Douk Saga is one of the main exponents of the latest dance craze from Abidjan, the
« Coupé Décalé ». He is seen as the creator of this variant of zouglou,
at the moment very popular in Africa
and among the African diaspora. What is Coupé Décalé? Musically, it is a variant of zouglou,
often mixed by DJs using Congolese influences such as the « atalaku ».
The lyrics are often composed of a chain of riming words, repeating words as "couper-decaler, travailler, sagacité".
Besides from being a music style, it is also a particular way of dancing. But above all, it is a particular life style.
It all started in Paris around 2000, among a group of a few young Ivorians referred to as the Jet 7 (Jet Set)
showing a very flamboyant life style, making money in various activities and distributing a part of this money in night
clubs in order to show off. Numerous songs, such as « Saga Cité » by Douk Saga, used
the notion of Coupé Décalé
(coupé=get money (by whatever means), décalé=leave, flee to Abidjan). Back in Abidjan,
they went to nightclubs to distribute the money earned (referred to as travailler).
It is said that the way the money
was earned in Europe was sometimes through illicite activities such as fraud, extortion, according to this article:
link. In an interview, Douk Saga claims he was a
successful businessman before entering music. In any case, substantial amounts of money are distributed among the public.
This rather unusual form of amusement can be seen as a way for young Africans to forget the problems they have and especially
to forget the problems Côte d'Ivoire is facing these days. It is critised, though, for advocating a life style
based on easy money.