Friday, December 28, 2007

You Are Now About To Witness The Strength of (Sesame) Street Knowledge

Sesame Street's '70s albums are a goldmine of great, catchy music probably due to the limitless talents of Children's Television Workshop's prolific music director, Joe Rapposo (he also penned the "Three's Company" theme). "My Name is Roosevelt Franklin" is easily the best Sesame Street album ever made and very possibly the weirdest funk album of the 1970s. Roosevelt Franklin was the angry militant black muppet of Sesame Street, barely out of elementary school and badder than James Carr and Huey P. Newton combined. Roosevelt sounds like a soulful mix of Gil Scott Heron and Mitch Hedburg as he lays down the cold hard truth about some serious shit like safety and numbers. Mobity Mosely's guest appearance on "Mobity Mosely's Months" absolutely seals the deal. And "Just Because," a weird ballad about senseless violence, could very well be the anti-war anthem of the 20th century. Roosevelt Franklin was voiced by Matt Robinson who also played Gordon. After the mid-'70s Roosevelt was phased out for being too black and too strong, Sesame Street had lost it's edge. So where is Roosevelt Franklin today? Well, In 2001, Roosevelt Franklin was sentenced to one to three years' imprisonment in New York State for cocaine possession. While out of jail in 2002, he appeared on the "Black Lincoln" album by hip-hop group The Ruffianz. He was released on parole in 2003. On July 5, 2006, Roosevelt Franklin was sentenced to two to four years in a New York State prison for violating a plea deal on a drug-possession charge by leaving a treatment center. Roosevelt Franklin said he is HIV-positive and claimed the in-patient rehabilitation center stopped giving him his medication. The prosecution countered that Roosevelt Franklin had once skipped out for an appearance with singer Alicia Keys. Roosevelt Franklin's sentence was to run until July 13, 2009. He was paroled on May 23, 2007. He has since begun performing live again, starting with a show at SOBs in New York on September 13, 2007. On stage, he stated that he and his musicians were working on a new album and that he had resumed writing a book titled "The Skin I'm In" (previously on long-term hiatus) about his turbulent life. Roosevelt Franklin was arrested October 10, the day before a second SOBs performance scheduled for October 11, 2007, on felony possession of cocaine charges. It would seem that the CTW dream factory was but a nightmare machine that chewed up and spit out Roosevelt Franklin.

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8 comments:

Ed Fool said...

this is a brilliant find. I admire subtle humor but I'm confused as to how Gil Scott Heron's current affairs relate to this "too black and too strong" puppet...

fug it, I love it.

Aesop said...

Ahhhh, ya got me. I embellished Roosevelt's fictitious story with Gil Scot's all-too-real story. Good work, wish I had a prize for you.

Chris said...

THIS IS THE BEST BLOG EVER!!!

brandi said...

this is about the best thing I have read in ages. And then, the link. Fuckin' A, Aesop, you really kinda rule.

DiNo said...

Wow, Aesop... You just keep surprising me... This, Gil Scott-Heron... Guess you like the Last Poets as well?

Aesop said...

Yeah, Last Poets indeed. I wanted to write a sordid bio for Roosevelt but got lazy and just appropriated Gil Scot-Heron's. I didn't think people would pick up on it, but I guess I underestimated the smarts of my readers.

sean said...

dude, number one favorite blog. this shit is awesome.

Damian said...

your blog is my homepage for the time being.
I don't know how to log into my blog anymore, but there's some of my older music and a moldy oldies mix on there you might enjoy-

immacabbrev.blogspot.com