kenan-and-kel
Nickelodeon/Google

Aww Here It Goes: Kenan & Kel Look Back On Their Hit Show 20 Years Later

VIBE talks with the two co-stars about their best memories from the 90s show. 

Before the term was ever pegged, Kenan Rockmore and Kel Kimble were all of our "squad goals." From their slap-stick humor in opening scenes before the curtain called, to the back and forth banter between bros, the Kenan & Kel show introduced a best friendship that would keep 90s kids rolling well into adulthood.

Believe it or not, it's been 20 years to the day since Kenan & Kel premiered on Nickelodeon on August 17, 1996. And although reruns of the hit sitcom can be caught after midnight (if you're lucky) on 90s Are All That (turned The Splat), millennials are still reciting lines from the show and professing their love for orange soda.

Kenan Thompson and Kel Mitchell, the show's dynamic duo had frequently been paired together on the popular Nickelodeon skit, All That, before being cast as the wise-cracking, Chicago teenagers who always managed to get in trouble for their mischievous schemes. But the self-titled show took their bromance and improvisation to another level. Kenan, the mastermind and brains of many operations always left us on a cliffhanger, wondering why he needed miscellaneous objects like a screwdriver or a can of tuna. Meanwhile, his fun-loving and ditzy companion, Kel, had the punch line and a bottle of his favorite bubbly drink on deck.

Looking back on two decades and four seasons of Kenan & Kel, it still creates all those great feelings of nostalgia. The best friends have parted ways since the show's end in July 2000, but they still look back on their time together with the same fondness as the generation they inspired. In celebration of Kenan & Kel's 20th anniversary, VIBE caught up with the co-stars to hear about their favorite memories and fun facts.

---

VIBE: How did you guys find out about getting the show at the time? 

Kenan: Bryan and Dan approached me and Kel and pulled us aside, and they asked us how we would feel about having our own show. We looked at each other like, ‘Man, stop playing. Of course it would be the best thing ever.’ I think it was a two-minute type of a meeting. We were going to try and shoot a pilot during our Christmas, holiday break, and that’s exactly what we did. Then they picked the show up, and it started right after the All That season.

Kel: We would always hang out and crack jokes in between scenes on All That. The writers saw that and wanted to put together a Kenan & Kel spinoff show. Kim Bass, who also created Sister Sister, Brian Robbins, Mike Tollin, and Dan Snyder and all of those great guys who took a hand in making All That amazing, worked on Kenan and Kel. I remember they took us to the side close to the last week on All That, and they said, ‘Hey, how do you guys feel about starring in your own show? It’s going to be a sitcom like Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Martin.’ I was like, 'Oh man, that’s awesome.' Kenan and I were so excited. We shot the pilot episode. And it was cool because it was really different than All That. All That was a sketch show, many crazy characters. And this was more real, but it still had the same hilarity.

Did you know the show was going to be so well received?

Kenan: It was all a shock. We were so happy just to be doing this, and then the fact that people caught on to it, was just an awesome thing. We were blown away from the fact that All That had TLC, Aaliyah, Usher, and all these people coming through. We didn’t know our show was overly popular; we just thought we were part of a cool thing that was happening at Nickelodeon. But we wanted people to love it because we would go to the mall and stand around and see if anybody noticed us. And they didn’t, not for a while at least. But now, it’s more of a nostalgia thing. I’m glad that people love the show. It was our blood, sweat, and tears. It’s as much a part of my childhood as anybody else’s.

Kel: It’s really been a blessing. It says a lot to all the writers and the producers, and Nickelodeon because it still holds up.

The theme song with Coolio is still remembered as one of the best theme songs along with Sister Sister and The Proud Family. How did that come about?

Kenan: Coolio had been on All That before. He was already down with the production family. So I guess they turned to him and asked him if he would do it and he did it! It was like Christmas Eve for us, hanging out at Universal Studios with Coolio. It was awesome.

Kel: When we did the theme song, the day we shot it at Universal Studios City Walk in LA, Coolio got on the radio station on Big Boy’s Neighborhood!, and was like, 'Yeah, we’re doing this theme song for Kenan & Kel. Everybody come down.’ And all of LA was at City Walk that day. That place was super packed. That was a huge moment.

The show is pretty ‘iconic’ for 90s kids and even younger generations that didn’t get a chance to watch 90s Nick went it was airing. Why do you think the show was able to last beyond its time?

Kenan: It was the genuine friendship that we had. It’s the same way when I watched Friends now. I look back at Friends, and it’s like they look so comfortable and so natural with each other. It was like they were destined to do that show. And it was so natural for us. It didn’t seem like we were trying or making an effort to be there and do it. It was a pleasure to work on the show. I think that’s what really comes across the screen of how much fun we had together. When I watch the episodes I barely remember that hair cut, but I remember how silly we were when we’re going back and forth with each other. There were good times.

Kel: Kenan & Kel reminds me of I Love Lucy. You could turn on I Love Lucy right now and those stories were years ago, but they still hold up; they’re still funny. Like the orange soda thing, I didn’t know that it would blow up like it did. Dan wrote it, and it just said ‘Who loves orange soda? I do, I do,' but they allowed us to ad-lib and improv. So I threw a little sing-songy on it, and it just took off. I think right there we saw the magic of the show. The stories that we had, the friendship of Kenan and Kel, it was just a fun story. If I’m flipping channels and see it, I have to stop and watch it and laugh.

What are some of your greatest memories on or off screen during the show?

Kenan: It’s a mixture. There’s obviously work memories where we are laughing so hard that we can’t get through certain takes. We were just having fun. Kel would make me laugh and then I would try to make him laugh. And that’s how we would spend the day. Also, outside of work, hanging out in the same apartment complex, at nights doing laundry, walking back, throwing up because of the smell of the sprinklers and memories like that. I smelled those sprinklers [outside of the set] and puked in front of everybody, and all Kel did was laugh at me. It was amazing.

Kel: There are so many great episodes. A lot of our episodes were directed by child stars who were adult at that time – Kim Fields, Freeman, Malcolm-Jamal Warner. So that was cool for us as well. I remember we had a ton of great celebrity guests that would come on to the show. One of my favorite episodes is where I got to rap on the show. I rapped about orange soda, but that was pretty cool. But there were so many memorable moments. One of the most memorable moments was in the pilot when Kenan and I were excited about him getting a new car because he just got his driver’s license. We were sitting there on the couch trying to imagine what would happen with us in this new car. It was just this crazy moment of us hitting the horn, talking to girls, rolling down the window. Every time we shot it, it was different every time because we were just improving and ad-libbing. The thanksgiving episodes were pretty fun. I got to run around with a turkey because my hand got stuck in the turkey.

Is there something that people actually don’t know about the show or your characters?

Kenan: We never had any characters go missing. No one went up stairs and never came back. But I don’t know if people really know, when you shoot a TV show like you’re really family and it really works, it’s because it seems real to everybody, even to us. We were all so very close. I don’t think people really know how much we enjoyed doing it as much as people enjoyed watching it. Kel and I will be brothers for life. I’m so glad to have gone on that journey with him. I can’t believe 20 years have gone by; it’s been a flash.

Kel: The name. Everyone goes crazy about the name, like, 'How did they come up with Kenan and Kel?' And I remember it was a dinner that we had. They didn’t have a name at all. It was this huge list of all these crazy names like: Two Friends, Me and My Homie. It was just a whole bunch of names and Kenan and I are sitting there like, ‘I don’t know.’ Everyone had to put in the hat which one they liked, and I can’t remember who it was, but someone got up and was like, ‘Just name it after them.’ And that’s how it happened. There were talks at that time of a Kenan & Kel Goes to College. We were going to do that at another station as part of Viacom, but that didn’t pan out. We probably would have just kept going: Kenan and Kel get jobs, grown up.

What lines do people frequently quote around you?

Kenan: It’s always orange soda. 'Who loves orange soda?' 'Where the orange soda at?' 'Soda man, orange drink guy.' Then I’m like that’s Kel’s thing; that’s not really my thing. And they’re like, ‘Well, yeah, but you was on it, too.’

Kel: 'Aww, here it goes' is big. People want me to say [it] with them. Some people come up to me with requests like Kenan used to do at the end of the show. They’ll be like, ‘Hey, Kel, go grab me this…’ And then I have to say, ‘Aww, here it goes.’ They'd wait for me to say it if I didn’t. Another one is, 'I put the screw in the tuna,' which is also one of my favorite episodes. And of course, 'orange soda' is number one.

Do you remember the moment you taped the last episode of the series?

Kenan: It happened weirdly. It was kind of still up in the air whether it was going to be the end or not. Then we did a three-part episode that was supposed to be a movie, but they just played it as an episode. And that was it. I kind of knew it was over, but we were just celebrating the end of the season as usual, and then contracts were up and we decided to move on. It was very surreal and scary. It wasn’t like I said goodbye and went right into a new job. It was our first experience of being an adult actor for hire.

Kel: It was emotional because we’d been working together for so long. But then for Kenan and I, we were still doing All That. We knew we would still see each other, but for parting with the rest of our cast, it was a chapter that was closed. We still stay in contact with everybody which is cool. I just saw Ken Foree, who played Kenan’s dad the other day.

From the Web

More on Vibe

Then & Now: Common Details How He And J Dilla Collaborated On The "Thelonious" Track With Slum Village

J Dilla and Common had a really tight creative bond and, at one point, lived together in L.A. So you know that Common got dibs on all of his hot beats first. They were hip-hop brethren just trying to work together and of all of their collaborations, living and posthumous, the track “Thelonius,” is the sharpest intersection of the two legendary artists' careers.

A singular song fit for two albums, the cut was placed on Common’s fourth studio album Like Water for Chocolate and Fantastic Vol. II, Slum Village's classic sophomore album. “Thelonius” as we know it was in a way an accident...a soulful snafu that we get to enjoy forever. In this excerpt of VIBE's Then & Now video franchise, Common shares how the song manifested unplanned, willed into existence by Dilla’s uncompromising creative compass.

The story is brought to life with artwork by visual artist supreme, Dan Lish (@DanLish1), the man behind Raekwon’s The Wild album artwork. The illustrations you see in this video are a small fraction of what you can find in his upcoming book: Egostrip Vol 1 – The Essential Hip Hop Art Book, a psychedelic visual history of hip-hop to be enjoyed by the genre’s oldest and youngest fans alike. 

Today is the last day to support Lish's Kickstarter for the incredible project. Click the following link for a copy of your own: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/dan-lish/egostrip-book-1 

“I picked up on what inspired me about the artists, whether it be a certain lyric from a classic song or my perception of what may be going through their mind at the moment of creation,” says Lish.

There is much more to be said about all of these artists. For more stories on Common’s catalog, including several more Dilla cuts, stay tuned for the upcoming episode of Then & Now, where we dig deeper into notable tracks in the career of one Lonnie Rashid "Common" Lynn, Jr.

Continue Reading
Courtesy of Biz 3 / FCF

Quavo Is Introducing 'Fan Controlled Football' To The Culture

From their penchant for popping tags and name-dropping designer brands in their rhymes to the obsession with diamond-encrusted neckwear, the Migos are the modern-day poster-children for decadence and opulence. But when it comes to balling, group member Quavo is a seasoned veteran, literally and figuratively. Notorious for his appearances in NBA all-star celebrity games, where he routinely dominates the competition, Huncho has built a rep as one of the athletically gifted hit-makers in music today.

Although he's known for his skills on the hardwood, football is definitely among his passions. His newest endeavor, an ownership stake in Fan Controlled Football (FCF), the first professional sports league to put the viewer in the coach's seat and the general manager's office, in live time, finds him putting his focus back on the gridiron. Having inked an exclusive, multi-year streaming broadcast partnership with Twitch, the FCF will be the first professional sports league to be fully integrated with the streaming platform with the potential to explode in the digital age, where user interest and participation is the main recipe for success.

Having tossed the pigskin around as a Georgia high school football star, to Quavo, it was a no-brainer to get involved with the innovative league on the ground level. “We are building a brand and something different in our league – with the fans. They are in control and get to pick the team names, colors, logos, and more,” said Quavo said in a press release. “I’m really excited because FCF is fast-paced, high-scoring 7v7 football and you are in control. You go from sitting on the couch watching TV and pressing buttons on the remote to actually pressing the buttons on the plays.”

Played on "a 35-yard x 50-yard field with 10-yard end zones,” the Fan Controlled Football league will kick off in February 2021, with a four-week regular season, one week of playoffs, and a Championship week. The league will consist of former elite D-1 athletes, the CFL, XFL, and the Indoor Football League. Broadcasted live from the FCF’s state-of-the-art facility in Atlanta, each game will be 60 minutes in length and will allow the viewers to play a hand in the final outcome on Twitch.

Aside from sports, Quavo has been relatively lowkey on the musical tip as of late, with two years having passed since a solo release or a Migos album. However, according to him, this delay can be considered the calm before the storm, as he assures him and his brethren are primed for one of their biggest years yet. VIBE hopped on the line with Quavo to talk Fan Controlled Football, what he's got cooking in the studio, and his foray into TV and film.

---

You're the newest team owner at Fan Controlled Football (FCF). What about the league piqued your interest and made you wanna get involved?

It's just showing my interest in the game of football and just trying to put a twist to where it's fan-controlled, fan-involved. A lot of times we watch the game, you watch the game, you just have some concerns. Sometimes you feel you can make the plays or call the play, [with FCF], you can sit on the couch and make the play. I just think we came together to make something crazy like that. I feel like it's something hard, it's something new, it's something fresh. It's a new beginning to something, like giving ni**as a chance. Giving D-1 players who couldn't make it to the league a chance, giving ex-NFL ni**as a chance if they still got it, [and] to go with the fans. When we saw the Falcons lose the Superbowl LI, we [fans] just knew what plays to call, we knew to run the ball. We were up 28-3. All we had to do was hold the ball, but we wanted to air it out and we made a mistake and lost to Tom Brady. Just like when Marshawn could've won a Superbowl. If they'd have given him the ball on the two-yard line. We knew that Marshawn Lynch was supposed to get the ball, [but] they wanted Russell Wilson to win it and the New England Patriots caught an interception. So that's how we're trying to shape it, we're trying to make something new.

The FCF will be live-streamed exclusively on Twitch, which has become one of the leading platforms for eSports live-streaming and will kick off in February 2021. Do you feel the FCF has the opportunity to fill that NFL void during the spring, particularly given the fan engagement that FCF enables?

Most definitely, cause after the Super Bowl, it just feels like you just want another game. You feel like you want one more game. and coming from something [where it's] eleven on eleven players to seven on seven, I feel [there’s] still a difference. After coming from watching the game and the regular politics, the regular structure of the game, now you're getting to be involved in a game that you can control. You can pick the jersey, you can pick the helmets, you can pick the jerseys, you can pick the coaches, you can pick the plays. I just feel there are two different dynamics [between the NFL and FCF). You come from sitting on the couch and pressing the remote to actually pressing the button on the plays."

Speaking of fan engagement, the FCF is the only professional sports league that enables fans to call the plays in real-time and puts the viewer in control of a game’s outcome like never before. Have you ever had that experience, as far as fantasy football?

Nah, but I'm into Madden. You can sit at home and pick your plays [with FCF], it's just like the lifestyle of Madden. It's like a reality of Madden. You're playing with people at home, with these unique athletes, and it's seven-on-seven.

As an Atlanta native, how significant was the FCF’s state-of-the-art facility being in your hometown in your decision to come on board as an owner?

It's very important. We got top-tier talent here, so it's opening up opportunities for a lot of guys. We're just glad it's in the south, it's like a hub. Everybody loves Atlanta and everybody wanna be here. Everybody wanna play and the weather is good.

NFL Super Bowl Champions Richard Sherman and Marshawn Lynch, boxing legend Mike Tyson, and YouTuber and podcaster empire Greg Miller are among the FCF's team owners. How does it feel to be competing against some of the most accomplished athletes and entertainers in the world? Have you had the opportunity to meet with any of them?

Most definitely. I have a good relationship with Mike Tyson. I've met Marshawn Lynch, it's a blessing. I feel like we're not competing right now, I feel like we're building a brand. I feel like we're building a league. I feel like we're trying to make the world understand what we're bringing to the table and what type of game we bring to the table, you feel me? I feel we're trying to create something different. Once we get the ball rolling, it's all together and moving into a real FCF league, then we'll get to compete. Of course, we all wanna win, but right now, we're just trying to get the foundation and the basics going and letting the strength of the owners and the relationships show on the field.

Being that you'll all be working with your respective fan bases in shaping your team’s personality and identity, any thoughts about what the team’s name will be? 

Man, I wish I did, but it's so straight strictly fans that you never know. Just like with music, can have an idea that is a smash, and then the fans don't think it is. You gotta strictly listen to the fans on this one. You gotta listen strictly to how they want it because it's the point of the game, that's the point of the league. We gotta let them control this game and then we the players and we the people that's listening to the people, the culture. FCF stands for culture, too, you feel what I'm saying? We listen to the culture, we're letting the culture run the field.

How involved will you be in the drafting and scouting process for your squad?

The fans make the draft, fans get to see everything. Open books, everything. It's an open thing, it ain't nothing to hide over here. The fans control it all.

In addition to sports, you've also been delving into acting, with cameos in shows like Atlanta, Star, Black-ish, and Ballers. Earlier this year, you appeared as yourself in Narcos: Mexico. How did that opportunity come about? 

Narcos reached out. We [Migos] had this song called “Narcos” on the [Culture II] album and we went and shot [the video] in Miami and everybody thought it was a Narcos movie scene and it ended up being Madonna's house. So we just shot that there and then they reached out to us. I think Offset had a performance somewhere and Takeoff had to do something and I just ended up being free that day and I went and shot it in New Mexico. I had fun, I loved it.

Do you have plans to pursue any supporting or leading roles in film or television?

Hell yeah, most definitely. I've been sitting down and having real great meetings with directors and people that got some movies in the works for 2021. I feel like I’ve got some good spots. I don't wanna tell it cause they’re gonna make some announcements. It's coming soon.

It's been two years since you've released a solo project or one with the Migos. Can fans expect any new music from you anytime soon and what are your next plans on that front?

Most definitely, hell yeah, we're shooting videos right now. We’re vaulting up a whole lot of videos so we can give you music and visuals at the same time. “Need It," the song came first and then the video. Right now, we wanna get a lot of videos and a lot records in the vault and smash [them] all at once 'cause it's been two years.

Pop Smoke's passing was one of the more tragic events in rap in recent memory, but his debut album, which you appeared on throughout, has been one of the most successful and acclaimed projects of 2020. How has it been seeing how the album’s been received, especially after you and him developed such a bond in a short time?

I'm happy. I'm proud of him, that was my partner. We did a lot of records, we spent a lot of time together and I feel like the album would've did even more with him being alive. A lot of people's album just go crazy when they die, I feel like his sh*t would've still went crazy. He had the momentum, he had the buzz. He was having fun. He was hot, he was fresh, he had everything ready.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

Continue Reading
Toots Hibbert performing at Hammersmith Palais, London in 1983.
Photo by David Corio/Redferns

Remembering Toots Hibbert

The best singers don’t need too many words to make their point. Otis Redding could let loose with a sad sad song like “Fa-fa-fa-fa-fa-fa-fa-fa-fa” and get you all in your feelings. Bob Marley got pulses pounding with his “Whoi-yoooo” rebel yell. Gregory Isaacs melted hearts with nothing more than a gentle sigh. Toots Hibbert, who died last Friday at the age of 77, could sing just about anything and make it sound good. One of the world's greatest vocalists in any genre, Toots paired his powerful voice with the understated harmonies of Raleigh Gordon and Jerry Mathias to form The Maytals, a vocal trinity that never followed fashion and remained relevant throughout the evolution of Jamaican music—from the ska era to rock steady straight through to reggae, a genre named after The Maytals' 1968 classic “Do The Reggay.”

Whether they were singing a sufferer’s selection (“Time Tough”), a churchical chant (“Hallelujah”), or the tender tale of a country wedding (“Sweet and Dandy”), The Maytals blew like a tropical storm raining sweat and tears. The lyrics to Six and Seven Books,” one of The Maytals' earliest hits, are pretty much just Toots listing the books of the Bible. “You have Genesis and Exodus,” he declares over a Studio One ska beat, “Leviticus and Numbers, Deuteronomy and Joshua, Judges and Ruth...” Having grown up singing in his parents' Seventh Day Adventist Church in the rural Jamaican town of May Pen, Toots knew the Good Book well.

The Maytals broke out worldwide in 1966 thanks to the song “Bam Bam,” which won Jamaica's first-ever Independence Festival Song Competition, held during the first week of August as the island nation celebrated both independence from Great Britain in 1862 and emancipation in 1834. They would go on to win the coveted title two more times, but “Bam Bam” was a singular song with a message every bit as powerful as Toots' voice. “I want you to know that I am the man," Toots sang. He was young and strong, ready to "fight for the right, not for the wrong." The trajectory of "Bam Bam" would not only transform Toots' life but make waves throughout popular music worldwide.

"Festival in Jamaica is very important to all Jamaicans," the veteran singer stated in a video interview this past summer while promoting his latest entry into the annual competition. "I must tell you that I won three festivals in Jamaica already, which is “Bam Bam,” “Sweet & Dandy” and “Pomp & Pride.” Toots described that first festival competition as a joyous occasion. "Everybody just want to hear a good song that their children can sing," he recalled. "Is like every artist could be a star."

In 2016, on the 50th anniversary of "Bam Bam" winning first place, Toots looked back over the legacy of the tune that made him a star. "I didn’t know what it means but it was a big deal," he told Boomshots. "You in the music business and you want to be on top and you write a good song and you go on this competition and if they like it then it becomes #1." After The Maytals won, the group was in demand not just all over the island, but all over the world. "We start fly out like a bird," he says with a laugh. "Fly over to London."

"Bam Bam" went on to inspire numerous cover versions, starting with Sister Nancy, Yellowman, and Pliers. It would also be sampled in numerous hip hop classics, and interpolated into Lauryn Hill's "Lost Ones." But according to Toots, he did not benefit financially from these endless cover versions. "People keep on singing it over and over and over, and they don’t even pay me a compliment," he told Boomshots. "I haven’t been collecting no money from that song all now."

 

View this post on Instagram

 

“This man don’t trouble no one... but if you trouble this man it will bring a Bam Bam” Original Maytals Classic @tootsmaytalsofficial 🎶 All them a talk, them nuh bad like Niya Fiya Ball ☄️🔥💥 via @tonyspreadlove . 💥💣🔫#Boomshots

A post shared by Word Sound & Power (@boomshots) on Sep 12, 2020 at 8:19am PDT

When Toots began singing in his parents' church, music was not seen as a career prospect, and the profits were slim for Jamaican recording artists in the 1960s. "Those days we get 14 cents for the record to play on the radio," Toots said. "I get three shillings and five shillings for a number one record, which I had 31 number one record in Jamaica... It’s not about money for me. It’s about the quality that Jamaicans need to go back in the festival jamboree... You gotta talk to the children."

On the poignant “54-46 (Was My Number),” Toots recalls the dehumanization of his arrest and 18-month imprisonment at Jamaica's Richmond Farm Correctional Center for what he always insisted was a trumped-up ganja charge just as his music career was taking off. The song's crescendo comes two minutes in when Toots breaks into a scat solo that cannot be translated into any language known to man, delivered with palpable passion that made his message universal. During Toots' ecstatic stage performances he would follow this riff by commanding his band to “Give it to me... one time!” Then the 'd make 'em say Uh!  (Way before Master P!) “Give it to me... two times!” Uh! Uh! And so on and so forth until Toots worked the place into a frenzy.

The Maytals' live show was so explosive that Toots began touring all over the world, opening for rock megastars like The Rolling Stones and The Who. While Bob Marley richly deserved the title King of Reggae, his friend Toots was performing internationally before The Wailers, and remained a force to be reckoned with throughout his life, blazing a trail for generations of reggae artists to follow in his footsteps.

On his Grammy-winning 2004 album True Love, Toots recorded some of his greatest hits with a host of legendary artists, many of whom were also good friends, including Willie Nelson, Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Bonnie Raitt, Sheryl Crow, and Eric Clapton. His 2006 cover of Radiohead's "Let Down" was a favorite of the band's, who used to play it on their tour bus. Radiohead guitarist Jonny Greenwood called Toots’ version “truly astounding,” according to Easy Star Records Michael Goldwasser.

Toots supported himself and his family by touring all over the world. During a 2013 show in Richmond, Virginia he was singing John Denver's "Take Me Home Country Roads" when a teenager in the crowd threw a vodka bottle at the stage and hit him on the head. He suffered a concussion and had to stop touring for several years. As his first album in a decade, Got To Be Tough was highly anticipated when it was released on Trojan Jamaica label August 28. On the cover the former boxer and lifelong fighter can be seen throwing a punch. Just a day after the album dropped, Toots came down with symptoms similar to COVID 19. Within a few days he was hospitalized where doctors placed him into a medically induced coma from which he never recovered. As his Tidal obituary pointed out, he passed away exactly 33 years after his old friend Peter Tosh died by gunfire.

Songs like "Just Brutal" from the hit different now, with Toots pleading for more love in a world gone wrong. "We were brought here," Toots sings. "Sold out. Victimized brutally. Every time I keep remembering what my grandfather said before he died."

“I’m feeling alright,” Toots said the last time we spoke, while he was still sidelined with stress issues due to the bottle-throwing incident. "I’m feeling alright. I’m feeling alright. I’m feeling just cool because is Jah works. You seet?" I asked him if the song "Bam Bam," was about him—a peaceful man who should not be provoked—or else. "Nooo don't trouble him," Toots said with a laugh. "It’s gonna be double trouble, triple trouble. A lot of trouble."

Continue Reading

Top Stories