Mtume (pronounced em-tu-may) was a funk and soul group that had several R&B hits in the 1980s. Its founder, percussionist James Mtume, previously played with Miles Davis in the 1970s. Other members of the group included Reggie Lucas and Tawatha Agee.
Mtume recorded three albums on the independent label Third Street Records: Kawaida (1973); Alkebu-Lan (1975); and Rebirth Cycle (1977). Not finding pop or R&B chart success, they signed to major label Epic Records in 1978, releasing the albums Kiss This World Goodbye (1978), and In Search of the Rainbow Seekers (1980), which found modest success on the R&B chart. Their 1982 album Juicy Fruit, however, provided Mtume with its biggest hit, when the title song reached number one for eight weeks on the U.S. R&B chart. “Juicy Fruit” would later be sampled for the Notorious B.I.G song “Juicy“, from his 1994 album Ready to Die, as well as the 2004 “Be Your Girl” remix by Teedra Moses and Raphael Saadiq. In 2007 it was sampled for Keyshia Cole‘s single “Let It Go“, which also topped the U.S. R&B chart.