The Music of
Mutabaruka

 

Mutabaruka album covers

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Streaming Singles Streaming Consciousness
Listen to sound samples of music
from all of Mutabaruka's albums 
Streaming Singles

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In 1981, Mutabaruka burst onto the Jamaican reggae scene with the release of his single Every Time A Ear De Soun' on the High Times Label.  His stunning performance at Reggae Sunsplash, held in Montego Bay's Jarrett Park later that year, established that Muta's reasonings would be a force to be reckoned with in the years to come.

In 1983, Alligator Records released Mutabaruka's first LP, Check It, a searing commentary on the havoc reaped by 400 years of white colonialism.  Later that year, Heartbeat Records released Word Soun' 'Ave Power, an anthology of Jamaica's revolutionary dub poets.  Both this album, and it's dub companion Dub Poets Dub, were produced by Muta.  1983 also saw the release of the video Land of Look Behind featuring reasonings with Muta.

In 1984 Mutabaruka signed with Shanachie Records and his second album Outcry was released. This Muta produced LP features several songs which had originally appeared in Mutabaruka: The First Poems, a collection of poems published in Jamaica several years earlier. That same year saw the emergence of the video Mutabaruka - Live inna concert, featuring Muta playing to a full house in New York.

1985 saw the release of Land of Africa by Ras Records.  This 12" single, the proceeds for which were given in aid of Ethiopian Famine Victims, features some of the great reggae stalwarts, including David Hinds, Freddie McGregor, Third World, The I-Threes, Mutabaruka, Triston Palma, Edi Fitzroy and Gregory IsaacsAlligator Records also gave us High Times All-Star Explosion, a compilation LP in which Muta exalts Postpone Christmas.

Mutabaruka's fiery thunder continues on his third album, The Mystery Unfolds, which was released by Shanachie Records in 1986.  Ini Kamoze lends vocals to Walkin on Gravel, a favor that Muta would return on Ini Kamoze's Shocking Out album.  By now, Muta had become an accomplished producer as well.  His production of Woman Talk was released by Heartbeat Records in 1986.   This album features works from many women active in dub poetry throughout the Caribbean including Louise Bennett, aka "Miss Lou". 

Mutabaruka sings the UNIA slogan "Up You Mighty Race" on A Tribute to Marcus Garvey the album released to celebrate the centennial of the birth of Marcus "Mosiah" Garvey.  Muta, who also assisted in the production of this 1987 album, joins Bunny RugsFreddie McGregor, Carlene Davis, Rita Marley, and Third World on the theme song, "Man of Nobility".

On his 1989 release, Muta proclaims "By the bullet or the ballot, by the bible or the gun, Any Which Way....Freedom must come."  This Shanchie Records recording also features H2 Worka, the title cut to the soundtrack of a documentary about migrant workers in the Caribbean.

The spring of 1991 marked the release of Muta's fifth album, Blakk Wi Blak...k...k on Shanchie Records.   On People's Court I Mutabaruka (aka Judge Betta Mus' Com') sentences all politicians to 1000 years for dividing black people and promisin dem right back into slavery.  He also seeks to Dispel The Lie about Rastafari, drug religion - misconception, announcing "No smoke reveal Jah to i". 

On his 1994 Shanachie release, Mutabaruka's demonstrates why he is the Melanin Man.  On the track Beware, he gives a scathing warning to Nelson Mandela to "Mine yuh share out wi share". Freddie McGregor, Cocoa Tea and Dennis Brown join Muta on Bone Lies, a caustic response to a feable scientific attempt to prove the demise of His Imperial Majesty. 

The Ultimate Collection was released by Shanchie Records in 1996, concurrently with the Shanchie video entitled Mutabaruka - Live at Reggae Sumfest 93'.  This album features a selection of Muta's most notable works, and several new Muta songs with other artists, including Wise Up (featuring Sugar Minott) and Psalms 24 (with Luciano).

It took Mutabaruka two years to assemble all of the master singers and musicians for the all-star session which produced Gathering Of The Spirits.  This 1998 release is a return to the old methods of recording reggae, using live musicians, and features such reggae greats as Culture, Big Youth, Judy Mowatt, The Mighty Diamonds, Ernest Ranglin, Justin Hinds, Marcia Griffiths, Pablo Moses, Hortense Ellis, The Mystic Revelation of Rastafari, and Muta.

Muta In Dub is the first recording to be released on Lethal Records and is Muta's first Dub album. Produced in Kingston by Muta and mixed by Sojie, the album also features Marcia Griffiths, Ini Kamoze, Dean Frazier and Earl "Chinna" Smith.

Life Squared is Mutabaruka's first album in over 7 years.  Muta comments on all aspects of human nature with lyrics that are powerful, insightful and intelligent. Released in 2002, this album features the single "The Monkey" and also the title track to "Life and Debt", along with "Spirituality" in which Muta puts to music the words of Haile Selassie on the distinction between religion and spirituality.

Many of Mutabaruka's songs with other artists are brought together on the In Combination album.  Released by Revolver Records in 2006, this album features songs with reggae greats such as Dennis Brown, Ini Kamoze, Freddie McGregor, Cocoa Tea, Lovindeer, Sugar Minott, Tony Rebel, Luciano, Marcia Griffiths, Ibo Cooper, Pam Hall and more. 

Life And Lessons is the latest album by Mutabaruka.  Almost all the tracks were recorded in South Africa and feature some excellent musicianship and productions.  Released by South Africa's Gallo Records, the album has a very African theme, laced with poignant lyrical imagery and flavored with a distinctly Zulu sound. 

Mutabaruka has also appeared on dozens of compilations and songs with other artists.

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Mutabaruka album covers

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