Posted by Witch Hazel | Posted in Natina Reed, rip | Posted on 27-10-2012
Natina Reed, of the girl group Blaque, who had success in the late ’90s with songs like “808” and “Bring It All to Me,” has died. Reed –who was just 32– was killed early Saturday as she crossed an Atlanta street. Police say the driver did stop, was not at fault and will not face charges. Reed was the rapper of the group and in a very strange coincidence, she was the protégé of the late Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes who also died young in a vehicle-related accident. Reed co-starred in “Bring It On” with Gabrielle Union. She would have turned 33 tomorrow. Fellow group member, Brandi Williams, tweeted about losing Natina.
Last night the world was changed forever, life will never be the same….she was my sister.
Posted by Fleur Delacour | Posted in rip | Posted on 24-07-2012
By now you’ve probably heard that actor Sherman Hemsley has gone to God’s deluxe apartment in the skkkkyyyyy… Hemsley has always been a grouchy uncle in my head. I snickered behind my parents backs when he called Archie Bunker “honky” on All in the Family . I laughed and sometimes cried during his 11 seasons on The Jeffersons. And who could forget the deacon double-dutching in the intro to Amen? Hemsley was a HUGE part of my childhood. No matter what was going on outside, I could escape to George and Weezy’s house every week. I’ll sure miss that fast walk and even faster wit.
Posted by Witch Hazel | Posted in Chuck Brown, rip | Posted on 16-05-2012
Sad news for real music fans and the Washington, DC community today. Chuck Brown, the beloved Godfather of Go-Go passed away. Brown had suffered from pneumonia for the past few weeks, forcing him to cancel his packed schedule. Brown was 75. As I watched the news of his death roll through my Facebook Timeline, it occurred to me that almost all of friends in DC had fond memories of Chuck but virtually no one on my friends list (except for one) who lives outside the DC area had much to say about Chuck. It was a sea of virtual crickets. Most seem to have never heard of him which is a shame. He gave us decades of good music that stayed largely in this city and parts of the East Coast. There were a couple of shining “mainstream” moments, like “Bustin’ Loose” and when Nelly sampled him on “Hot In Herre,” so I figured I’d share some of his music with my Brewchies! When I think of all the crap artists we can’t escape on the radio, I’m left to wonder, why aren’t they playing more of THIS?!? I remember as a kid that I could not wait ’til I hit 25 so I could go to an official Chuck Brown show. And when I finally made it there, it was a moment I wouldn’t forget. I’m grateful to have been able to witness this legend on stage over the years, whether it was in a park, sitting on the grass or on a formal stage — he rocked it!
If you’ve never heard of Chuck and don’t know his music, here’s 11 minutes of what it was like at a Chuck Brown show. Non-stop music and lots of two stepping…only the weak sat down but he never did. I mean, the man was 75 and would perform non-stop for an hour or more in one continuous groove that would just go and go (hence, the “Go-Go“).
But, there was also a softer, jazzier side to Chuck. He helped propel the short lived career of the late Eva Cassidy in the early ’90s. Their voices together were magical.
Jill Scott also recognized the power of Chuck’s music, often collaborating with him when she performed in DC. They also recorded the song, “Love,” together in 2010. I could only find this random line dancing video of the song, but hey, watch it and learn some new moves.
Jill tweeted her thoughts about Chuck about an hour ago:
Ohhhh Chuck!!!!! R.I.P. ,Dear friend and lover of the original beat, your music captivated and lifted. You will be MISSED!!!!
I’m saddened by this morning’s news that Soul Train creator, Don Cornelius, was found dead at his California home today. Adding to the troubling news: police say it appears he took his own life, shooting himself in the head. Three years ago, Cornelius went through a bitter divorce, telling a judge he was suffering from “significant health issues” and wanted to “finalize this divorce” before he died. You may remember he was also arrested in 2008 for domestic violence. His probation for that case just ended. Sources close to him say his health was not the best in recent years. You really never know what’s ailing another man’s soul. He will certainly be remembered beyond his recent personal troubles.
Today marks the start of Black History Month and without a doubt, Cornelius is part of that history. He put many black musical acts in the living rooms of families across the country when “other,” more mainstream programs would not. Ask any major performer or group in the last 40 years and they’ll tell you how much Soul Train changed their lives. And what would weddings (cookouts, Tyler Perry movies) be without the famous Soul Train line?
Rap legend and Mr. Big Stuff himself, Heavy D, has died. TMZ reports he was rushed to a LA hospital this afternoon and was pronounced dead an hour later. Heavy D (real name: Dwight Arrington Myers) was just 44 years young. A 911 call was placed from his home to report an unconscious male on the walkway. But, he was said to be conscious and speaking when help arrived to take him to the hospital. There’s no sign of foul play but the details of his death are under investigation.
UPDATE: TMZ reports Heavy D had just returned from shopping and walked up some stairs when he began having trouble breathing. Adam Mills, a designer who was in the building and knew Heavy D, found him leaning against a railing and clearly in distress. Adam tells us he cradled Heavy D in his lap as others called 911. Adam says Heavy D was conscious and said to him, “I can’t breathe, I can’t breathe.” When paramedics took Heavy D to the hospital he had a pulse. People in the building are saying he died of a heart attack, but we [TMZ] have not been able to confirm that. Law enforcement sources tell us … no foul play was involved and so far they only know the cause of death was “medical.”
A friend of Heav’s also says the rapper had pneumonia.
Heavy D just rocked the BET Hip Hop Awards last month, dancing through a medley of his hits from the 90s, reminding us all of a time when Hip Hop was fun and it didn’t matter what you looked like or how expensive your clothes were. Back when “you’re a chicken McNugget, I’m a Big Mac” was a serious diss. Back when rappers actually wrote odes to black women that didn’t include instructions on how to “drop dat azz.” Back when you danced. You smiled. You sang. And you diddly-diddly-diddly-deed. Read the rest of this entry »
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