Kunta Kinte was a man born in today’s Gambia, sold as a slave to an American plantage owner in the 18th century.

“I got a bone to pick
I don’t want you monkey-mouth motherfuckers sittin’ in my throne again
(Ay, ay, what’s happenin’? K-Dot back in the hood, nigga!)
I’m mad (he mad!), but I ain’t stressin'”

Kunta Kinte’s story was later told by his relative Alex Haley in his 1976 novel Roots, adapted for television the year after starring LeVar Burton.

“Bitch, where you when I was walkin’?
Now I run the game got the whole world talkin’, King Kunta”

Successful rapper Kendrick Lamar released his amazing track King Kunta last year, the album from where the single came from was voted best album of the year by Pitchfork for its complex take on music, race, poverty and America.

“Everybody wanna cut the legs off him, Kunta
Black man taking no losses, oh yeah”

And then it happened. The track is the most popular song at Friskis & Svettis, a major mainstream chain of gyms in Sweden. A sign of increased awareness about past and present racism, or just the fact that people do not listen to the lyrics, these highly political and violent lyrics?


LeVar Burton as Kunta Kinte (1977).