My favorite cd of year thus far is SMOD by SMOD (Nacional Records, 2011). It is produced by one of my favorite artists, Manu Chao and it carries his signature psychedelic bounce with reggae bass lines, one-note melodies and dubby chants. Manu Chao also produced one of my favorite cd’s of all time, the groundbreaking album, Dimanche a Bamako, by the accomplished duo, Amadou and Mariam. One member of SMOD is Sam, son of Amadou and Mariam, who Manu Chao met in 2005 when he was producing Dimanche a Bamako in Mali. At that time Sam and his friends had formed a group to make "African Rap"