So recently I’ve been researching Stagger Lee, way beyond Google and Wikipedia and this nigger started speaking to me. Yeah I’m aware of how that sounds – imagine how I’m going through it tryna reconcile all of that? Anyway his story goes way deeper that two men gambling in the dark or Stack shooting Billy over a hat. In fact, Stack says he got a message for the culture, “Tell’em put some spec on my name!”
9 Mighty Amazing Reasons To Put Some ‘Spect On Stagger Lee’s Name
1) He had more names than all of Wu tang put together: Stack Lee Shelton aka Stack Lee Sheldon, Stacker Lee, Stagger Lee, Stag Lee, Stack O’ Lee, Stoge Lee, Stegolee, Staggerlee, Cocked-Eyed Son of a Bitch, Skeeg a’ Lee, etc.
2) “Niggers wrote ballads about him and shit”…Over 400 and counting in nearly every musical genre; mostly sourced from his victim’s family and friend’s narrative.
3) Nick Cave — How we let the white boy take Lee’s folklore (our cultural intellectual property) all the way off the rails?
4) Contrary to his legend, trigger happy materialistic pimp was actually a pioneering grassroots community organizer and third generation carriage driver with a good reputation and no arrest record, rumor, or hearsay stating otherwise before December 26, 1895.
5) Lee and his parents were emancipated in Texas on the historic Juneteenth, June 19 1865; he was just three months and three days old. In other words, Lee was among the first generation of born free Black men.
6) Lee helped his father, a former slave, establish his own livery company. Shelton and Co. a carriage driving service.
7) Lee helped organize and served as captain for one of America’s first Black secular organizations ‘for the moral and physical culture of’ free young Black men. The Four Hundred Club. Lee’s Four Hundred Club was an affiliation of smaller localized clubs. In addition to his duties as captain of all the clubs, Lee already headed his own affiliate, the Modern Horseshoe Club.
8) Lee was arrested on January 3, 1896 and held on $4000 bail for the murder of Billy Lyons. Lee was indicted for first degree murder on February 12, 1896. But on February 19, 1896, after spending a month and a half in jail, St. Louis’s only Black Deputy, Sheriff Thompson took Lee out the jail, uncuffed, to see his mother at home, his father at work, take his woman to a short stay for a few hours, and then to visit the saloon where he shot and killed Billy the previous Christmas night. Lee bought drinks for his woman, his friends, Billy’s friends, and the Sheriff before being brought back to jail.
9) Cause you can’t trust Wikipedia, Staggerlee biographer Cecil Brown, or the lazy hacks who mine his book for source material to keep it 100.