P.M. Dawn's Attrel "Prince Be" Cordes Dead At 46-Years-Old
It is with sad news that we are reporting that the founder of what-was-called “cloud rap,” Prince Be, has passed away following a battle with renal kidney disease at the age of 46.
Born Attrel Cordes in Jersey City, New Jersey, he and his brother, Jarrett Cordes, known as both DJ Minutemix and J.C. The Eternal, started the hip-hop duo, P.M. Dawn, which amassed chart-topping success with their single “Set Adrift on Memory Bliss,” which revolved around a sample of Spandau Ballet‘s “True”. After recording their debut single, “Ode to a Forgetful Mind” in 1988, the duo achieved critical acclaim with their first album, Of the Heart, Of the Soul and Of the Cross: The Utopian Experience in 1991.
Fueled by “Set Adrift on Memory Bliss,” P.M. Dawn followed up their massive commercial triumph with The Bliss Album…? Critics praised the Cordes Brothers’ hit singles, “I’d Die Without You,” which was a standout hit on Eddie Murphy‘s Boomerang movie soundtrack and “Looking Through Patient Eyes”. Through hooking and engaging a wide audience, the New Jersey tandem earned a pair of No. 1 hits on the Billboard Hot 100 — making them the first black rappers to achieve the milestone.
Prince Be the Nocturnal, who also suffered from complications of diabetes, would go on to release two more albums in the ’90s alongside his brother: 1995’s Jesus Wept and 1998’s Dearest Christian, I’m So Very Sorry for Bringing You Here. Love, Dad. Neither would attain the critical or commercial success of its predecessors, while health problems for Prince Be would continue to take its toll on his life. In 2005, he would suffer a stroke that paralyzed the left side of his body, and due to diabetes one of his legs was amputated below the kneecap. Despite such afflictions, their impact on contemporary rap has been made apparent with the advent of such performers as Drake, De La Soul, Kanye West and OutKast. “Everybody begets somebody,” Prince Be’s cousin, Doc G, said in a 2011 interview about the artists P.M. Dawn inspired. “We had the weirdness. Now, it’s OK to be weird; it’s okay to wear bizarre things.”
A representative for Cordes confirmed his death in an unnamed New Jersey hospital, while pointing interested fans to a post on the group’s Facebook page, which read, “Prince Be Rest In Peace forever more, Pain from Diabetes can’t harm you anymore.”
For fans who loved the group’s sound, imbued with poppy hooks and introspective, dream-like laced contemporary R&B, please check out these two standout tracks above and below. Share your fondest memory of P.M. Dawn in our comments section or tell us on Twitter @Okayplayer.
H/T: Rolling Stone