RIP Mustafa Akbar
First Published on DC Reggae:
Mustafa Akbar (1958 – 2019)
Most DMV Reggae Music lovers know Mustafa Akbar as the lead singer of Nappy Riddem. But that is just the tip of the iceberg, he leaves behind an amazing catalog and legacy. Mustafa Akbar Music wrote, recorded and released several solo albums over the years, as well as with groups like Fort Knox Five, Thunderball, All Good Funk Alliance, Basement Freaks and others. He toured extensively across the United States, Canada, Mexico, Russia, Hong Kong and Singapore to name a few. Veterans of DC’s underground music scene probably met Mustafa as the bouncer at the door of Club Red. And for nearly 20 years Mustafa worked at the Eighteenth Street Lounge and was their head of security. During those years he launched his own Mustock gathering in rural Virginia, which was part music festival, part campout and part family reunion. One of his personal Mustock highlights was having Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad as the 2010 headliner. Whether as bandleader in Nappy Riddem, a touring musician or guest vocalist, Mustafa always brought his heart and soul to the stage and made a joyful noise unto Jah.
Mustafa survived a near-fatal car accident in Fall 2016, and through his own determination and community support he recovered and performed again. He continued his prolific career, recording dozens of new songs since the car crash. Sadly in Fall 2018 he was diagnosed with HLH, a rare blood disorder which is treated through chemotherapy. After the first round of treatment, his body was too weak to survive the second round. While we are sad to lose his positive energy and rebellious spirit in our daily lives, we know that Mustafa was at peace with his creator, “The Most High” in his own words. Mustafa leaves behind a massive catalog of over 100 tracks and dozens more remixes and collaborations. He collaborated with artists and producers from around the globe and toured widely across four continents. While Mustafa left this plane to join the ancestors, we still listen to him through his lyrics and music. His uncompromising honesty and big smile continue to inspire many and will do so for years to come. We want to say Thank You to Mustafa Akbar and his family, thank you for sharing your gift with us for so many years and making our world a better place to live.
Words: Andy Cerutti