Free Mumia

Album: KRS One (1995)
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Songfacts®:

  • The cry "Free Mumia" has become a clarion call for the anti-death penalty movement in the United States. Mumia Abu-Jamal, born Wesley Cook, was convicted of the murder of a police officer in his native Philadelphia. A radio journalist after a fashion; undoubtedly he had talent, and could have gone far, but his advocacy on certain issues led to his parting company with his employer. By December 1981, he was driving a cab when in the small hours he witnessed his brother being arrested by officer Daniel Faulkner. This was a routine traffic stop that led to William Cook punching Faulkner in the face. Why he did this remains to be seen, because at the end of the day he faced nothing more serious than assault charges. Mumia on the other hand found himself on the wrong end of a murder rap. As Faulkner fought to restrain the struggling Cook, Jamal ran over to the pair and shot the officer in the back. Faulkner managed to get off one shot in return, before Jamal stood over him and emptied his gun into the policeman's head. He was convicted and sentenced to death.

    The case was challenged by an attorney named Leonard Weinglass, who brought up the possibility of a mystery gunman, police intimidation of witnesses, and the ballistics failing to match the murder weapon - which was bought legally and registered by Jamal. At the time this song was released he was still on Death Row, but later, his death sentence - though not his conviction - would be overturned.

    Jamal became a prominent radio journalist, writing articles, books and even preaching sermons "live from Death Row." His cause was taken up by a galaxy of celebrities.
  • A number of songs have been written about Mumia Abu-Jamal, notably the Rage Against the Machine song "Voice Of The Voiceless" and "Free Mumia Abu Jamal" by The Unbound All Stars.

Comments: 1

  • Thomas from PhiladelphiaThis song has nothing to do with freeing Mumia Abu Jamal, and Alexander Baron obviously didn't listen to the song before he wrote the caption above. This song is about C. Delores Tucker and other civil rights activists who spent more time attacking rappers from low income neighborhoods instead of fighting the government and corporations who they felt were being prejudice towards African Americans. The chorus "Warner, Electrik, Atlantic equals ,WEA. Instead of fighting them why don't you go free Mumia." Is saying instead of fighting the people who are literally paying black people enough to get out the ghetto, why don't you fight against the police state who we know treats minorities disproportionately worse than caucasians. That's what the song is about. As far as freeing Mumia I don't have the knowledge to state my opinion on that, but I have read the lyrics and listened to this song enough times to know that the caption above is not doing justice for the point of this song or KRS-ONE. Thanks for reading.
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