cast of the Southern California entertainment industry’s
rank and file,
which included Steven Seagal, paid their respects at Los
Angeles Forest Lawn to the ragga mic-controller Prince Ital
Joe, who Dr. Dre heralded as "the true Rasta reggae
Prince Ital Joe died on an Arizona highway May 16, while
en route to his
home in Los Angeles. He was thrown from the car he was traveling
in after the tire blew. Police reports stated that Prince
Ital Joe was not wearing a
seat belt at the time of the accident. The vehicles seat
was not injured, and another passenger who reportedly was
not wearing a seat
belt is listed in critical condition.
The 38-year-old native from the English and French patois-speaking
Indian island of Dominica was one of the first reggae chanters
to achieve fame in hip-hop music.
A devout Rastafarian who survived the street life and gang
Prince Ital made a legendary appearance as a Jamaican posse
don in the 1989
Steven Seagal film "Marked For Death." Prince
Ital Joe recorded with such artists as 2Pac, Marky Mark,
Coolio, Daz and Snoop Doggy Dogg.
The hit single "Respect" from the Dogg Pound’s
controversial 1995 Dogg
Food LP (Death Row) is infused with Joe’s rough and
ready raggamuffining. In his lifetime, Prince Ital Joe opened
for such reggae legends as Jimmy Cliff, Ziggy Marley, and
culture shop Jah Juice that Prince Ital Joe owned and operated
at the corner of Hollywood and Cahuenga boulevards, was
a Hollywood fixture for more than a decade.
Joe’s first single "Poverty Sucks" went to No.
1 in 1986 on the UK reggae charts. His collaborative 1994-released
album with Marky Mark Wahlberg on the In The Streets
LP (EastWest) also helped establish Prince Ital Joe as an
international superstar by charting at No. 1 in Germany.
The"Happy People" and "United" singles
from that album were used on the soundtrack for the ’94
motion picture "Renaissance Man" starring Danny
The still untitled last album Prince Ital Joe record is
scheduled for posthumous release on the independent label
Status Records in June. It will feature appearances by Coolio,
Daz Dillenger, and YoYo.
Joe is survived by his wife, a daughter, his mother, and