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Title: Zouglou  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Coupé-Décalé, Ivorian hip hop, Music of Ivory Coast, African hip hop, Sur-Choc
Collection: African Popular Music, Ivorian Styles of Music
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia


Zouglou is a dance oriented style of music originated from Côte d'Ivoire during the mid-1990s.[1] It started with students[1] from the University of Abidjan drawing on elements of other styles of music, especially zouk, ragga and soca music.

Zouglou recounts the various social realities experienced by the Ivorian youth and carries messages sometimes humorous, sometimes political messages, or, more often, delivers advice on life. It has since spread elsewhere, including to Burkina Faso, Cameroon and Gabon.


  • The origin of the "philosophy zougloutique" 1
  • The export of the phenomenon 2
  • Popularity 3
  • Major artists 4
  • Headlights and classic albums 5
  • References 6
  • Notes 7

The origin of the "philosophy zougloutique"

Music of Ivory Coast
General topics
Specific forms
Nationalistic and patriotic songs
National anthem
Regional music

Francophone Africa

Christian Gogoua and Serge Bruno Porquet be found at the City University of Yopougon in 1988 (Porquet being the City of Port Bouet-III before the Yopougon) A core is created around two friends fire Zamble Guy Moro (Waton) Wakoube Medard (Waka), Brice Bastos (The Togolo Zangbeto) Diagou Edmon (Don Diego De Messania) Angama George (George Little), Theodore Kouassi (In Vlougbous), Bakary Ouadraogo (Child Spirit), Cesar Oulai (Gnrin Guinea Pig ), Julien Gnanzou (Patsy Gouly), Moses Djenko, etc.. It is this core of students who regularly found Marne-la-Coquette, where Bastos had a dorm room, and especially the city of Café to express the universe in a fraternity student with a language only the initiated could understand, and not dance to the music of Celico and other Ivorian artists of the time. But own music.

The export of the phenomenon

It was in 1989 that the zouglou as dance, language and philosophy, exports of the city of Yop to that of Abobo. Opokou N'ti, with real skills choreographic was blessed by Joe Christy to "liberate" (dance) to the city of Abobo to demand "teachers" who had invited them to fraternize. A few weeks later comes the demonstration zouglou in non-student in the hall of Kumasi, when the Ziguehi was a reality in Côte d'Ivoire, facilitated by Alain Gaston Lago and Tahi (Commissioner Tricot). The man of letters and culture Alain Tahi (student at the time) would already spread phenomenon.

Evolving in time, zouglou created and proposed successively dance steps without changing the truly musical form: Gnakpa, Kpaklo. Although in 1999 the zouglou achieved international renown thanks to Magic System, the genre remains relatively unknown.

It currently has several dozen groups or artists and zouglou: Yodé & Siro (Best Album 2009 Zouglou sign with Zo, Mèlèkè Lago Paulin Khunta & Cisco (Gochinago) Patterns, New Leaders, Coco Hilaire, Old gazère, Oxygen, Hope 2000, The mechanics ...

Zouglou emerged in the '90s as a musical genre and innovative Ivorian made by and for young people. If until that time singers like Bailly Spinto or Alpha Blondy much better known had managed to wear the colors of the Ivorian music, it should be noted that their songs were either inspired French folklore for some or all reggae for others. Rock, with such Gnahoré Jimmy at that time was also trying to get a place. Other traditional songs also drew them out of the game but this time music "Ivorian" was born, music is purely outcome of the cultural and Ivorian Abidjan.


Popular with the youth, the lyrics are written in local languages and French street slang,[1] and has parallels with the evolution of rap in the West. It uses humor[1] to depict anything going wrong in the society.

Many popular Ivorian zouglou artists are living (or have lived) in exile due to their political support to the former president Laurent Gbagbo.

Groups associated with the zouglou style include Magic System (who have become a major act locally and in France, Belgium and Switzerland), Sur-Choc (who appeared on the soundtrack of the 2005 FIFA Street game), Petit Denis, Vieux gazeur, Les potes de la rue, Les Garagistes, Mercenaires, Yode et Siro and Espoir 2000.

This concept has evolved to inspire new musical genres and dances ( Gnakpa, Mapouka, Youssoumba, and more recently the cut-shifted ) promoted by youth.

Major artists

  • Yodé small and Child Siro
  • Magic system
  • Petit Denis
  • Hope 2000
  • Dezy champion
  • The Galliets
  • Fitini
  • Old gasser
  • Patrons
  • The Street's Budies
  • The Campus's Parents
  • The Salopards
  • Molière
  • Soum Bill
  • The Mercenaries
  • Koko Hillaire
  • Birds Of The World
  • The Mechanics
  • Didier Bile
  • Lato Crespino
  • Peonies
  • Anti Malaria
  • Of shock
  • Khunta and Sixko
  • Bayon
  • Malmo
  • Major and Zabson
  • Oxygen
  • 100 ways
  • JC Plurals
  • C ki'sa
  • Aboutou Roots
  • barry sutton
  • Atito Kpata

Headlights and classic albums

  • Terre des Hommes (koro), Soum Bill
  • Let there be light, Soum Bill
  • Premier Gaou, Magic System, global success
  • Ki said mié, Magic System
  • Zouglou Dance, Magic System
  • Red Carpet, The Mechanics, considered a classic of Zouglou Ivorian.
  • Presidential armchair, The Mechanics
  • Serie C, Hope 2000
  • Glory to God, Hope 2000
  • Divine imprint, The Mercenaries
  • Gohinako, and Khunta sixko
  • Zouglou Tonic, The Patrons
  • Day 3, Molière
  • Dance magicians, Magic System


  • Yacouba Konate, Kla Franck, "Generation zouglou," Journal of African Studies, 168, 2002
  • Serges Bruno Porquet Extract from the daily L'Inter, 4 September 2009


  1. ^ a b c d
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