I was at Howard's house earlier today and he was telling us about his friend Jeff Hamilton who passed away in 1987. Every time he hears Steely Dan, he thinks about his friend. Hearing this story made me think about Warren Blackwood.
Warren and I went to Michael Power high school together and he sat in front of me in Mr. Rowe's World Issues OAC class. He was a budding musician who rapped as Warren Peace and he and I used to create virtual mix tapes during class. For example, ten songs for a girl you liked, ten songs for a girl you no longer liked, ten songs for a rapper whose microphone wouldn't work during the school talent show, etc.
One day we were discussing Mary J. Blige's What's the 411?. Warren was a huge fan but I really only knew the hit "Real Love". Mary J. Blige kept appearing on these mix tapes Warren and I would assemble during class and he swore she was going to be massive. Warren was right, and every time I hear Mary J. Blige I think about our mix tapes.
Warren was stabbed to death on October 8, 1995. He was knifed in the stomach by someone who was mad at his girlfriend and took it out on the nearest target. It happened in Ottawa where Warren was attending Carleton University. They still have a bursary in his name.
Warren was one of the most peaceful, gentle people I knew. This is for you, Warren.