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John Forte Is Home - New MP3 Feat. Kanye & Talib Kweli
Posted by Steve Juon at Tuesday, January 27th, 2009 at 6:30PM :: Email this article :: Print this article



After 7 long years away from family, friends, and the world at large, John is home, writing, recording new music and embracing life again. Today marks the debut of his new bi-weekly column for The Daily Beast, with his note “First Day Out of Prison.” Accompanying the post is video footage of Forté’s first day home – “Morning One” – along with a new song, “Life Has Just Begun” which you can check out here.

Fans of Grammy-nominated singer, songwriter and producer John Forté, know him best for his work with the multi-platinum group “The Fugees” and for two solo albums, PolySci (Columbia; 1998) and I, John (Transparent; 2002), which featured guest appearances by Herbie Hancock, Esthero and Tricky, and included a duet with famed singer/songwriter Carly Simon on the song “Been There, Done That.” A classically-trained violinist and graduate of Phillips Exeter Academy, Forté recorded his last album while under house arrest awaiting trial; the album was released just as he was being sent to prison.

On November 24, 2008, Forté was granted a commutation by President George W. Bush after having served more than seven years of a fourteen-year federal prison sentence. Those who campaigned on his behalf include Carly Simon and Senator Orrin Hatch (R) of Utah. On December 22, 2008, Forte walked out of Fort Dix Correctional Institution to resume his life and tell his story through music, film and prose. 

As noted in “First Day Out of Prison,” Forté wasted no time in returning to the studio – he was there by nightfall on his first day home, eager to begin recording the dozens of songs he’s written over the past few years, and being joined by many friends and fellow musicians. One of the first to drop in and drop guest vocals was Talib Kweli, who helped John celebrate his newfound freedom with “Homecoming”, featuring Kanye West on the backing track. Check out a behind the scenes video of the recording of Homecoming, in which Talib discusses the borough from which he and his childhood friend, Forté, were raised, while Forté brings a broader frame of reference to the meaning of “home.”  Bloggers and fans, we invite you to post and share the MP3 and videos to help us celebrate John’s homecoming!

Forté’s column for The Daily Beast will cover everyday matters through the eyes of a man who has been removed from everyday matters for so long.  While working on his album and other projects, Forté is also working with at-risk youth through organizations such as “In Arms’ Reach,” a community-based arts, counseling and mentoring program for the children of incarcerated parents.

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