Saturday, February 7, 2009

A different sort of Homecoming

It's been a long time. John Forte probably shouldn't have left us.

For those unfamiliar with his case, Forte was arrested in 2000 at the Newark airport after accepting a briefcase containing $1.4 million worth of liquid cocaine. He was later convicted and sentenced to the mandatory minimum 14 years.

But he's home again, released from a low-security federal prison in November following a surprising pardon from President Bush. (Guess he does care about black people, eh?)

Anyway, I'm not going to use this space to talk about our ill-fated drug war or my problem with mandatory minimums or how JF should use his voice - and platform - now that he's lost important years off of his life and career.

No, I'm going to let you all sample his latest joint, "Homecoming" with Talib Kweli. They're rapping over Kanye's beat and song of the same name, of course.

It's remarkable how much JF's voice and style have changed since his Fugee-affiliated days in the mid-90s. Listen here and here and here and here. (I'll never forget his line from "Cowboys": "You talk back, hustlin crack don't make you bigger." Ironic, eh?) He's spitting with a little more bass these days but still sounds good. Surprisingly good, in fact.

Check it:

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