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On September 11th, in 1968, Sly & the Family Stone were detained in London, England for drug possession. Apparently, customs officials found some cannabis in now Jehovah’s Witness, former Sly & the Family Stone Bassist, & Prince’s official spiritual guide and Bassist before his passing-Larry Graham. Now the band was in London on tour, and they ended up staying in the UK for a week. However, they never performed due to Graham’s detainment and the legal issues with importing cannabis.
I wonder how the rest of the band felt. If the weed was someone else’s and Graham took the fall for it, or if he didn’t know and wouldn’t snitch. Either way, they made it back to the states safely. Graham would leave the band and put out his own solo LP a few years later (1974). Graham had a successful solo career pre-Y2K and worked closely with Prince & Chaka Khan in the 2000s.
…‘Lemme smell ya D Jody!’…On September 11th, in 1970 Jody’s Baby Mamma in the sequel film to Boyz N The Hood directed by John Singleton-Baby Boy: Taraji Penda Henson was born in Washington, D.C., USA. The Howard University Graduate has been in numerous movies, even Tyler Perry movies…I don’t like Tyler’s movies but that’s a totally different subject…On second thought, I’m going to say it…Tyler Perry films depict Black Men overall as bad people. Moving on, Taraji has won several awards: Emmy, and Golden Globe.
She got international fame starring in the film Hidden Figures. Sidebar: I met Taraji in a Mexican Restaurant in Hollywood circa 2001. On the same day, in the same year, Jimi Hendrix conducted his last interview where he spoke on collaborating with the Beatles’ Paul McCartney & Miles Davis. He also elaborated on going in a new musical direction, despite his label’s preferences. Tragically, he died a week later…
… ‘oh yeah, life goes on, long after the thrill, of living is gone’…On September 11th, in 1982, rock guitarist, songwriter and singer-John "Cougar" Mellencamp made history. He became the first and only male Rock artists to have a number one album on the US Pop Charts, along with two singles in the top 10. Jack and Diane held the number 4 slot on the charts, and Hurt so Good was number 8.
The number one LP was American Fool, which stayed at number 1 for just over two months (about 9 weeks). If you were a child or adult during this time, there weren’t many places you could go and not hear a song off the American Fool LP. John Cougar Mellencamp was on MTV, the radio, his songs were playing in stores…if you don’t know his music, you should definitely check it out.
On September 11th, in 1987, one of the founding members of the Jamaican Rastafarian based seminal band, The Wailers-Peter Tosh was murdered. He was shot down by three rudeboys (armed robbers) in his home in Kingston, Jamaica. They tortured Tosh for several hours in an attempt to extort money out of him, even though he told the robbers that he didn’t have any (he really didn’t).
The guitarist, singer and songwriter made some great music to Praise Jah Rastafari (His Imperial Majesty-Halie Selassie I) as a Walier alongside Bunny Wailer & Bob Marley. The group’s name derives from the definition of Wail: ‘to Cry to Mourn’. Their music was substance based, as it clearly reflected the plight of the Jamaican Ghettos. He also has some dope stuff as a solo artist. He died from gunshot wounds at age 42.
On September 11th, in 2003, one half of Cheech & Chong-Tommy Chong, got roped by the folks for slanging bongs and other marijuana paraphernalia online…pause…so he was selling paraphernalia, not weed, paraphernalia (S.O. to King Supreme for the Iverson post)?! He had to pay a healthy fine of twenty thousand and got nine months in a Federal Prison.
He was 65 when they sent him to the bing. That’s just ridiculous. He copped a guilty plea, paid the fine and did his time. Chong is well-known as an advocate for Marijuana from the start of his comedy, acting and music career. He’s the father of Rae-Dawn Chong: the actress that played the main lead and love interest of DJ Double K in Beat Street.
… ‘it’s another one, and another one’… It’s social science time again, yeah! On Spetember 11th, in 2006, the University of Leicester, located in the United Kingdom conducted a study that linked a person’s lifestyle-mainly drug usage to musical genre preferences. Essentially, the surveyors wanted to ascertain whether or not a person that, let’s say listens to Reggae, would dabble in weed, or if a person that liked Rock or Dance would snort.
They found that Dance & Hip Hop (c)rap) music fans were more likely to have used multiple drugs (they were the biggest drug takers surveyed out of all the genres). They also were most likely to have multiple sex partners. To add, about 25% of Classical music listeners have smoked before, at least one time. If you like the Blues, expect a ticket…they found that people that like the Blues tend to have more traffic infractions. The study utilized over 25,000 participants and was published in the Scientific Journal Psychology of Music (2005).
Honorable Mentions: On September 11th, in 1952, Atlantic Records label co-owner Ahmet Ertegun embarked on recording his newly attained 21 year-old pianist, songwriter and singer-Ray Charles. The event took place on West 56th Street in New York City. Ahmet had bought out Rays contract from Swingtime for two-thousand five hundred dollars. Ray would go on to make Atlantic a lot of money and attract other artists like Aretha Franklin & Otis Redding.
… ‘even if it’s old junk, it’s still Rock ‘n’ Roll to me’…On September 11th, in 1956, The Folks got called to break up a crowd of unruly teens that were enjoying the Rock ‘n’ Roll film Rock Around the Clock at the Trocadero Cinema in London, England. They nearly rioted accoring to conservative perspectives. ‘The hypnotic rhythm and the wild gestures have a maddening effect on a rhythm loving age group, and the result of its impact is the relaxing of all self-control.”…pause…Dancing is maddening…
On September 11th, in 1977, the rapper, actor and cousin of Richard Pryor known as Ludacris was born in Champaign, Illinois. XXL played Champaign up as a suburb of Chicago to make Ludacris seem more ‘gangster/hard/street’…I’m from Champaign, it’s not hard, U of I and cornfields...nor is it a suburb of Chicago…it’s about as much of a suburb of Chicago as Huntsville, Alabama is a suburb of Nashville, Tennessee (both are about 120 miles from one another). Stop fronting XXL, rep the real.
On September 11th, in 1993 singer, actress, dancer and songwriter Janet Jackson appeared in her first feature length film directed by John Singleton, alongside Tupac Shakur, Regina King & Joe Torry-Poetic Justice. Janet got real sadity on Pac though…if y’all can recall, she refused to kiss Tupac in the film unless he agreed to take and could pass an AIDS test…pause…c’mon…Anyways, Janet played the victim of a lover lost to gun violence (Q-Tip). Her man was shot in the head at the drive-in theatre.
… ‘brother, brother, help each other, heed the words I say, yeah’….On September 11th, in 1996, Liam & Noel Gallagher, brothers and both members of the British Rock band Oasis, got into a fight in a hotel in Charlotte, North Carolina. This altercation led to Noel quitting the band and returning to London on the 12th. He didn’t finish the American tour.
On September 11th, in 2007, the multi-instrumentalist and multi-genre musician Willie Tee returned home at age 63. He was born, raised, and died in New Orleans, Louisiana. Willie Tee played the keys mostly, singing and writing his own music. He dabbled in R&B, Blues, Pop, Jazz, Funk, Rock & Native American music. By blending all of these sounds together, he created his own universal sound that resonates with listeners of all walks of life.