Another Africa

So I know there are some fabulous party cities in the South: Jozi, Lusaka, Mombasa, Lagos, Nairobi, and I am suspect I have left your favorite out. But in J Lo’s current dance hit “On the Floor” (featuring Pit Bull) you have to try find the parties in whole countries or continents according to the chorus’ call to her party people:

“You know we’re running sh*t tonight on the floor

Brazil Morocco

London to Ibiza

Straight to LA, New York

Vegas to Africa”

But an especially odd evocation of continental Africa came up in her live performance on American Idol this week. First it opens with the vaguely Central American but also ‘world ethnic’ look of the video for her second single, “I’m Into You” from her album Love? See the video above and listen to her pronunciation of Africa as in Afriika with a drawn out i sound and a hard k. Perhaps J Lo realized she needed to distinguish party Africa from the more familiar ‘Aafrica’ as in “I had a farm in Africa” or ‘I found my soul in Africa’. This much more serious place is characterized by violence and hunger and sick children and is spoken of with great earnestness by news people and humanitarians. I feel, though, that if we bought these two Africas together, we might really have something interesting happening.

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