A few weeks ago, U.S. based reggae/rap artist Cherri Poet released a powerful new record titled “Misidentification.” As the name suggest, the song deals with the reality, which unfortunately, usually comes wih negative consequences, when one is misidentified. We asked Cherri what inspired the song and this is what she had to say:
“Hi Maria, in short, “MISidentification” was inspired by several things. 1) I saw an interview in Florida on TV where a woman spoke about seeing O.J. Simpson shortly after he had supposedly “Killed” Nicole and her gent friend. She mentioned that he almost crashed into her car apparently rushing from the crime scene. When the interviewer asked her how she knew it was OJ, she replied by saying he was driving a “White Bronco” and she knew it was him. 2)The next day I visited an open mike spot in Jacksonville Florida. Immediately, one woman came up to me all excited. Telling me how she loves my music and is my biggest fan. Next thing I know, everyone wanted to take pictures with me. Telling me how they saw me open for huge stars and some of the musicians even wanted me to call them to play for me in my band.
Turns out a room full of talented musicians, guests and others all mistook me for a famous Blues artist. It was insane. They took pics with me, wanted me to sit with them and told tons of stories about concerts they saw me play. One man even asked me to call his wife for her birthday and sing to her. For the rest of the night and the next day, I thought to myself…This is the same way I could have been mistaken for a murderer or criminal. Though I told them all my name was Cherri, it made no difference. As far as they were concerned, I was in fact who they thought I was.
3)As far as knowing someone personally who’ve been locked up for a crime they did not commit. Only 1 man I met at the train station in downtown Philly some years ago. DNA had set him free after spending over 18 years in prison for the murder of a white woman. I have not seen or spoken to him since that day. But it happens all the time.
4)As we speak, I have been misidentified myself. Not for a criminal offense, but for something I have proof I did not do. I am actually suing a company right now on that situation. I’m actually seeing them in court tomorrow for the trial.”