Mumia Under Attack .... Again!
by Sis. Marpessa Kupendua (10/04)

A recent Cybercast News Service article condemns the musical group The
Roots for Bro. Black Thought's participation in the Mumia 911 CD, which
was created in 1999 during an extraordinary organizing campaign leading
up to international demonstrations demanding freedom for Mumia Abu-Jamal
on September 11, 1999.  During this time period, any and all musicians,
artists, and critical thinkers who spoke out for Mumia were targeted for
harassment from everyone from then-NJ Governor Christie Whitman to the
entire Fraternal Order of Police. The FOP staged protests, attempted to
shut down venues hosting artists who rapped, sang, stomped and cried out
for the liberation of Mumia... but organizers, attendees and bands stood
strong in the face of the massive police efforts of intimidation!! 
These cops used physical protests, anonymous phone calls, and called for
a boycott of every artist who participated, threatening their careers by
using any and every media resource at their disposal to vent their
hatred. But what's lost to CNS and their sweaty-palmed cronies is that
this is about much more than any one group of musicians, this activity
is a historic example of what can happen when fired-up everyday people,
activists and artists take a strong and uncompromising stance during the
height of police terror tactics!

Mumia 911 was a tremendous undertaking, which is obvious due to it's
even being mentioned out of the face of *Nathan Burchfiel, a journalism
student at the University of Maryland, via the Cybercast News Service. 
Burchfiel attempts to revive the FOP's musty, corny-ass boycott campaign
by claiming that the Mumia 911 CD is an "unreleased" endeavor of The
Roots.  Burchfiel furthered this mania by enlisting a fellow student's
dissent against The Roots and twisting it into an opportunity to light
the fires of the lynch mob who want to see Mumia dead.  However, young
Nathan obviously didn't do his homework, as he was so busy spewing the
vitriol of his mentors and googling lyrics, he neglected to show any
pretense of truth-telling by citing the plain and obvious FACT that
Mumia Abu-Jamal has NEVER had a fair trial, and making the absurd
assertion that a 6-year old compilation CD has yet to be released!  This
definitely makes him a perfect candidate for today's totally co-opted
"fair and balanced" corporate-sponsored, perpetually lying media!

Mumia 911 was a revolutionary act of defiance to those powers that be
who decided that Mumia had been on this earth long enough. In
*Revolutionary Worker* #1005 (5/9/99) Michael Slate writes about the 17
artists who came together to bless the mic for Mumia, including:
Aceyalone from Freestyle Fellowship, Zack de la Rocha from Rage Against
the Machine, Dead Prez, Black Thought, Afu Ra, Goldii Loks (Mumia's
daughter), Pharoahe Monch from Organized Konfusion, Wise Intelligent
from Poor Righteous Teachers, Chuck D of Public Enemy, Slimkid Tre from
Pharcyde, Gene Gray (aka What? What?), Channel Live, Divine Styler,
Sayeed, Tragedy, The Last Emperor, and p.e.a.c.e. from Freestyle
Fellowship.  Slate wrote that "Mumia 911 is a posse cut, a musical
bonfire lit in response to the system's rush to execute Mumia Abu-Jamal."

The producer of Mumia 911 and the Unbound album, Frank Sosa, told
Slate:  "So two weeks before the session I just started calling everyone
I knew who had shown some interest in doing conscious hip-hop. We
started calling artists and telling them what it was for and sending
them 1-sheets on Mumia. We got confirmation from about 25 artists and we
really only expected about half of them to show up. At that session that
day there were actually more artists than we could accommodate. People
wanted to speak about the issue, they were adamant about it. When
everybody got in a room with each other and saw who was going to be on
the track, everybody started rewriting because there were lyrical kings
in that room, legends. Chuck D was there. Channel Live was there. Poor
Righteous Teachers was there. A lot of these people had never been in
the same room together. But they came up on each other's music. The
pressure was really on. And also when they heard Diamond D's beat
too--he put together a beat that was kind of unorthodox. He wanted to
come up with something that had a really urgent feel to it at a time
when people aren't really making beats like that. He wanted it to be
like a revolution song. When people heard the beat they were like `oh my
god' and they just started rewriting and they were writing all the way
up to when we told them to go in the vocal booth."

We have to make it known that we are NOT gonna stand for any attacks on
these brave warriors, their fire will not be suffocated by fake puritans
whose hypocrisy must be exposed for what it is.  When they accuse us of
supporting a "killer" we have to recognize exactly who it is that is
advocating murder.  The same people who call for the head of one of our
most brilliant African journalists and anybody who speaks on his behalf
are the same people who support mass murdering bloody wars across the
globe!  In these Patriot Act days, we have to step to ANYBODY who claims
to speak on what we should or should not be listening to, especially
when we are accosted by their crazed filth 24/7, whether it comes from
the white house or any of these O'Reilly wannabees being cranked outta
these colleges! Unh, unh, we ain't havin' it! The way these artists
closed ranks for our brotha during some of the most intense attacks on
him was stupendous! Those artists who are out there leading and not
following, fearless and determined, should be duplicated 10,000 fold til
radio cannot EVER ignore them again!  We want some TRUTH up in here and
that's just what we're gonna have!

Slate continued: "Mumia 911 has already electrified artists and others
across the country who have heard about it or heard a preview of it.
When well-known graffiti artist Mear heard about the single he offered
up a beautiful piece he had created for the Mumia 911 National Day of
Art as the cover art for the single. Mumia 911 has already made hip-hop
history with the largest number of artists ever recorded on a posse cut.
But history is more than facts and figures. And Mumia 911 is making that
kind of history too. As Sosa puts it, 'When everybody was in that room I
really, for the first time ever in my life, felt the spirit of history.
People knew that what they were putting down was going to have a mass
social impact and the reason that they were there was much greater than
themselves. It was a very emotionally intense day for everybody. When
you have so many people with so many different audiences coming together
in that room and doing something that is really going to draw attention
to what is going on in their community--that's when you really have the
spirit of history in effect.'"

We stand in *complete solidarity* with all of the artists who
contributed to Mumia 911 and every voice of truth who stands up and
speaks out for real justice. You will NOT silence us and we WON'T leave
our lyrical warriors hanging!  We honor their boldness in a time when
this government has locked up millions of our people in their hellholes,
stealing the bulk of their lives and murdering many of them. We honor
them for giving voice to the pain and rage WE LIVE EVERYDAY, so don't
tell us how to talk our talk little man Burchfiel, we are
SELF-DETERMINED.  We are extremely proud of our warrior artists and love
and support them completely. So.... we know what time it is, right?!

are $28.00 for the general public and $14.00 for U of MD ID'd students)


*More on Nathan Burchfiel at:

More on Mumia 911 at:

FOP Boycott List

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