Charlie Sloth

On Air Now 16:00 – 17:45

What happened in 1991

  • A group of LA Police officers viciously beat motorist Rodney King. Unbeknown to them, the incident was caught on video. Four officers were arrested and sent to trial.
  • Bill Morris was elected the first black leader of a British trade union. Morris took up the post of General Secretary of the Transport & General Workers' Union.
  • The cult youth music programme Dance Energy presented by Normski launches on BBC2 as part of the Def II strand.
  • Nigerian author Ben Okri won the prestigious annual Booker prize for his novel, The Famished Road, a story of Nigerian village life at the bottom of the ladder.
  • Basketball star Magic Johnson announced that he is HIV positive. It highlights that HIV can be contracted by heterosexual sex. "I'm here saying that it can happen to anybody, even me, Magic Johnson."
  • Whoopi Goldberg is rewarded for her entertaining performance in the blockbuster movie Ghost by winning the Oscar for best supporting actress.
  • The ghetto drama Boyz N The Hood was released in cinemas. Director John Singleton is nominated for an Oscar and Ice Cube's portrayal of Dough Boy launched his acting career.

In the music

  • The Ministry of Sound club opened in south London. As raves moved from fields and warehouses to licensed venues, it would be the first of the 1990s global superclubs. Over the next decade it held key house, garage, RnB and jungle nights like Rulin, Smoove and AWOL.
  • Rave was in full swing and DJs create more complicated breakbeats. The labels Kickin, Shut Up & Dance and Reinforced Records are set up and tracks like Mr Kirk's Nightmare by 4 Hero and 2 Bad Mice's Bomb Scare form the cornerstone of the future jungle scene.
  • Also in the UK the London Posse release their critically acclaimed album, Gangster Chronicle, and Hijack become the first British rap group to be signed to a US label - Ice T's Rhyme Synidicate.
  • Jazz trumpeter Miles Davis died of pneumonia at 65. One of the greatest musicians of the 20th Century, Davis was an innovator in bebop, cool jazz and jazz-rock. During his 50 year career he produced classic and diverse albums like Birth of the Cool, Kind of Blue and Bitches Brew.
  • At Uptown records a young Sean "Puffy" Coombs masterminded new group Jodeci who release their debut album Forever My Lady.

Key Releases



Grammy awards


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