No, no, there is no need to gasp. It was a conscious effort; I've been doing recon on the multiple genres I promised years (OK, months) ago, so I'm finally ready to share some old goodies and some "new" finds - like the amazing Beninoise singer, Angélique Kidjo... Is that even right? Or have I made that up? I was doing research on chinoiserie not too long ago, so it could be wrong... Beninian, then? Beniner? Benin Republican? Benine? Aww, like 'benign'! How cute! I'd Google it, but one more tab and my laptop will fry. And who knows where my phone is? I really need to stop leaving that thing everywhere; found it this morning on an egg carton in the fridge... I don't even eat eggs. Ergo, it wasn't even my carton.

But I digress.

I've finally remembered why I can no longer think of her without laughing a little now. I'm not sure if any of you have had the distinct pleasure of watching any of the many African talent search competitions on YouTube, but if you have a spare minute, I daresay you will not regret it. A girl did a cover of Batonga and it was beautiful... in that it was oh-so-horrific; her pitch was everywhere; her vocals were daggers to the ear; the entire thing was just disastrous... The West African Idol auditions always bring tears to my eyes. Look for the Michael Jackson tribute ones on YouTube... I'm already weak right now on your behalf.

Anyway, back to the legend that is Kidjo. I was originally going to pick Batonga for this post actually, because it's one of my favourites, but the Grammy Award-nominated Agolo is just such a universal jam that I thought I'd let it have a moment on the blog first. Again, I've posted a music video because this one is also must-see. As well as being one of the coolest people I'd ever seen, Kidjo scared me just as much as Grace Jones did. They were so striking that I wanted to be them so I could scare the other children too... #SweetestKidAwardWinner.

I didn't like this video though. Obviously, I do now - such a classic - but then, my earliest memory being some time in the early 2000s so five/six/seven, this was the equivalent of watching the Boogeyman climb into your closet at dusk and wink at you like, "Bedtime in a couple hours, right? See you soon, b." My options? Avoid eye contact, grab the remote and change the channel as quickly as possible, or leave the room completely. It took me a while to actually get the lyrics (or rather, my mumblings that kinda-sorta rhyme with the actual lyrics) out of my mouth. In my head, I was like, what did she take me for? I was not gonna be calling her and her crew of face-eating monsters into my house, no siree. Mama didn't raise no fool, as they say.

But of course, I couldn't tell anyone I was afraid the evil juju lady was going to manifest in my room if I looked her in the eye. That would've made me look weak.

And even back then, I had a "thug rep" to protect, bruh.





Photo source: KasiLyrics.co.za
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