Yes, globalization in it’s most virulent, imperialistic, capitalist form is a nasty beast. But on the flip side, a little bit of back and forth between the continents is a beautiful thing, particularly when it comes to rhythm and beats. The cross-pollination between Africa and the Americas is a fascinating process… Cuban music with all its Africanness was all the rage in West and Central Africa from the 60s to the 80s… now hip-hop is much more legit, much more fo’ real in Dakar than is most of the commercial shit pumped over the airwaves in New York and LA.
Soul Train was the premiere dance show on TV in the 70s and 80s, and is still on. You could learn some funky ass moves watching that show. Some of those ol’ Soul Train moves will win you props in a Malian village. Just like some of the mbalax and coupe decale moves (like the ones in this DJ Serpent Noir video) that you might learn in a club in Dakar or Abidjan will become the envy of any American dance floor denizen. Check out these two clips, their similarity, the subtle differences… ain’t nothin’ new on the dance floor. Everything reinvents itself, borrows heavily from its antecedents… what goes around comes right back at you. And that’s a good thing as long as we keep it real and keep it funky.