“Kiki Yiki Des Rois” – Le Combo Sensationnel


Apologies for our lack of posting recently. Your pelanguer@s have either been traveling or overloaded with our “other” jobs. But I wanted to share a musical treat, especially for our west coast followers. Haitian and Antillean (Guadeloupe, Martinique and Domicica) music rarely reaches many people’s speakers out here where there’s few Kreyol speaking communities, so each time we post from these rich Caribbean cultures I feel honored in helping spread this music that deserves more recognition. If you missed them check out our previous Haitian and Antillean posts.

Here we have another 70’s cadence jam, Kiki Yiki Des Rois from Le Combo Sensationnel. Unfortunately I know next to nothing about their history, so as always we appreciate any nuggests of knowledge you may have. And of course, we always love to know if you’re enjoying what we are posting.

Kiki Yiki Des Rois


Who Got De Funk?

“Who Got De Funk?” by Andrew White, 1973.




Guest Pelanguero Kodiak Brinks, better known to the public as Adam Mansbach, will be one of the keynote speakers at POCIS Conference, along with playwright, poet, and novelist Ishmael Reed. All day Friday, March 18th, at the St. Ignatius Prepatory School (2001 37th Avenue, San Francisco, CA.) More info can be found here.


Re: the eternal question Who got the Funk, Brinks has answers:


This is an incredible song for two reasons. Firstly, and obviously, the shit is incredibly funky: stripped-down, drum-driven, the patterns tight, the vibe loose, the wah-wah guitar doing just enough, the off-the-cuff vocals paying tribute to – wait for it – the funkiness of the track. Some songs have a break, and some songs are a break. Of those that are a break, some are eight minutes long. This is one of them. Word. I paid twenty bucks for this last week in Philly, and I pride myself on never shelling out that kind of dough for records. I barely shell out that kind of dough for major medical procedures.


The second reason this song is incredible, though, is that the other side of this record is absolutely unlistenable. It features Jocelyne White – who I have to think is Andrew’s wife, or else a sister he owes a lot of money – reciting some of the worst poetry of the 1970s, and I do not say that lightly. Joceylne is apparently French, with a very low, very unsexy voice. Poetically, let’s just say she’s no Sonia Sanchez – hell, she’s no Freddie Sanchez.  She comes on, and you’re like, “Okay, whatever, this sucks, but fine, a lotta dudes made this mistake in 1973, she’ll do her little verse and be out, then back to the funk, ’cause these are some funky motherfuckers.”  Um… nope. She’s on the whole second side, with Andrew & Co. playing plink-plink-screech type shit behind her for twenty straight minutes, like they’re afraid she might jump out of the vocal booth and eat them if they bust into a groove. Remember the Eddi Murphy movie Boomerang, with Grace Jones as Strangé?  That’s who Jocelyne reminds me of. Poor Andrew. What do you think his friends said about this record?  “Uh, yeah, man… your, uh, your wife… she really, um, adds a certain, uh… yeah, listen, brother, I gotta go.”  But, again, the A-side is a classic, so whatever. 


– Brinks

A Luo in the White House! Fantastic!

My favorite part of Obama’s book “Dreams from my father”, the part that really made me feel that he was the president of *my* country (as opposed to that country where I still can’t vote after 16 years of living here), was the trip to his motherland — especially when he’s hitting up the clubs in Nairobi with his aunties and cousins and “dancing into a sweat, arms and hips and rumps swaying softly […] to the soukous beat”.

So I was so thrilled to get a hold of these:


Obama Wuod Luo by Queen Babito & D. O. 7 Shirati Jazz Band

Yeah, he’s supposed to look all serious to the cameras,  non-threatening to the average American, but you *know* he got to hear some of these, and managed to sneak in a bit of “rump” shaking into his busy schedule.


Yes We Can by Makadem
Ok, that dude’s optimism makes me feel like a real cynic…


I got a bunch more of these, but maybe that’s enough for now.

But hey, in these days of tight budgets, I’ve told you that these and other treasures are accessible to you in our public libraries, right?



March 2

Governor Brown’s 2011 budget proposal for the state of California includes a (best case scenario) massive cut of 1.8 billion dollars, or 15.8%, to the system of higher education. There is little else to cut, given that, for instance at San Francisco State University, 78.3% of the budget pays for salaries and benefits. This has meant, among other things, cutting hundreds of classes, delaying students’ graduation dates, denying admission to tens of thousands of students, and massively increasing the cost of tuition (over 242% since 2002).

Last year I posted this song on the occasion of the March 4, 2010 Day of Action to support public education in California. Sadly, a year later, it is even more relevant, and I’d like to repost it on the occasion of the March 2, 2011 Day of Action.


Estudiante En Marcha by Carlos Lleras – Huber Araujo

Estudiante En Marcha

This is not a blog about politics; but these are songs that were written about Colombia’s educational system in the 70s, and are perfectly on point in this “first world” country, in 2011.  So I thought I should share.

Besides, I *know* you want to hear a “vosotros” conjugation in a vallenato, no joda!


Los Maestros by Los Hermanos Zuleta

Los Maestros

papicultor, in support of public education.