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John Forte, ‘Pushkin’ the Boundaries Real Good

May 3, 2012

Musician John Forté has created an interesting collection of ideas, songs, and concerts in Russia into a film, “The Russian Winter” which played at the Tribeca Film Festival this past weekend. The film chronicles Forte and his band touring in Russia while connecting the history of the Russian Empire and Peter the Great’s godson, ‘Hannibal.’ Forte read a book about Hannibal, a black moor, strangely given to Peter the Great as a godson. The godson, known as’Hannibal’ (cre-e-e-py) eventually became one of ole Pete’s most impirtant military advisors. Hannibal’s great-grandson turns out to be the famous Russian novelist (of the many), Alexandre Pushkin. Forte connects those dots after reading a book about Hannibal, and finds a certintn connection with Hannibal and Pushkin by their racial commonality. It culminates in Forté penning a tune using/remixing of sort with the Salt-n-Pepa cla-a-ssic hit, Push-it. Lol. Listen to it here.

If the name John Forte sounds familiar, it’s for a reason. Forte is a Grammy Award winning writer, for his work with one of my fav groups my senior year of high school, The Fugees, in 1996. Dated myself. Don’t care. Or I’d edit it our right nizzz’ow. In a bad twist of fate, in 2001, Forte was caught with two suitcases of cocaine in A New Jersey airport, was convicted, and sent to prison for 14 years. The music and film industries, led notably by Carly Simon, clammored for Forté’s release, and in 2008 George W. Bush commuted his sentence on his way out of the White House.

Learned about this from PRI’s The World.

John Forté’s homepage

‘The Russian Winter’ at The Tribeca Film Festival

Salt-n-Pepa, “Push-it”

PRI’s The World

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