08/05/2019: “Africa Must Be Free By 1983” by Hugh Mundell

There’s no mistaking the message on this one!

This is Roots Reggae at its finest, combining a hard edged instrumental with a world class singing voice and conscious lyrics.

The song is about the emancipation of Black people worldwide from the after-effects of colonialism, slavery and exploitation. In a bitter twist of fate, he was shot dead in 1983 in Jamaica.

The song was recorded when he was just 16. In those 5 years until his death aged 21, he made a strong impression on the reggae scene and released some great anthems.

The album was produced by the reggae luminary Augustus Pablo, hence the strength of the riddims.

As might be expected from someone so young, the singing is a bit rough around the edges. But it’s clear that he has a great voice, and the prophetic nature of the lyrics lend themselves well to such an impassioned delivery.

The song was released on an album of the same name in 1978, and was a hit in Jamaica.

Vital!