Rapper 5th Ward Weebie, who was a major player in the distinctive bounce music scene in New Orleans, has died at the age of 42

Weebie, whose real name was Jerome Cosey, died Thursday in his native New Orleans, according to his publicist. He’d been hospitalized after complications from heart surgery to repair a ruptured artery.

P Town Moe, a fellow New Orleans rapper who was friends with Weebie for more than 20 years, explained on Instagram the series of health issues Weebie dealt with in his last days. 

‘First his kidneys went and they had him on a machine to get his kidneys back working, then his lungs went the next day,’ he said. ‘I don’t know why God wanted him at this time … but my brother gone, my brother gone.’ 

The New Orleans native helped shape the local rap genre with songs such as “Let Me Find Out” and “F**k Katrina”, a cathartic regional hit in a city brought to its knees by the storm. 

‘The ‘F*** Katrina,’ it’s the funny truth,’ he told music journalist Alison Fensterstock in 2014. ‘I turned a drastic situation, something that was horrific to the world – and I was a part of that situation, so I was able to turn something that was so dramatic and so drastic into something you can laugh a little bit about – and that’s the truth. Same element, same energy.’

His publicist, Jonathan Thomas, said the rapper’s love for New Orleans was unmatched. ‘Jerome Cosey (5th Ward Weebie) was and is a staple in New Orleans culture,” Thomas said. “His passion for the city was exemplified on the biggest platforms.’

‘Weebie was a cultural icon who embodied the city of New Orleans’, Congressman Cedric Richmond said.

One of Weebie’s most recent public events was at New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell’s pep rally before the Saints versus Seattle Seahawks game in September. 

‘He was an iconic personality, a New Orleans legend and a beloved friend,’ Cantrell said. 

‘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.’



I am a published writer, journalist and photo-journalist. I have an MA in Creative Writing and Journalism from the University of Wales. My literary work has been represented at the Bologna book fair and my journalism has been published in a number of UK national newspapers including 'the Observer'. My photo-journalism has been represented by Agence France-Presse.


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