(SAMOA) — Legend. Original Gangsta. Pioneer. Rap star.
From the DeeJays who played his music, to the artists who tattooed him — friends who call him "fam" are paying tribute to the late Ted DeVoux, The Godfather, one of the DeVoux Brothers from Carson, Calif., who brought the world Boo-Yaa T.R.I.B.E. — leading the way for Samoans and Pacific Islanders into America's Hip-Hop scene.
A member of the DeVoux family confirmed for Tautalatala that Godfather died after an extended illness.
"Saddest news this year, the passing of a good brother OG Godfather. Sorry to hear this bad news for my homies," states the Estevan Oriol Facebook page. "I'm gonna miss him!"
The words from Oriol are accompanied by a photo of Godfather receiving a tattoo on his back from Tattoo Artist Mister Cartoon.
The Godfather, given name Ted DeVoux, began playing music in his father's Baptist Church with his brothers Paul, Donald, Danny and Vincent (Roscoe and David joined later).
"Before anyone else arrived, they would play P-Funk and experiment with other forms of Hip Hop," according to Wikipedia. "Particularly popular in their South Bay neighborhood, they began to dance to funk music."
The brothers then created the dance crew the Blue City Strutters and publicly performed, rising to fame after a tour in Japan in the mid-1980's.
They left gang life behind and devoted their lives to music after their youngest brother was killed in a gang-related shooting in 1987.
Boo-Yaa are former members or members of West Side Piru and Samoan Warrior Bounty Hunters. One was a member of the Park Village Compton Crips.
"Lost a pioneer for real. Especially to Polys in Hip Hop and in music in general. I was a fan before family," wrote San Francisco-based DJ Big Body Cisco over the weekend.
"Boo-Yaa T.R.I.B.E. made us proud on a mainstream level. Godfather and his brothers were at the forefront. Glad I was able to see you when I deejayed at you guys' family reunion. Rest in love uso. Prayers and strength to the DeVoux family."
Hip Hop documentarians say the Boo-Yaa T.R.I.B.E., comprised of Gawtti, The Godfather, Kobra, Monsta O, Ganxsta Ridd, E.K.A and
Murder One, "is synonymous with Hip Hop in Los Angeles."
The "Boo-Yaa" in their name signifies the sound of a shotgun being discharged, while the "T.R.I.B.E." stands for "Too Rough International Boo-Yaa Empire."
In their own words, Boo-Yaa has been "keepin' it gangsta since 1988."
Funeral details are pending.