Let us take a slight detour away from the arid land of Mali and venture into the just-as-arid land of Thiés, Senegal. Enjoy the relatively relaxed mbalax of Masane and Wa Flash. My friend Jules Diop respected Masane because her hair was real, but I suspect that some of his appreciation was reserved for her voice*.
At the time I spoke Wolof well enough to explain the vile things I was willing to do to the mothers of would-be pick-pockets, and that I would eat their days (demai lekk sai funn) if they kept bothering me (I learned these vile words from children or the parents yelling at their children in Dakar). However, as much basic conversation that was to be had, I could never fully understand the lyrics of mbalax, nor did I ever really fully appreciate mbalax, in all its sugary, treble-heavy sabar madness and glory.
Nevertheless, this is one tape that I do enjoy. Some songs are a little blown-out.
My favorite song is Sincerité. I don't know exactly what Masane is singing when she says someone is crying, but when she sings "mingi joy", she sings "he/she is crying", which would make sense in a song titled Sincerité. And she implores someone, presumably the husband and father in the video, to wanko--to show it, sincerité. My best guess is that Masane is singing about anonymous woman married to typical man who refuses to show any sympathy to the woman's situation (the video doesn't reveal much, so perhaps polygamy, which is a relevant topic today) and later in the second little segment between the dancing, the father not being sympathetic to the daughter's situation with her young suitor.
'Soxna' is either the word for woman or a respectful word used to address women. For example, to get the attention of a woman working in a little shop I'd address her generally as, [Hey] woman...soxna si ([hey] this woman). I'm pretty sure adding si, because soxna starts with an 's', makes it a close noun, like saying gorgui, where gor is the word for man, and gui is the grammatically correct thing added after. Since gor starts with a 'g', gui is what follows. I'm not a linguist. However, it was explained to me by a linguist that modern Wolof has generally abandoned the agreement between noun and grammatically-correct-thing-added-after-the-noun, and made them all neutral, in a sense (I'm not sure they took a male/female sex), in that, now nouns are mostly followed grammatically with a 'gui' rather than agreeing with whichever letter the noun starts with. Like I said, I'm not a linguist, so that may have been terribly confusing.
Enjoy the music. More mbalax to be posted later.
But before I go and since I'm feeling rather mbalaxy right now, here's a youtube video of one of my favorite songs, coincidentally enough also concerning women's plight in Senegal.
*and that Masane is very attractive.