"Mumia 911," a protest track featuring former Rage Against the Machine
frontman Zack de la Rocha, Public Enemy's Chuck D and others, will be
re-released next month on the third album from the song's controversial
namesake, Mumia Abu-Jamal.
Titled after the address of the Waynesburg, Pennsylvania, prison where
Abu-Jamal resides on death row, 175 Progress Drive is due June 26
from Jello Biafra's Alternative Tentacles label. The album also features
several spoken-word tracks he recorded, while incarcerated, for National
Public Radio and other stations, as well as his interviews with Bob
Marley, Jimmy Carter and others.
Abu-Jamal, a Philadelphia journalist and activist, received the death
penalty in 1982 after being convicted for the 1981 murder of police
officer Daniel Faulkner. He has protested his innocence, finding
supporters in acts such as the Beastie Boys, Rage, the Roots, Mos Def
and Bad Religion. (For much more on the controversy surrounding Abu-Jamal,
Rage/Beasties Benefit About?")
Only three of the 27 tracks on 175 Progress Drive include music:
"Mumia 911," "For Mumia" by I Was Born With Two Tongues and "You Make
the Call" by Seeds of Wisdom.
Also included on the album are essays and poetry written by Abu-Jamal
and read by actor Peter Coyote, Black Panther and Black Liberation Army
leader Assata Shakur and former boxer Rubin "Hurricane" Carter, who was
freed from prison after a reversed murder conviction.
De la Rocha and Chuck D recorded "Mumia 911" with one-off group the
Unbound Allstars, which also featured Dead Prez, Pharaohe Monch, Afu Ra,
Goldii Lokks and Aceyalone, in late 1999 for the Abu-Jamal benefit album
The Unbound Project Vol. 1, released last May.
175 Progress Drive follows Abu-Jamal's 1998 release All Things
Censored, Vol. 1, which featured novelist Alice Walker and actor
Martin Sheen, and 1997's Man Is the Bastard, which featured Henry
Rollins, Biafra and late poet Allen Ginsberg.