Definition of mbalax in English:



mass noun
  • A type of Senegalese popular music derived from a combination of traditional Wolof drumming patterns and Cuban popular music.

    • ‘It had no sleevenotes, a token shot of mbalax (modernised traditional Wolof) drumming, and a single dancefloor hit.’
    • ‘She is stirring up a potent stew, her Mexican folk stock infused with pinches of dub reggae, Senegalese mbalax and Indian classical sliding.’
    • ‘Over the past two decades his output has ranged from the driving Senegalese style, mbalax, through to dodgy western-influenced ballads.’
    • ‘There are nods to mbalax, the sound of urban Senegal, and more reflective folk music.’
    • ‘A Wolof griot was added, local mbalax styles and themes crept in.’


Wolof, literally ‘rhythm’.