Alekpehanhou, and the funky moves he inspires
August 23, 2009 3:36 AM   Subscribe

Just in case you were wondering, yes, indeed, it is the people who dance to Zinli music in Benin who have the coolest, freshest dance moves on the planet. Once you get past the extended a cappella intro, and that delicious slow groove kicks in at the 3:26 minute mark, this video will treat you to some of the most undulating funky moves EVAR. Now, whether you wanna try some of these gyrations yourself, or whether you just dig a nice, slow, cooly percolating West African groove for listening, go here for more from singer Alekpehanhou the "Roi du Zinli Rénové".

More clips from Alekpehanhou:

agbon hou agbon

mi no ko di hèss

Awo mèwito
posted by flapjax at midnite (16 comments total) 21 users marked this as a favorite
That guy has got a fantastic voice but what's the peculiar bent stick thing that he's carrying?

With Liverpool being a seaport, we've got one of the oldest African communities in the UK. When I was younger, we had a lot of African social clubs that were licensed but had a kind of shabeen like quality -- the Nigerian, the Somali, the Yoruba, the Ibo, etc.

In those places you'd see guys who had very similar moves but had semi-adapted them to go with the 70's soul and reggae music they used to play back in the day. If you went with a woman and one of those guys got her up on the dance floor, you could say goodbye to her for the rest of the evening.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 4:42 AM on August 23, 2009

"Voilà les amis sincères" -- indeed! Thanks for the links.
posted by tractorfeed at 5:00 AM on August 23, 2009

They may have the groove, but the folks over at Jeppe Hostel have the style.
posted by markkraft at 5:18 AM on August 23, 2009 [3 favorites]

Does anyone know the language well enough to share what the story is for each of these songs? Not necessarily a translation of a transcript, but just generally what the lyrics are about?
posted by Houstonian at 5:26 AM on August 23, 2009

That Jeppe Hostel video is amazing. Something I would love to see in person.
posted by Forktine at 6:38 AM on August 23, 2009

It took some digging, but I found a translation:

Ooh, I bet you're wondering how I knew
About you're plans to make me blue
With some other guy that you knew before.
Between the two of us guys
You know I love you more.
It took me by surprise I must say,
When I found out yesterday.
Don't you know that...

I heard it through the grapevine
Not much longer would you be mine.
Oh I heard it through the grapevine,
Oh and I'm just about to lose my mind.
Honey, honey yeah.

I know that a man ain't supposed to cry,
But these tears I can't hold inside.
Losin' you would end my life you see,
Cause you mean that much to me.
You could have told me yourself
That you love someone else.


People say believe half of what you see,
Son, and none of what you hear.
I can't help bein' confused
If it's true please tell me dear?
Do you plan to let me go
For the other guy you loved before?
Don't you know...


Seriously, though, this is awesome.
posted by b1tr0t at 7:01 AM on August 23, 2009

That's a bit TOO undulating for me flap. I'm afraid I might pull a hammie. (tip top tune though)

This is more my speed -- Pulukwani Centre
posted by vronsky at 8:02 AM on August 23, 2009

Lovely stuff; a lot of circular motions along with sudden stops and reversals that seem simple, and yet I know I haven't a hope in hell of ever duplicatiing them.

And why do the dancers in blue and white checkered pants remind me of Vanilla Ice? Lousy brain..
posted by Hardcore Poser at 9:12 AM on August 23, 2009

In those places you'd see guys who had very similar moves but had semi-adapted them to go with the 70's soul and reggae music they used to play back in the day.

What would I search for to find video of THAT?

This was awesome.
posted by cmoj at 9:27 AM on August 23, 2009

The guy at 5:24 is my new boyfriend. He is so. cool.
posted by nosila at 10:58 AM on August 23, 2009

thats very awesome!! I love the singing, the clothes are gorgeous and the dancing!! wowowowow. the kids are particularly impressive and totally adorable.
posted by supermedusa at 11:03 AM on August 23, 2009

It took some digging, but I found a translation:

the superimposed captions on the video tell more of the story, of a best friend making a move on his friend girl just to test her loyalty (so he says, but I don't buy it).
posted by francesca too at 12:35 PM on August 23, 2009

Thanks for highlighting this. After watching the guys at the Jeppe Hostel my five year old son (a pretty cool little dude if I do say so myself) has spent all afternoon pretending he is a contestant in a swankas competition.
posted by Megami at 8:02 AM on August 24, 2009

the best part is the synchronization with multiple dancers. it seems so fluid yet there must be more specific choreography with it.

really cool, thanks!
posted by blastrid at 1:06 PM on August 24, 2009

flapjax, this is amazing!
posted by mjg123 at 3:14 PM on August 24, 2009

Oh man... I have to start figuring out how these moves work. I totally wanna bust'em next time I go dancing.
posted by Kattullus at 10:03 PM on August 26, 2009

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