Hybrid has become an overused term in the American lexicon. It is probably because most Americans are hybrids of some type. Yet, it is a term that precisely fits when describing M.U.G.A.B.E.E. Their name, which is an acronym meaning Men Under Guidance Acting Before Early Extinction, describes a group divinely guided to be musicians, singers, rappers, songwriters, producers, actors, poet and teachers, they do it all, and they do it all well. That may be because they see themselves as artists, vessels for the word, allowing it to move through them in various forms of hip hop, jazz, spoken word, as well as, rhythm and blues, rap, soul, reggae, and classical.
In this age of specialization and limitation of having to choose a one dimensional path, M.U.G.A.B.E.E. has chosen the path of their Nubian ancestors and forerunners such as Stevie Wonder, Earth, Wind, & Fire, Miles Davis, The Last Poets, Prince, and Outkast and not allow the industry to label them. Instead they have decided to defy the norm creating a new legion of multidisciplinary artists.
Born Maurice S. Turner II and Carlton A. Turner, M.U.G.A.B.E.E. slipped into this life in Mt. Vernon, New York. Several years later they were relocated to rural Mississippi. But even at birth, the Turner brothers were everything that represents lifestyle and music in America. With a father from the heart of Harlem, New York and a mother from Utica, Mississippi, these two men began in the nucleus of the spectrum of life in America. In their music you can hear the influences of their mother’s Mississippi gospel bred blues meeting their fathers’ Harlem jazz swing into a crash, a bang, and a boom of late twentieth century urbanization. And just like their parents, they are a perfect compliment to each other. Having been formerly trained in music since their pre-teens, the Turners studied widely and veraciously during their university years. Maurice studied Microbiology and Music at Howard University and Music performance at Alcorn State University and the University of Mississippi. Carlton studied English and History at Alcorn State University and the University of Mississippi. Just as their formative years, their university studies reflected their diversity and desire to grow and become involved in the full dimensionality of the human existence.
One of their greatest assets is their willingness to learn, grow, and evolve as artists, but truly their greatest strength is their understanding that art is used to empower and uplift all people assisting the evolution of human beings by providing thought-provoking entertainment in a wide range of subject matter.
M.U.G.A.B.E.E. has been working in community and on stage since 1994. They have shared the stage and studio with artists such as Cassandra Wilson, B.B. King, Bobby Rush, John Faddis, North Mississippi All-Stars, The Wynton Marsalis Septet, The Last Poets, and many more. Since 2000 M.U.G.A.B.E.E. has been working in communities across the South in the form of residencies, workshops, performances and lectures. M.U.G.A.B.E.E. works with youth groups, adult learners, community centers, churches and schools. Their work has taken them to the metro areas of New York, Los Angeles, New Orleans, Chicago, Atlanta, Miami and to the small towns of Thomasville, Natchez, Pine Lake and Lexington.
In 2002 M.U.G.A.B.E.E. released their debut album “Earth Tones”. Well received, it continues to be played on radio stations throughout the South. With their explosive performances, well-layered and constructed grooves, and thought provoking lyrics, their freshman effort delivered a soul stirring and mind-pleasing climax. In the fall of 2004 the brothers added Michelle Turner to the group. Michelle is a actor-singer-songwriter and recent graduate of Mississippi State University where she studied Theater and Communications. Michelle also happens to be Maurice and Carlton’s youngest sister.
In 2005, M.U.G.A.B.E.E. premiered “Batteries in the Killing Machine” at the National Black Theatre Festival. This new play was written and performed by Maurice and Carlton and features new original music from the upcoming “World Domination” album. This production continues to tour the country and is available for booking. M.U.G.A.B.E.E. is a continuation of the rhythms and sounds that are the foundation of the ancestral spirit of communication.
When you hear the music, you hear the fire and soul of evolution.