Legendary Chicago singer Johnny P’s angelic smooth vocals were heavenly and one of a kind, so as sad as it’s to report that the singer passed away this past Sunday Nov. 27th, it’s only right too though. As JP had a health scare earlier this year, which he had made a graudual recovery from before slipping into a coma about a week or so ago, which would lead to his death at the young age of 44. But now that he has passed the singer no longer has to fight and can rest easy in heaven with the rest of God’s angels and the latest of a line of great singers to pass in what has been a very unfortunately tragic year for celebrity related deaths.
Johnny was not only one of the most unsung singers in the history of Chicago, but music period, with his unforgetabbly unique soulful Gospel-like vocals defining the “Chicago sound” that became synonymous with Hip-Hop purists around the world for most of the 90’s and early 2000’s. As he blessed some of Chicago’s top Hip-Hop acts like Do or Die, Twista and The Legendary Traxster, as well as legendary artists like Scarface and 2Pac with his vocals. Most notably on fellow West Side of Chicago natives Do or Die and Twista’s multi-platinum hit, Po Pimp, which lead to his solo deal with Houston-based Rap-A-Lot Records, were he would release his most notable album, The Next. The album featuring work alongside Do or Die, Scarface, Mike Dean and Traxster, as well as leading him to eventually be featured on Scarface’s biggest hit to the date, the 2Pac and Johnny P-featured classic, Smile.
He would go on to collaborate with countless other artists for the next two decades and his success lead him to tour with some of the biggest names in the world of music, such as Whitney Houston, The Jacksons, Regina Bell, MC Hammer and New Kids on the Block, to name a few.
His success didn’t come overnight either, as at the age of 16 he was one of the youngest artists to be signed to Columbia Records in the late 1980s and soon after release his debut album, Connect the Dots. Which even led to him walking side by side with late Chicago Mayor Harold Washington in the Bud Billikins Parade.
It was Johnny’s unforgettably memorable hooks that became a fixture on frequent collaborations with fellow West Side of Chicago natives Twista and Do or Die on tracks like, Emotions, Yo Body, Do U?, Still Po Pimpin, Chocolate Fe’s and Redbones and Nobody’s Home, that would truly define his and the West Side of Chicago sound.
The storied singer despite all his success and being an integral part in making Twista and Do or Die so successful in their careers, never fully got his true just due though and still could have been a lot bigger than what he actually was. It’s unfortunate that in his later years, he struggled a lot to keep his footing in the ever-changing music industry and that coupled with some personal issues stalled his career to the point that he never trully reached his full true promise.
Last year’s out of nowhere surpise release in October of his final album, Sing My Story, being the latest evidence of this. As despite having features from The Legendary Traxster, Do or Die, Twista and Young Buck, the album had little to no promotion and only landed digitally on mixtape website, DatPiff.com.
Even despite not reaching his full promise and going through all that he did, Johnny still ended up with a pretty memorable career that will be remembered for many of centuries and lifetimes to come. With him being the only artist in the history of Hip-Hop, besides the late great Nate Dogg, whose hooks were so legendary and memorable. JP and Nate are easily the greatest hook singers of all-time, whose sound will truly be missed and most likely never touched again.
Me and the rest of TheHipHopDemocrat staff wish our condelences to Johnny P’s family, friends, fellow fans and loved ones in this difficult time.