James Mtume of Juicy Fruit fame has died
A powerhouse in the music industry, James Mtume has contributed more than most realize. In hip hop, Mtume is a legend, without ever rapping a bar. Instead, the decision to sample his single, “Juicy Fruit,” by The Notorious B.I.G. led to his classic debut, “Juicy.”
James Mtume did more than he could have ever imagined, with “Juicy Fruit.” When Biggie sampled the track, his version also became a classic, inspiring other records. In 2007, Keyshia Cole decided to flip “Juicy” and, in turn, “Juicy Fruit,” for “Let It Go,” another classic, featuring Lil’ Kim.
In 1983, James Mtume recorded a song that would have a 24-year reign. The song was sampled by B.I.G. in 1994 and would quickly become a classic, enough that it inspired other samples. When Keyshia Cole did her 2007 version, her song would become one of the biggest hits of the year.
Sadly, James Mtume died today, after just celebrating his birthday. On Monday, Mtume turned 76 years old, and now he has passed away. The news was shared on Twitter by Marc Lamont Hill and Lisa Lucas, among others. While it’s devastating to lose Mtume, he will forever live on with his music. Rest in peace, rest in power, Mr. Mtume!