Lists, Pop Culture, Theory & Essay

On Dem Thangs: 4 Crackheads That Don’t Get Enough Credit.

crackWe all know that crack kills.

And that it kills your brain cells.

The thing is, some of the biggest contributors to pop culture and society have been crackheads.  Now of course, the term “contributors to society” can be interpreted many different ways, but interpretation, beauty, and thickness are all in the eye of the beholder.

Opinions are like that too.  For instance, that new Jay-Z?  Garbage.  But some other person may hear some splendorous musical arrangement instead.

But back to the point: crackheads.

The other day on my trip out of town for vacation, my girlfriend and I had a conversation about people who don’t get enough credit.  I started with Teddy Riley as somebody who’s managed to invent and re-invent himself over and over again over the past 2 decades and has produced some of the biggest albums (Bobby Brown’s Don’t Be Cruel, Michael Jackson Dangerous, Guy’s albums, etc.) and spearheaded the New Jack Swing movement in hip-hop/r&b.  But not only did Teddy Riley do great work, he also mentored and inspired some other greats – created a certain family tree, if you will.  And one particular part of that family tree lead me to 4 crackheads that don’t get enough credit.  Follow me.

And proof of actual crackheadedness is unnecessary for today’s post – a general accepted assumption of crackedoutedness will suffice.

1)  DeVante Swing

Not only is he the music (and largely the writing) behind Jodeci, he ALSO gave Timbaland, Missy, Ginuwine, and Playa their starts.  Jodeci doesn’t have one album that can’t be considered classic (with Diary of  a Mad Band being the greatest of the trio) and they largely defined a small period of the early 90s.  But when you think about his contribution to music as a whole with the introduction of Timbaland and Missy, well, Mr. Swing is responsible for some of the biggest hip-hop and R&B songs of the 90s and 00s.  And Justin Timberlake.  And Nelly Furtado.

And by extension Lil Wayne’s “Lollipop”.  (I’m convinced this was a Static Major song – member of Playa – that somehow ended up in Lil Wayne’s hands).

By the way, am I the only one who wonders if Dalvin harbored resentment for not having his name included in JoDeCi?  Then again, I kind of wondered if in their initial trip to NYC to get their deal he didn’t just hop in the car and refuse to get out so they were like f*ck it, you can come, just don’t screw it up.  Questions like this keep me up at night.

2)  Marion Barry

I learned more about Marion Barry when I watched the 9 Lives of Marion Barry on HBO than I ever cared to know.  I found out how much of a rabblerouser, but important civil rights figure he was.  Basically, he did whatever he could in the name of civil rights early on in the movement and I feel that gets lost a lot in his lore.  Plus, he actually (pre-crack, go figure) made DC one of the best run cities in the nation – for a time.  Then again, when you’re most famous quote is “the b*tch set me up”, it kind of happens.  Then again, that one line is worth more than its weight in gold anyway.  If he did nothing more than that, he’d still be the Jay-Z of mayors.

3)  Bobby Brown/Whitney Houston

I’m including them as one because I really don’t know who introduced who to what.  I just know they were/are both on that rock at one point.  Thing is, between the two of them, at one point, they sold enough records to make Kaiser Permanente jealous (that made more sense in my head than it did written out).  Bobby Brown gave us Don’t Be Cruel, the best R&B album…EVER.  And Whitney gave us “crack is wack”.  I’d say they’ve done more for society and mankind than Extreme Makeover and American Idol.

4)  DMX

Until DMX came out, folks were getting really pretty in their hip-hop.  Then DMX came and grittiness became the cause du jour.  Add in his superb and stellar acting in Belly, his horrible BET reality show and the infamous pink jail jumpsuit in Arizona, and I’d say that DMX is one of the greatest entertainers of all time.  He just doesn’t get the credit for it.

Anyway, those are just a few crackheads who don’t get enough credit.  There have to be some that I’m missing.

Who else needs some credit and/or love?

Do tell.

PS  Have YOU hugged a crackhead today?

-VSB P aka THE ARSONIST aka TANGLE JIG P aka GIIIIIIIIIIIIIIRL, HE A 3

Panama Jackson

Panama Jackson is pretty fly for a light guy. He used to ship his frito to Tito in the District, but shipping prices increased so he moved there to save money. When he's not saving humanity with his words or making music with his mouth, you can find him at your mama's mama's house drinking her fine liquors. Most importantly, he believes the children are our future.

  • http://chubbyafro.com T. Troy Stewart

    Jesse and Al, you know them two have hit the pipe at least five times each

    • YGB

      @T. Troy Stewart,

      I can definitely see this happenin.

    • YGB

      @T. Troy Stewart,

      I can definitely see this happenin.

    • Ivy St.

      @T. Troy Stewart,
      LOL! They probably do it together.

    • Ivy St.

      @T. Troy Stewart,
      LOL! They probably do it together.

    • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

      @T. Troy Stewart, You know, I’ve always wondered about Al. He just looks the type that would try a rock or 3.

      Not so sure about Jesse, I’m guessing infidelity was his vice so he made sure to be good at it.

      Operation Push.

    • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

      @T. Troy Stewart, You know, I’ve always wondered about Al. He just looks the type that would try a rock or 3.

      Not so sure about Jesse, I’m guessing infidelity was his vice so he made sure to be good at it.

      Operation Push.

  • http://chubbyafro.com T. Troy Stewart

    Jesse and Al, you know them two have hit the pipe at least five times each

  • Ms. Smart

    DJ AM will be on this list in three years. So sad.

    Too soon?

    • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

      @Ms. Smart, yes. too soon.

      you so wrong.

    • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

      @Ms. Smart, yes. too soon.

      you so wrong.

    • SouthernGirl

      @Ms. Smart,

      GO SAT DOWN. IN THE CORNER.NOW.

    • SouthernGirl

      @Ms. Smart,

      GO SAT DOWN. IN THE CORNER.NOW.

    • http://www.awesomelyluvvie.com Luvvie

      @Ms. Smart,

      Def too soon. Please go SADDOWN.

      • http://thinkprettysmart.typepad.com Ms. Smart

        @Luvvie, *standing up, walking to middle of the room, and doing the stanky leg*

        Out of corner.

      • http://thinkprettysmart.typepad.com Ms. Smart

        @Luvvie, *standing up, walking to middle of the room, and doing the stanky leg*

        Out of corner.

    • http://www.awesomelyluvvie.com Luvvie

      @Ms. Smart,

      Def too soon. Please go SADDOWN.

    • http://stickwithyocat.blogspot.com/ V.E.G.

      @Ms. Smart,

      I think the timing here was appropriate.

      • http://presidentialtelevisionandfilm.ning.com Monk

        @V.E.G.,

        Damn.

      • http://presidentialtelevisionandfilm.ning.com Monk

        @V.E.G.,

        Damn.

      • http://www.awesomelyluvvie.com Luvvie

        @V.E.G.,

        B/c u’s a jerk :-p

        • http://lostwomanchild.blogspot.com BlackBerry Molasses

          @Luvvie,

          Do her a favor, call her ‘jerk’ one mo’ time.

          Aside:: That f*cking song is growing on me. I need Jesus.

          • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

            @BlackBerry Molasses, i agree. you just might need Jesus and a box of paperclips.

          • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

            @BlackBerry Molasses, i agree. you just might need Jesus and a box of paperclips.

          • miss t-lee

            @BlackBerry Molasses,
            It’s that beat…that’s what hooked me…lol
            “I ain’t even do nuthin!!”

          • miss t-lee

            @BlackBerry Molasses,
            It’s that beat…that’s what hooked me…lol
            “I ain’t even do nuthin!!”

          • shay_d_lady

            @BlackBerry Molasses, that joint is hot…especially when he kinda whispers..
            do me a favor, call me jerk one more time….

          • shay_d_lady

            @BlackBerry Molasses, that joint is hot…especially when he kinda whispers..
            do me a favor, call me jerk one more time….

          • http://nianaturally.blogspot.com she’s a maN.I.A.c on the floor….

            @BlackBerry Molasses,
            i concur with shay_d….that song is hott.

          • http://nianaturally.blogspot.com she’s a maN.I.A.c on the floor….

            @BlackBerry Molasses,
            i concur with shay_d….that song is hott.

          • http://thinkprettysmart.typepad.com Ms. Smart

            @BlackBerry Molasses, That song has grown on me too. And quietly that stupid LOL-Smiley Face song is creeping into my subconscious. I caught myself singing the hook today!!

          • http://thinkprettysmart.typepad.com Ms. Smart

            @BlackBerry Molasses, That song has grown on me too. And quietly that stupid LOL-Smiley Face song is creeping into my subconscious. I caught myself singing the hook today!!

        • http://lostwomanchild.blogspot.com BlackBerry Molasses

          @Luvvie,

          Do her a favor, call her ‘jerk’ one mo’ time.

          Aside:: That f*cking song is growing on me. I need Jesus.

      • http://www.awesomelyluvvie.com Luvvie

        @V.E.G.,

        B/c u’s a jerk :-p

      • http://thinkprettysmart.typepad.com Ms. Smart

        @V.E.G., Thank you for your support.

      • http://thinkprettysmart.typepad.com Ms. Smart

        @V.E.G., Thank you for your support.

    • http://stickwithyocat.blogspot.com/ V.E.G.

      @Ms. Smart,

      I think the timing here was appropriate.

    • http://nianaturally.blogspot.com she’s a maN.I.A.c on the floor….

      @Ms. Smart,

      yeah, just a little too soon.

    • http://nianaturally.blogspot.com she’s a maN.I.A.c on the floor….

      @Ms. Smart,

      yeah, just a little too soon.

    • http://blackwomanlost.blogspot.com/2009/09/30th-blog-poetry-slam-disappointment.html Naturally Alise

      @Ms. Smart, it’s NEVER too soon for insensitive jokes :)

      • http://www.sistersoundoff.blogspot.com Cheekie

        @Naturally Alise,

        That has some truth to it. In fact, I think the soon-ness is what makes it insensitive.

      • http://www.sistersoundoff.blogspot.com Cheekie

        @Naturally Alise,

        That has some truth to it. In fact, I think the soon-ness is what makes it insensitive.

      • http://verysmartbrothas.com The Champ

        @Naturally Alise,

        lol.

        tragedy + time = comedy

      • http://verysmartbrothas.com The Champ

        @Naturally Alise,

        lol.

        tragedy + time = comedy

    • http://blackwomanlost.blogspot.com/2009/09/30th-blog-poetry-slam-disappointment.html Naturally Alise

      @Ms. Smart, it’s NEVER too soon for insensitive jokes :)

    • http://www.sistersoundoff.blogspot.com Cheekie

      @Ms. Smart,

      “DJ AM will be on this list in three years. So sad.”

      What’s so heartbreaking about this entire thing is that he JUST wrapped up filming a documentary to help OTHER drug abusers. :(

    • http://www.sistersoundoff.blogspot.com Cheekie

      @Ms. Smart,

      “DJ AM will be on this list in three years. So sad.”

      What’s so heartbreaking about this entire thing is that he JUST wrapped up filming a documentary to help OTHER drug abusers. :(

    • http://verysmartbrothas.com The Champ

      @Ms. Smart,

      am i the only one who had never even heard of dj am until his passing? is pittsburgh a dj am-less vacuum or something?

      • http://www.sistersoundoff.blogspot.com Cheekie

        @The Champ,

        I only started hearing about him when he dated Nicole Ritchie and her press was giving him more press. And that he used to be very hefty back in the day.

        • http://thinkprettysmart.typepad.com Ms. Smart

          @Cheekie, Right!! He owes his shine to Nicole. Wonder what she has to say about this. Also, was he doing crack when he was fat? Cus for real, I thought fat crackheads were the unicorns of the drug world. Either they didn’t exist at all or didn’t exist for long.

        • http://thinkprettysmart.typepad.com Ms. Smart

          @Cheekie, Right!! He owes his shine to Nicole. Wonder what she has to say about this. Also, was he doing crack when he was fat? Cus for real, I thought fat crackheads were the unicorns of the drug world. Either they didn’t exist at all or didn’t exist for long.

      • http://www.sistersoundoff.blogspot.com Cheekie

        @The Champ,

        I only started hearing about him when he dated Nicole Ritchie and her press was giving him more press. And that he used to be very hefty back in the day.

      • http://www.mysixcents.wordpress.com klysha

        @The Champ, Nope…I’d never heard of him either

      • http://www.mysixcents.wordpress.com klysha

        @The Champ, Nope…I’d never heard of him either

      • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

        @The Champ, i’d bet most folks hadn’t heard of him. i only knew of him cuz i deal with DJ’s a lot and b/c of the crash with him and travis barker. but he’s not but so popular. or wasn’t.

      • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

        @The Champ, i’d bet most folks hadn’t heard of him. i only knew of him cuz i deal with DJ’s a lot and b/c of the crash with him and travis barker. but he’s not but so popular. or wasn’t.

      • http://twitter.com/olivya23 olivya23

        @The Champ, the first time I heard of him was when I was in Vegas a couple years ago and they wanted us to PAY $20 to get in because he was spinning. And he wasn’t even that good! hmph!

      • http://twitter.com/olivya23 olivya23

        @The Champ, the first time I heard of him was when I was in Vegas a couple years ago and they wanted us to PAY $20 to get in because he was spinning. And he wasn’t even that good! hmph!

    • http://verysmartbrothas.com The Champ

      @Ms. Smart,

      am i the only one who had never even heard of dj am until his passing? is pittsburgh a dj am-less vacuum or something?

  • Ms. Smart

    DJ AM will be on this list in three years. So sad.

    Too soon?

  • DrBrownin

    David Ruffin, D’ Angelo, Amy Winehouse…crack music

    • http://lizburr.com Liz

      @DrBrownin, YES YES YES!!!!!

    • http://lizburr.com Liz

      @DrBrownin, YES YES YES!!!!!

    • YGB

      @DrBrownin,

      Yes indeedy! How I wish D’Angelo would come back. Amy Winehouse, on the other hand, may be a lost cause!

      • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

        @YGB, …maybe a lost cause!

        may be? may be???? she’s an actual white crackhead. lol. if that aint a lost cause i dont know what is.

        her antics have put her on total dopefiend status fo’ lyfe.

      • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

        @YGB, …maybe a lost cause!

        may be? may be???? she’s an actual white crackhead. lol. if that aint a lost cause i dont know what is.

        her antics have put her on total dopefiend status fo’ lyfe.

    • YGB

      @DrBrownin,

      Yes indeedy! How I wish D’Angelo would come back. Amy Winehouse, on the other hand, may be a lost cause!

    • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

      @DrBrownin, i can give you D’Angelo. though David Ruffin may be one of my favorite singers of all time, I’m not sure he doesn’t get enough credit. hell, he’s the most entertaining part of the temptations movie.

      and amy winehouse gets way more credit than she deserves in my opinion. or she did initially before she turned into a raging crackhead. she’s like the cracked out white girl version of alicia keys.

      i actually don’t think D’Angelo will ever get the credit he deserves for his first album and what it did to the game. a lot of artists have D’angelo to thank for their success.

    • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

      @DrBrownin, i can give you D’Angelo. though David Ruffin may be one of my favorite singers of all time, I’m not sure he doesn’t get enough credit. hell, he’s the most entertaining part of the temptations movie.

      and amy winehouse gets way more credit than she deserves in my opinion. or she did initially before she turned into a raging crackhead. she’s like the cracked out white girl version of alicia keys.

      i actually don’t think D’Angelo will ever get the credit he deserves for his first album and what it did to the game. a lot of artists have D’angelo to thank for their success.

    • Anonymiss

      @DrBrownin,

      I second D’Angelo.

    • Anonymiss

      @DrBrownin,

      I second D’Angelo.

  • DrBrownin

    David Ruffin, D’ Angelo, Amy Winehouse…crack music

  • Humble_One aka Field Ninja

    Anyway, those are just a few crackheads who don’t get enough credit. There have to be some that I’m missing.

    Who else needs some credit and/or love?

    Rick James

    David Ruffin

    Ezell from friday

    Pookie from New jack City

    • http://lostwomanchild.blogspot.com BlackBerry Molasses

      @Humble_One aka Field Ninja,

      DEFINITELY Rick James.

      Besides all the wonderfulness he is, he gave us one of the best Chapelle’s Show skits EVAH!!!

      “F**k YO COUCH!”

      • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

        @BlackBerry Molasses, so true. i say this to people at least twice everyday. and i’m so no joking.

      • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

        @BlackBerry Molasses, so true. i say this to people at least twice everyday. and i’m so no joking.

      • http://verysmartbrothas.com The Champ

        @BlackBerry Molasses,

        one of the best?? how about the single best sketch in the history of sketches and sh*t. nothing anyone else has ever done tops the rick james sh*t

        • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

          @The Champ, i’m gonna have to think on this b/c i’m not so quick to agree.

          i’ll get back to you on my estimate and results later. lol

        • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

          @The Champ, i’m gonna have to think on this b/c i’m not so quick to agree.

          i’ll get back to you on my estimate and results later. lol

      • http://verysmartbrothas.com The Champ

        @BlackBerry Molasses,

        one of the best?? how about the single best sketch in the history of sketches and sh*t. nothing anyone else has ever done tops the rick james sh*t

    • http://lostwomanchild.blogspot.com BlackBerry Molasses

      @Humble_One aka Field Ninja,

      DEFINITELY Rick James.

      Besides all the wonderfulness he is, he gave us one of the best Chapelle’s Show skits EVAH!!!

      “F**k YO COUCH!”

    • http://www.sistersoundoff.blogspot.com Cheekie

      @Humble_One aka Field Ninja,

      “Rick James”

      Mmmhmm! He. Was. Cold. As. ICE!

    • http://www.sistersoundoff.blogspot.com Cheekie

      @Humble_One aka Field Ninja,

      “Rick James”

      Mmmhmm! He. Was. Cold. As. ICE!

    • willnotbetelevised

      @Humble_One aka Field Ninja,
      Plus it turned into one of the best Bmore club mixes I’ve heard. Had everyone I knew in Jersey looking like a crackhead b.c. they would break out dancing, singing ‘Look b!tch I’m Rick James! Look b!tch I’m Rick James!’ for a month.

    • willnotbetelevised

      @Humble_One aka Field Ninja,
      Plus it turned into one of the best Bmore club mixes I’ve heard. Had everyone I knew in Jersey looking like a crackhead b.c. they would break out dancing, singing ‘Look b!tch I’m Rick James! Look b!tch I’m Rick James!’ for a month.

  • Humble_One aka Field Ninja

    Anyway, those are just a few crackheads who don’t get enough credit. There have to be some that I’m missing.

    Who else needs some credit and/or love?

    Rick James

    David Ruffin

    Ezell from friday

    Pookie from New jack City

  • SouthernGirl

    i cackled at devante. and ijustdied at boby/whitney “I’m including them as one because I really don’t know who introduced who to what” because it is sooooo true and a thought that’s been running around in my head for years.

    i have nothing else to add at this point because i should be working.

    *break over*

    • http://stickwithyocat.blogspot.com/ V.E.G.

      @SouthernGirl,

      I’m pretty sure Bobby said to Whit:

      “Gul. Why you effin with that cocaine? We can get mo fo yo money if you just do like me and git wit dis rock”

      Yeah. I’m certain that’s how it went down.

      • Ivy St.

        @V.E.G.,
        Having seen Orchard Park in Boston, I’m going to have to agree.

      • Ivy St.

        @V.E.G.,
        Having seen Orchard Park in Boston, I’m going to have to agree.

      • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

        @V.E.G., you know, i’m actually really curious as to how all of this happened. lest we forget that Whitney is from Newark and is as hood as they get. Clive turned that piece of coal into a diamond. did they show up one day and he pulled out a rock and she was like, “i have one too!” and they fell in love and got married?

        i’m really curious as to this. it would make a great lifetime movie.

        • http://lostwomanchild.blogspot.com BlackBerry Molasses

          @Panama Jackson,

          me too. get to making it. I’ll finance.

          • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

            @BlackBerry Molasses, show me the money.

          • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

            @BlackBerry Molasses, show me the money.

          • http://lostwomanchild.blogspot.com BlackBerry Molasses

            @Panama Jackson

            **pulls out fat knot of…. $5’s**

          • http://lostwomanchild.blogspot.com BlackBerry Molasses

            @Panama Jackson

            **pulls out fat knot of…. $5’s**

        • http://lostwomanchild.blogspot.com BlackBerry Molasses

          @Panama Jackson,

          me too. get to making it. I’ll finance.

      • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

        @V.E.G., you know, i’m actually really curious as to how all of this happened. lest we forget that Whitney is from Newark and is as hood as they get. Clive turned that piece of coal into a diamond. did they show up one day and he pulled out a rock and she was like, “i have one too!” and they fell in love and got married?

        i’m really curious as to this. it would make a great lifetime movie.

    • http://stickwithyocat.blogspot.com/ V.E.G.

      @SouthernGirl,

      I’m pretty sure Bobby said to Whit:

      “Gul. Why you effin with that cocaine? We can get mo fo yo money if you just do like me and git wit dis rock”

      Yeah. I’m certain that’s how it went down.

  • SouthernGirl

    i cackled at devante. and ijustdied at boby/whitney “I’m including them as one because I really don’t know who introduced who to what” because it is sooooo true and a thought that’s been running around in my head for years.

    i have nothing else to add at this point because i should be working.

    *break over*

More Like This