Bernard Walker ("Short Lunch"), R.I.P.
I've just heard that Bernard Walker, better known as Short Lunch, has passed away in Texas. Walker (click the above photo for a larger version) was a Minneapolis/St. Paul hip-hop pioneer who appeared on the cover of City Pages on August 18, 2004. Taken by the late Charles Chamblis in the early '80s, the cover photo made Short Lunch the perfect icon for our oral history of Minnesota old-school hip hop: "One Nation, Invisible" (more here).
But Walker appeared that week unidentified: The original photo, which is archived at the Minnesota Historical Society, carries no caption. So it was left to the man's children to spot their father on the cover of City Pages and contact us themselves, eventually putting us in touch with Walker himself. It turned out he was one of the Twin Cities' first rapping DJs: Read his story here (with a little more here) to learn where local rap began. I only spoke to Walker a few times on the phone, but he seemed like a good man, and he died too young. Our condolences to his family, including his daughters and sons Prechezz, Talon, Bernard, Timiko, Orion, Aria, Nekesha, Jasmine, Ajja, Janhi, and Lasheese. We'll pass along any news we get of funeral arrangements in St. Paul or elsewhere, here and at cpculture.com.
UPDATE 7/10: Bernard Walker, 49, died of natural causes. His funeral will be held Thursday, July 12, at 11:00 a.m., at Bradshaw Funeral Home, 1078 Rice St. St. Paul. A memorial fund has been set up to help pay for the funeral ("He passed away with nothing," says his son, rapper Showni Mac, a.k.a. Bernard Shaw): Donations can be sent to U.S. Bank, Grand Avenue Office, EP-MN-0210, 1071 Grand Avenue, St. Paul, MN 55105, Account number 104-777-122-177.