This week we lost a couple of big personalities, both with ‘heavy’ in their title. First was the larger than life heavyweight boxing champ Joe Frazier and if 70’s pop culture even remotely rings a bell, you know that the 1971 Fight of the Century against Muhammad Ali was the boxing spectacle of the decade that turned Smokin’ Joe into a household name and prized sports legend. Sadly at 67, he lost a bout with cancer and what’s worse, it came the day before he was scheduled to attend the screening of the new documentary chronicling his life’s victories and defeats. Joe Frazier – When the Smoke Clears screened in New York without Joe and his son as planned but instead to a saddened sellout crowd. More information about the touching film can be found at joefrazierfilm.com but the overwhelming interest in the story has caused the site to crash and temporarily shut down. Hopefully it will be resolved soon but in the meantime you can watch the preview here:
We also lost hip-hop biggie Heavy D at just 44. He (and his Boyz) became widely known on the 90’s rap scene with a number of radio friendly dance hits that include the theme song to the popular comedy sketch show In Living Color. Ironically, word on the street is that creator Keenen Ivory Wayans is talking about bringing the show back…wonder if big shots Jim Carrey, Jamie Foxx or Fly Girl J.Lo have any plans of reprising their early breakout roles…let’s hope at the very least the old song makes a comeback. But it’s his sweet version of the 1973 O’Jays hit “Now That We Found Love” that remains one of Heavy D’s most memorable tracks. It’s one of those rare get-up-and-move aerobic hits that somehow manages to still sound hip…and just keep on!
RIP Smokin’ Joe and Heavy D.