NEW ORLEANS — 5th Ward Weebie, a rapper, actor and record producer who brought New Orleans bounce to the world, has died.
One of 5th Ward Weebie's representatives confirmed his death to WWL-TV Thursday. He was 41 years old.
According to New Orleans rapper P Town Moe, Weebie died of complications after having a heart attack.
“First his kidneys went and they had him on a machine to get his kidneys back working, then his lungs went the next day,” P Town Moe said. “I don’t know why God wanted him at this time, but my brother gone.”
"I'm at a loss for words," said DJ Bird, a close friend and musical associate. "He was a joker. He was a good dude... This is a sad day in New Orleans."
A quickly-organized second line took place from the Zulu club and was attended by hundreds of fans.
5th Ward Weebie, whose given name is Jerome Cosey, came to prominence in the 90s as Bounce music became popular in New Orleans. He made music with Mystikal and Master P, but his biggest early hits came from working with Partnerz n’ Crime and Kane & Abel on songs like “Shake it Like a Dog, “I Really Want U,” and “So Attracted.”
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Mayor LaToya Cantrell issued a statement on the bounce pioneer's passing.
“It broke my heart to learn that Jerome Cosey — our 5th Ward Weebie — has passed. Let me find out you didn't know who he was. He was an iconic personality, a New Orleans legend, and a beloved friend. He was the Bounce King, who showed us how to move, how to love, and how to bring passion and humanity to everything we do," said Mayor Cantrell. "New Orleans has lost a cornerstone of our culture. Our City will not be the same without his voice and his spirit. May he rest in God’s perfect peace.”
“Partnerz n’ Crime, Kane and Able, that was my first real big platform to come out on,” Weebie said on The 504 with Sheba Turk. “That song did a lot for me. It changed my life.”
He returned to the spotlight in 2006 with the cathartic post-Katrina anthem “F--- Katrina,” giving New Orleanians an outlet for their frustration after one of the darkest moments in the city’s history.
His biggest hit was still to come. In 2013 with “Let Me Find Out,” found viral fame online and caught the eye of some of hip hop’s biggest stars, including Snoop Dogg and Quest Love.
“(Let Me Find Out came) from ribbin’,” Weebie said. “Everybody in New Orleans knows when you come up in New Orleans you rib. You rib in school, you rib on the block, you gotta be cold with it because they gonna get you or you gonna get run of the block.”