This had to be one of the toughest weeks for the music business in many years. Three of its beloved behind-the-scenes power brokers were laid to rest, and friends and family said their final farewells. Nadarian James, Ed Woods, and Reginald "Reggie" Ossé all had their going-home ceremonies.
Last night at Manhattan's New York Cultural Center, a home to Buddhists, a multitude of journalists and music industry insiders came to pay respect to Ossé. It was standing room-only as mourners filled three floors of the building to say goodbye. The 53-year-old former executive editor of The Source magazine, and co-author of the book Bling, passed on December 20 from colon cancer. Ossé, a tenured and successful entertainment lawyer for the likes of JAY-Z, Dame Dash and Roc-A-Fella Records as well as Capone and Noreaga, rose to fame as pioneering podcast personality and executive "Combat Jack."
Not only did Combat attract a strong following from his own The Combat Jack Show, which he founded in 2010, but he started a collective of podcasters called The Loud Speakers Network which spawned breakout hit shows for the likes of Angela Yee and Charlamagne Tha God of Power 105 and REVOLT TV's The Breakfast Club.
Yee, a longtime friend of the Ossé family, spoke at the funeral and laughed as she revealed a nickname some affectionately called him, "The Pod Father." One of the most heart-touching moments came as Combat Jack's oldest son Chuma spoke on how much he loved and revered his dad and he shared a proud moment in which his father told him he enjoyed the music he's been making. Combat Jack loved hip-hop, but he was also a pull-no-punches respected critic of the artform.
Ironically and sadly, one of Combat Jack's closest friends and former law firm partner Ed Woods had his funeral at Queen's Allan A.M.E. Cathedral just one day prior on Wednesday. Ossé's very last Instagram post was an R.I.P farewell message showing love to Woods who passed away on December 16. Some of Woods' former clients such as Stevie J., Carl Thomas and Derric "D-Dot" Angeletti were among those in attendance.
This past Saturday, Rick Ross was one of the pallbearers at his best friend and longtime business partner Nadarian Lateef James' funeral at the Bethel Apostolic Temple in Miami. James, better known as Black Bo, passed away suddenly on December 8. Many of Ross' MMG family attended and Black had a host of elaborate floral arrangements that spelled out his name, as well as MMG. Just a week ago, Miami Mayor Oliver Gilbert released a proclamation celebrating the life of Black. Ross also announced that his Port of Miami 2 will be dedicated to his late confidante.
"I was so blessed to enjoy moments like these with you @blackbomaybach on a daily my friend which I will now cherish forever," Ross wrote on his Instagram page under picture of the two of them eating at Finga Locking. "Rip My big homie.Your advice was priceless.Your words uncut wit a heart of Gold.I miss you already.Real Miami niggas embraced Black Bo and recognized the DNA.Now your in a better place and it only get's greater later."