Boo-Yaa T.R.I.B.E.’s The Godfather Ted Has Passed Away

The Godfather (aka Ted Devoux) was a founding member and band-leader of Boo-Yaa T.R.I.B.E. with his brothers. This weekend, the group confirmed that the artist also formerly known as Samoan Godfather has died. The details and cause of Godfather’s death have not been made public at this time. He is believed to have been 55 years old.

Boo-Yaa T.R.I.B.E. carries more than 30 years of Hip-Hop and Gangsta Rap history. The collective of Ted, Paul, Donald, Roscoe, Danny, David and later, Vincent Devoux (who replaced David) hailed from Carson, California. Their name mimicked the sound of a shotgun blast with the second half serving as an acronym for Too Rough International Boo-Yaa Empire.

Despite their California roots, Boo-Yaa gained popularity in Japan during a stay there in the late 1980s while known as the Blue City Crew. In 1990, the re-branded then-sextet released New Funky Nation. The former breakers and church musicians released a 4th & B’way/Island Records album that cracked the Top 200. The group (who played many instruments on the LP) worked with the same Dust Brothers that had worked on Beastie Boys’ Paul’s Boutique an album prior, as well as Joe “The Butcher” Nicolo, future co-founder of Ruffhouse Records. The Godfather has prominently credited on this key release. Later LP, Good Times Bad Times, featured Ice Cube.

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Throughout their 30-year history, Boo-Yaa T.R.I.B.E. has kept Rap at their core, while dabbling in Metal, Rock & Roll and other genres. Throughout the years, they also worked with Eminem, Layzie Bone, George Clinton, and Yukmouth. The collective had ties to Eazy-E in the 1990s and took on executive roles (especially Monster O) at Death Row Records during Suge Knight’s incarceration. Last year, longtime collaborator Treach photographed himself with Kobra and affiliate Uncle Charlie while waging beef against Wack 100 regarding remarks about Tupac Shakur. In 2012, the group released its most recent album, Mafia Lifestyle.

Ambrosia For Heads extends condolences to the Boo-Yaa T.R.I.B.E. as well as the friends and family of The Godfather, Ted Devoux.