Weebie, real name Jerome Cosey, was hospitalized for a ruptured artery, underwent surgery and died of related complications while still in the hospital.
The musician’s death was mourned by everyone from the mayor of New Orleans, LaToya Cantrell, to hip-hop luminaries like Lil Wayne and Snoop Dogg. “He was an iconic personality, a New Orleans legend, and a beloved friend,” Cantrell wrote on Instagram. “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.”
Lil Wayne also shared a photo of Weebie, writing, “Still haven’t been able to find [the] words to express how I feel. RIP to a true New Orleans legend.” Snoop Dogg reposted an old video of himself with Weebie from when they were working on the remix to the latter’s 2014 hit, “Let Me Find Out,” writing, “Thank u for letting me rock with u.”
5th Ward Weebie had been at the center of much of New Orleans hip-hop dating back to the late Nineties. His debut album, Show the World, came out in 1999 and he appeared on a Top Five rap hit with his feature on Kane and Abel’s 2000 song “Shake It Like a Dog.” He later collaborated with Master P on his 2002 single “Rock It,” notched a local hit in the wake of Hurricane Katrina with 2005’s “Fuck Katrina,” and soon after he helped fuel the rise of bounce music with his Bounce King Status mixtape series, which launched in 2006.
But Weebie is perhaps best known for his 2014 viral hit, “Let Me Find Out,” a wickedly funny track centered around outrageous insults that appeared on Rolling Stone’s list of the 20 most essential bounce songs. The song significantly boosted his profile beyond New Orleans, to the point that when Drake wanted to incorporate bounce into his own music, he turned to 5th Ward Weebie for help. As a result, Weebie, “Let Me Find Out” producer Blaqnmild and fellow bounce icon, Big Freedia, all ended up on Drake’s 2018 Scorpion track, “Nice for What.”
“Let Me Find Out” perfectly encapsulated Weebie’s fun-first approach to music. In a 2014 interview with The Times-Picayune, Weebie explained the origins of the song, saying, “When I was writing the verse I wrote, ‘Let me find out there’s booty pads underneath.’ When I wrote that line the spark came in, everyone laughed. Everyone in the studio went crazy and I said, ‘I’m going to make a song out of that.’ … It was just so funny, and a joke turned into a hit.”