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On August 12th, in 1988, Urban Artist and Emcee Jean-Michel Basquiat passed away. He started off as a tag writer (Graffiti) in NYC, NY. He wrote the name Samo. His tag name Samo comes from the urban sayings of Black male elders in the communities as a greeting: “What’s happening Brother?” “Ain’t nothing, Same old same old (shit),” hence, Samo.
Jean-Michel Basquiat would put small sentences that communicated ideals like fortunes in fortune cookies on city walls and obscure places throughout the boroughs of NYC like: ‘Origin of Cotton’. I take this to mean something on a deeper level than the surface...without the free labor and exploitation of the American slave, which made billions of dollars for slave masters off cotton, the building he’s writing on wouldn’t exist, because the money from slavery paid for the building, and furthermore, the building of America.
Jean-Michel Basquiat never went to art school, but is revered as a groundbreaking & revolutionary artist. There’s those ‘conventional’ labels for his ‘style’ and ‘genre’ of art that he created. However, I chose not to put those labels on him. Let’s just say he’s a great artist that passed away at 27. R.I.P. Samo…for the second time (watch the documentary to fully understand).
Sidebar: I find it eerily strange that Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison, Jean-Michel, Robert Johnson, Brian Jones, Kurt Kobain, Amy Winehouse and numerous prominent others of like minds and originality in art, die at age 27…
On August 12th, in 1986, The artist-Jamie Starr-The Love Symbol-Prince made his return performance in the UK, England to be exact. He’d performed in England five years prior with ill fanfare. However, following the momentum of Purple Rain fame, Prince sold out all three dates of his concert at Wembley Arena. He had just released Around the World in a Day LP in 1985 and Parade in 1986…Not sure why they didn’t sell out in 1980 (Dirty Mind)..shrugs & cues up: “Strange Relationship”…
On August 12th, in 1977, the Police’s guitarist Henri Padovani left the band. Actually, he quit to be honest after being with them for nine months. The band missed him at first, I’m sure, but I’d bet he wish he’d stayed. They went on to define a unique sound in the 80’s that fused Reggae, Dub, Rock, Soul and Blues.
On August 12th, in 1972 Hieroglyphics leader and crew originator Del the Funky Homosapien (Teren Delvon Jones) was born in Oakland, California. Del got his start by rhyming with neighborhood friends that would later become Souls of Mischief and Casual. He got a break with is cousin Ice Cube through his Interscope deal with Da Lench Mob.
One of the most important things I respect Del for, aside from his rhymes and production skills, is his integrity. When the industry refused to push his music, he created his own independent lane, including merch, booking services, online sales and promotion campaigns that have sustained all the Hieroglyphics crew members to date. That’s a real homey. He’s 47 today!
On August 12th, in 1963 Sir Mix-a-Lot (Anthony Ray) was born in Seattle, Washington. He started off as a Dee Jay, doing parties for locals and then began the first Westcoast Rap Program on Air at KKFX (KFOX) in Seattle, Washington. He later became an Emcee through ‘toastin’ on the mic during his Dee Jay stint, he honed his verbal skills. He’s most known for his cut: Baby Got Back. Mix-a-Lot put Seattle on the map. S.O. to him for that. He’s 56 today! My Posse’s on Broadway!
For more information on any musician or event reviewed in posts, or for additional information on The Wandering Eyes Blog overall, use the search bar and search the artist or event using keywords. It’s like a Google search for the site. A wide variety of information, covering several topics exists on this site going back to 2013 when it was created. PEACE