James Mtume, a legendary jazz and R&B performer, died over the weekend at the age of 75. Mtume’s career took off in the 1970s when he teamed up with Miles Davis. Throughout the 1980s, his band, also known as Mtume, had multiple R&B successes that reached the top of the charts, including “You, Me, and He,” “Breathless,” and others.
Biggie Smalls’ 1994 hit “Juicy” notably sampled from Mtume’s 1983 single “Juicy Fruit.” Reggie Lucas’s daughter, Lisa Lucas, announced the heartbreaking news on Twitter this Sunday.
So much loss. So much grief. Rest in power to Uncle Mtume. My late fathers partner in crime, the co-creator of the songs of my life (and about my birth!). He was essential part of the life of the man who made me, therefore me too. Gone now. He will be dearly, eternally missed.
Countless hip-hop musicians have sampled Mtume’s work over the decades. The list includes Fat Joe, Lil Kim, Snoop Dogg, Common, Earl Sweatshirt, and more. The Roots’ Questlove shared a tribute to Mtume on Sunday saying: “It’s really not doing justice listing accomplishments. Right now. Thank you James Mtume for all the wisdom & love & respect you’ve shown me & my brothers over the years.”
Thank you for sharing your gifts with the music industry for so long. Rest in peace to the legendary Jazz and R&B performer, James Mtune.
What’s your take on this story? Sound off in the comments!