Videos October 27, 2015
Koffi Olomide Takes A Selfie
Koffi Olomide was Congolese music royalty in the 1990s, making hit after hit with his excellent band Quartier Latin and popularizing a unique style of ndombolo dance music. He's back with a new single and video called "Selfie." It is a joyful comeback, complete with slinky, classic '90s-style ndombolo and seben grooves, tons of sunglasses, musical stops coinciding with camera clicks and exaggerated poses, tablet group-selfies, and a goofy dancer in purple suspenders dancing with a selfie-stick. Many Congolese music fans agree that Koffi's music and image have declined steadily over the past 20 years. Is this classic '90s-style song and creative video an effort to regain relevance in swiftly changing times? Or a hilarious parody of the narcissism of selfie-mania? Or both? If you understand Lingala and you watched this video, let us know your opinion on Twitter at @afropopww. While he has definitely maintained a place for himself in Congolese pop music throughout the 2000s, Koffi lost many fans due to various controversies. He has been called out for self-aggrandizing gestures, for example referring to himself as the Pope; he went to trial in 2012 for beating up one of his producers; his European concerts were boycotted by protesters, known as combattants, who view Olomide as the mouthpiece of Congolese president Kabila; he was accused of raping and sequestering his own dancers in France; some Congolese music fans complained of moral corruptness in his videos, music and lifestyle in general. For more, see this article from RFI in 2012. A recent example of his posturing and "moral corruptness" is the booty-worshiping, gun-toting advertisement Koffi filmed for his brand new, four disc, 39-track album 13iéme Apôtre. The title translates as "13th Apostle." The blasphemy continues, and we are enjoying every minute of it!