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Hip-hop legend Duke Bootee, who co-wrote seminal hit ‘The Message,’ dies at 69

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Hip-hop legend Duke Bootee, who co-wrote seminal hit ‘The Message,’ dies at 69

Ed Fletcher, also known as Duke Bootee to the sector of hip-hop, died Jan. 13 in his Savannah, Georgia, dwelling at age 69 after battling congestive coronary heart disease.

“Attributable to COVID, over the final three hundred and sixty five days, he had been within the dwelling and under no circumstances came out all all over again,” Fletcher’s conclude friend Phil Starks acknowledged. “Over time, it accurate purchased worse.”

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Fletcher used to be simplest known for his work on Grandmaster Flash and The Wrathful 5’s seminal hit “The Message,” in preserving with oldschoolhiphop.com.

The tune is #1 on Rolling Stone’s checklist of 100 Greatest Hip-Hop Songs of All Time.

In step with rollingstone.com, Fletcher served as a member of Sugar Hill Data’ dwelling band alongside fellow Unusual Jersey funk veterans like bassist Doug Wimbish, guitarist Skip Alexander, and keyboardist Jiggs Scurry, the latter of whom recruited Fletcher for Sugar Hill Data.

In 1984, Fletcher recorded his solo album as Duke Bootee, “Bust Me Out.”

The following three hundred and sixty five days, he shaped his have imprint — Beauty and the Beat Data, which released his single “Broadway” — and regarded alongside Melle Mel on the all-star Artists United Against Apartheid single “Solar City.” 

He wrote for, produced and blended for artists like Snoop Dogg, Ice Dice, P. Diddy, Dr. John and Bill Wyman of the Rolling Stones.

Fletcher grew up in Elizabeth, N.J. and came from a hip-hop ambiance. He purchased into instructing and used to be also a vice well-known in Unusual Jersey ahead of coming to the South.

In step with Starks, he and Fletcher grew to turn out to be conclude guests after he moved to Savannah one day around 2007. The 2 had been offered by mutual guests at the Indigo Sky Neighborhood Gallery.

The pair chanced on out they had a lot in widespread and cast a gradual friendship.

“We had been like brothers,” Starks acknowledged. “Our households all cherished music, books, theater and placing out dancing.”

Fletcher used to be employed to educate serious pondering and communication at Savannah State College where many of his students undergo in mind him and his classes. 

“He cherished his cigars, espresso, jazz and the magnificence of his wife’s natural hair,” Fletcher’s used pupil Chelsea Caldwell acknowledged. “He gave us a whole lecture one time about embracing your natural self.”

Caldwell acknowledged Fletcher is among the professors she’s going to under no circumstances forget – he helped her turn out to be assured in who she used to be by instructing her “natural used to be extra attractive.”

“He saw your simply doable even for these who did no longer contemplate it in yourself at that moment. He taught in ways you did no longer even know you had been studying,” Caldwell acknowledged. “Mr. Fletcher used to be one of presumably the most respectable of us with a amount of soul.”

In a statement, SSU acknowledged, “Savannah State College is saddened by the death of Edward Fletcher. He came to Savannah State College as a lecturer on Excessive Pondering & Communication educating endless students after occupation within the music alternate. In a 2015 interview for the pupil newspaper Tiger’s Shout, Professor Fletcher acknowledged education is his family’s alternate naming several contributors of his family who had been educators including his mother and father. We’re fortunate our students had a probability to hear his message to them. Our hearts exit to his wife Rosita and his complete family.”

Mature pupil Danielle Brown acknowledged Fletcher did no longer accurate educate students, however also helped them. 

“Though he taught by the book it used to be deeper than that,” Brown acknowledged. “I felt like he in actuality placed himself in my life as an Afro-American pupil and realized the potential I realized and old it to encourage me.”

When he wasn’t instructing, Fletcher cherished to chat and had jokes and tales for everyone he encountered. He used to be also dedicated to his wife, two children and five grandchildren.

“He used to be a proud father, grandfather and a dedicated husband,” Starks acknowledged. “He cherished of us.”

Attributable to the pandemic and Fletcher being at excessive-effort, Starks acknowledged at times they would traipse take a seat on his entrance lawn or talk over the cell phone. Fletcher lived most productive a number of blocks from Starks.

“Over the final month there used to be steady decline in his health,” Starks acknowledged. ” His wife is a simply hero and used to be a proper nurse Betty staying with him day and night time.”

Though Fletcher has handed, his students and guests undergo in mind the classes and tales he instructed.

“We’ll continually miss his tales,” Starks acknowledged. “We are able to also comprise heard them 15 situations, however they had been continually accurate.”

Asha Gilbert is the digital trending reporter at the Savannah Morning Information. Contact her by email at [email protected]

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Read or Half this memoir: https://www.usatoday.com/memoir/entertainment/music/2021/01/31/duke-bootee-hip-hop-legend-the-message-co-creator-dies-69/4330344001/

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Hip-hop legend Duke Bootee, who co-wrote seminal hit ‘The Message,’ dies at 69