NEW ORLEANS, LA - MAY 05:  5th Ward Weebie performs at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival at the Fair Grounds Race Course on May 5, 2018 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  (Photo by Josh Brasted/WireImage)

Who was 5th Ward Weebie? New Orleans is mourning the loss of a unique voice

Jerome Cosey's voice is part of the soundtrack of my childhood. He's been making New Orleanians bounce for more than 20 years.

by Mary Staes | January 10, 2020

“I REALLY WANT YOU! Why you making me wait so long?!”

Y’all know what’s next…


This chant is the soundtrack of my childhood. Every float this Mardi Gras is going to be blasting “I Really Want U” and “Shake It Like A Dog,” from its speaker system like it’s 2000 and not 2020. Jerome Cosey’s voice was heard from the airwaves on Q93 to the DJs on the corner and every school dance I can remember.

New Orleanians have been listening to 5th Ward Weebie’s infectious rhymes for more than 20 years.

According to a NOLA.com article, Cosey was a graduate of John F. Kennedy High School, already musically inclined and playing drums in the marching band. By 1999, his full-length debut, “Show the World,” hit the streets.

In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, his tongue-and-cheek hit “F— Katrina” voiced the opinions of an entire city affected by the storm. His song was later used in the first season of the HBO series “Treme.”

Almost 10 years later, “Lemme Find Out,” hit the airwaves, creating a whole new generation of Weebie fans across the nation.

His voice even appeared on Drake’s last studio album, during the breakdown of his hit “Nice for What.”

Not even two years ago, Weebie teamed up with artist and activist Brandan “B-mike” Odums, flipping his hit to get the word out about voting, and, specifically, State Constitutional Amendment 2, a Jim Crow-era jury law which addressed unanimous juries in felony trials. Voters hit the polls, and the law was eliminated.

“You already know, I’m reaching out letting ya’ll know, ya’ll gotta go vote,” he says in the intro. “It’s real serious right now.”

https://www.facebook.com/brandan.odums/videos/10102800447468078/

The loss of Cosey is serious, too. His voice was part of the fabric of a culture that preceded the floodwaters of Hurricane Katrina and was untouched by rapid gentrification.

“It broke my heart to learn that Jerome Cosey — our 5th Ward Weebie — has passed,” New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrel said in a statement on Twitter, “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. 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.

Lemme find out you done gone all the way to heaven. We’ll miss you, Weebie. We made sure to cut up for you.

 

His funeral is set for Jan. 19 at the Mahalia Jackson Theater. Visitation will begin at 8 a.m. Click here fore more information on the funeral service arrangements.

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Mary Staes

Mary Staes

Mary Staes is Digital Content Lead for Very Local. She works with our freelancers and crafts content for our social media platforms and website. Before Very Local, she worked with CBS affiliate WWL-TV as a web producer and weekend assignment editor for about 4 years. She has also handled broadcast coverage for 160 Marine Reserve training facilities while she served as an active duty Marine. As a native New Orleanian, she takes being "very local" to heart. She loves being intertwined with the culture and figuring out how there are less than two degrees of separation between us all, whether we're natives or not.

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