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Fugee John Forte's Moving Song and Talk About Prison Fugee John Forte's Moving Song and Talk About Prison
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Fugee John Forte's Moving Song and Talk About Prison

by Alex Goldmark

October 22, 2010

John Forte was born in a tough neighborhood in Brooklyn, won a scholarship to the elite Phillips Exeter Academy, won a Grammy Award with the Fugees before graduating college, then served seven years in federal prison for drug trafficking. Finally, and strangely, he was pardoned by President George W. Bush.

This talk had the official theme of "re-invention," to fit in with last week's Feast on Good conference, but the reason to watch is that he lets us see hard time through a grateful poet's eyes. And man has he got flow.

He rhymes "recidivate" with "legitimate" and phrases like "the soft bigotry of low expectations" appear throughout. That one was from George Bush in 2004. Not often you get a soul/hip-hop musician quoting our 43rd President in a positive light, eh?

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