NEW ORLEANS — A unique sound, a catchy dance and a way with the microphone propelled “Josephine” Johnny Watson to becoming one of the top local New Orleans Hip-Hop acts.
Unfortunately, according to family, Watson passed away Thursday evening after a long fight to declining health which began with colon cancer in 2015.
The Josephine Johnny, was one of the biggest songs and dances in the 99’s and 2000’s era of New Orleans Bounce music.
As Q93’s Wild Wayne tells it, there was a time when the request wouldn’t stop pouring into the radio station.
“Josephine Johnny was the hottest thing smoking,” he continues, “I just remember that song being on our count down forever," he said.
Wild Wayne says it was a combination of the dance he named after himself, which made it to the national stage when Beyonce performed it on the BET awards and how Josephine Johnny was able to command a crowd as a charismatic emcee.
He said, it was a kind of “off the cuff” type rap style. He also had his own sound effects that he created.”
When you walk into Sthaddeus “Polo Silk” Terrell's photo studio, you see the history of New Orleans Hip Hop everywhere. Photo’s of members of Cash Money, No Limit, Take Fo and many more New Orleans Hip Hop legends.
In addition to taking photos of Hip-Hop stars, Polo also uses New Orleans’ Hip-Hop culture as literal backdrops for photos.
One of his backdrop dawns many of the catch phrases Josephine Johnny would say, “Catch the wall, Who dey want, Show the world and of course Josephine Johnny Got ‘em hooked on phonics.
Having spent so much time personally documenting Johnny’s life, Polo says the music and dance culture of New Orleans owes a lot to late stars’ legacy for the way his music united so many types of people.
Polo says, “once he get the mic everybody dancing, even the dudes that’s thuggin' and cooling. They even doing a little shake and doing the Josephine Johnny.“
If there’s one thing Josephine Johnny had us all hooked on, it was his ability to bring people to the dance floor.
A message from the family reads:
“The family of Josephine Johnny Watson would like to thank you all for your sincere condolences. A link in our chain has been broken. He had suffered declining health for the last few years which kept him from his love of performing. He left us his with his music and lots of smiles in our hearts. Thank you all for keeping his name alive. Final arrangements are still pending at this time.
Desiree Watson, sister
The Watson family”