Joe Little III

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Joe N Little III a.k.a. Joey Beanz or Casino Joe born (July 14, 1968) is an American singer-songwriter, record producer, actor, fashion designer and American entrepreneur most known as lead singer of the internationally known group The Rude Boys most known for 1991 Billboard R&B Song of the year "Written All Over Your Face", along with being C.E.O, co-founder and spokesman of now defunct Urbean Joe Gourmet Coffee, a self acclaimed first African American independently owned coffee brand and franchise,[1] which harnesses the slogan "Coffee With A Touch of Soul" with a tagline "Sip Soulful". Now C.O.O and co-founder of Beanz Coffee Club and gourmet coffee hailing slogan " Exquisite, Stimulating, Superior Taste" and tagline " AMAZING AT IT'S BEST ", also C.E.O and co-founder of Beanzatti Damone custom men's clothing line.

Joe N Little III
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Joe Little III photo shoot 2011
Background information
Birth name Joe N Little III
Also known as Casino Joe, Joey Beanz, Lil Joe
Born (1968-07-14)July 14, 1968
Origin Cleveland, Ohio,
United States
Genres Vocal Jazz R&B , Soul, Gospel
Occupation(s) Singer-songwriter, record producer, actor, coffee entrepreneur
Instruments Vocals, piano, keyboards, Drum Machine
Labels Atlantic Records (1990–1995)
Associated acts The Rude Boys, Gerald LeVert, Keith Sweat, Black Men United, Men at Large, LSG, J.Little

Early life[edit]

Joe N Little III was born in Cleveland, Ohio July 14, 1968, his father Joe Little Jr at the time was a shoe salesman born in Birmingham, Alabama and raised in Cleveland, his mother Patricia Ann Little born in Memphis, Tennessee also raised in Cleveland, was a church clerk and worked for the water department. At an early age of 10 Little embraced boxing a sport he grew to love admiring Muhammad Ali,he went on to be an accomplished amateur boxer fighting up under the East Cleveland Pal boxing club under the tuteledge of Johnny Duncan Jr,during this time Little also gained a love for singing while participating in his church choir at Temple Baptist church, he was first influence by his mother Patricia and aunt Carolyn Kirkwood, whose father Sammy Kirkwood of San Francisco, California was a popular gospel singer on the west coast, and after hearing such artist as Stevie Wonder, Frank Sinatra and Donny Hathaway, Little knew he had discovered his passion and calling and proceeded to participate in local talent shows while attending Shaw and Collinwood High schools racking up win after win.


The discovery[edit]

Joe N Little III along with Edward (Buddy) Lee Banks was discovered by Gerald LeVert singing in a local night club in Cleveland,Ohio, LeVert expressed that he wanted to further hear them sing again and possibly sign the two, at that time both were the lead singers of a local R&B group along with members Larry (Bingo) Marcus (a cousin of B.B. King) and Melvin Sephus, after meeting the other group members and working in studio with them, in 1988 LeVert presented the group to Sylvia Rhone then Senior VP of Atlantic Records and in turn got them signed to the label.

Rude Awakening[edit]

The band's 1990 debut album Rude Awakening, started slow with its first release "Come On Lets Do This" which peaked at No. 38 on the Billboard R&B charts. However, it was the group's second single, "Written All Over Your Face" that made the group a sensation, as the single topped the R&B charts and, The song showcased the vocals of Little and Edward Buddy Banks, with a cameo appearance by Gerald LeVert; the single rode the charts for 31 weeks, and finally made it to No. 1 on the Billboard R&B charts and No. 16 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, It also won 1991 Billboard Music Award for R&B Single of the Year ("Written All Over Your Face"). The group would score a second No. 1 hit on Billboard R&B hit from this album in 1990, "Are You Lonely for Me" written by Little and Tony Nicholas, With the well-rounded, riffing baritone of Little and the vibrating, towering tenor of Banks, the single rose straight to the top, This would be Little's first No. 1 Billboard charted record, "Are You Lonely was one of the few songs since the emergence of videos to gain the No. 1 ranking without a video.Another song released from the album was the " Heaven " a natural soulful vocally with a peppy rhythm and peaked at the No. 15 spot on the Billboard R&B chart. The album Rude Awakening would peak at No. 10 Billboard R&B/Hip-Hop Albums and No. 68 Billboard 200. The Rude Boys also toured that year with Levert and The O'Jays. The album itself was just one spot below the Billboard R&B/Hip-Hop Albums top 10 spot, where it sat comfortably at No. 11 in the spring of 1990.

Rude House[edit]

Riding on the success of their two laid-back number one singles from their debut release, the boys followed up their debut album with Rude House in 1992, they came flying back with the up-tempo "My Kinda Girl" (a underground new jack hit) which was energetically complemented by the superb vocals of Little and Banks, who admirably improvise their way through the vamp. The song also was remixed by then director of A&R at Atlantic Records DJ Clark Kent a hip hop DJ and record producer from New York at the time Clark was pushing an unknown rapper from the Marcy housing project in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn, NY who would come to be known to the world as Jay-Z, This move propelled "My Kinda Girl" in the Hip Hop underground scene in New York and abroad,also to support the single Jay-Z would go on to perform with the Rude Boys live at one of the Big Apple's premiere underground Hip Hop Clubs. Falling short of the number one ranking, the single peaked at number #2 after 18 weeks on the Billboard R&B chart. and the next single to be released, "Go Ahead and Cry" peaked at #43 on the Billboard R&B charts.The excellent singing by Banks, Little and company could not disguise the fact that the R&B world was moving closer to the parlance of hip hop. That change rendered Rude House hopelessly old-fashioned despite the fact that it was one of Atlantic Records better R&B releases of 1992. Label mates and peers R&B group LeVert ran into a similar problem in this period, and never truly recovered. Still, Rude House was a solid production, peppered with great songs,loaded with one great song after another, most of them soulful ballads when the album Rude House came out in 1992, its lack of commercial success highlighted the public's shift away from the new jack era. and marked the beginning of the sound scan era. This would mark the end of the Rude Boys stint with Atlantic Records and run with mentor Gerald LeVert. This would be the last album to date Little would record with The Rude Boys.

After The Rude Boys[edit]

Joe Little live in concert 2009

Staying under Gerald LeVert's tutelage, also in 1992, the writing team of LeVert, Little, Nicholas and Banks teamed up to write and produce "So Alone", for group Men at Large which peaked at No. 5 spot on Billboard's Hot R&B/Hip Hop Chart and No. 31 Billboard's Hot 100. Under LeVert's watchful eye Little launched his solo career with the 1994 Atlantic Records release Puttin It Down which spawned two singles "The Hump Is On" and "Me and You" and with minimal promotion sold a little over 250,000. Also in 1994 Joe gained an endorsement deal with Mauri USA and was featured in a full page ad in GQ magazine April 1994 issue modeling their exotic skinned foot wear and vest, In the fall of 1994 Little along with mentor Gerald LeVert appeared with the group Black Men United for the hit single "U Will Know" for the film Jason's Lyric, the movie's soundtrack. Little has written and produced on movie soundtracks such as Rush Hour 2 and on The Fast and The Furious 2 movie. He has collaborated with musical legends, Platinum and Gold Artists such as Aretha Franklin (who he has to date an unreleased duet "Only You"), Temptations (which won him Grammy acclaim for writing and producing two songs on their 2000 album Ear-Resistible which won the group its third Grammy for 2001 Best Traditional R&B Vocal Performance album), The O'Jays, Gerald LeVert, Keith Sweat, Charlie Wilson, Roger Troutman, Men at Large, Troop, Intro, LSG, Angie Stone, Rome, Drama, 1 of the Girls, Special Generation, Gene Rice, Wyclef Jean, J Holiday, B2K, Marques Houston, Ginuwine, Lyfe Jennings, Romey Rome, Trick Daddy, Snoop Dogg, Lil Flip, Layzie Bone, Strings, Jazze Pha, Dru Hill, Cheri Dennis, Latif, Dark Blue, Say Yes and Young Ray (Ray Jr).Joe has thrown his hat into the film industry,appearing in the movie Up Against the Ropes starring Omar Epps, Meg Ryan and Charles S. Dutton. November 10, 2006 Joe received a call from a close friend telling him he heard that friend Gerald LeVert could not breath, he then called Gerald's home in which he was informed by LeVert's mom that Gerald had just passed,at that time it was said Joe went into a deep depression for months in which afterwards he revived his group The Rude Boys in tribute to Gerald and to help keep Gerald's legacy alive.On September 23, 2012 Joe received the Ohio Hip Hop Awards and Music Conference 2012 Lifetime Achievement Award,Joe is now set to present his stage play "The Coffee Shop" in 2013 and he is currently touring and working on a new Rude Boys project "Rude 20/20" along with recruited members Gee Labeaud and Keni Myles due the top of 2013,and is set to release his first of two books entitled "The Day of the Convincing Story Teller".

Business ventures[edit]

Urbean Joe Gourmet Coffee[edit]

In early 2008 Little embarked on a new venture an idea pitched to him by a family member, which was to open up a café or coffee house in his local hometown Cleveland, Ohio, being that he was a local icon it was believed that it would be successful, Little was sold on the idea, at the time he was in need of a jump start in his life, for some years he had attained odd jobs to help keep his household a float, he immediately went to work imagining him and his family member having their own coffee brand and chain of coffee houses in inner city neighborhoods across the United States, Urbean Joe Gourmet Coffee inc. was born. Little and his cousin hit the streets of Cleveland selling their coffee brand hand to hand, times were hard and it brought no profit along with people discouraging and laughing saying it would never work it did not damper their spirits, Little delighted in the idea that he was thinking outside the box, doing something that he knew possibly in the future could create opportunities for jobs and uplift inner city neighborhoods flooded with bars and liquor stores. After much foot work Little came across someone willing to invest along with him and his cousin, and within months they opened up a café, within five months after the first café was opened a second one was launched, it was clear they were on their way. Urbean Joe Gourmet Coffee is quickly becoming one of the most sought after independent coffee brands and franchise in the United States, carrying a slogan "Coffee With a Touch of Soul" and a tag line ”Sip Soulful”, Urbean Joe Gourmet Coffee is a self acclaimed first independent coffee brand and franchise owned by an African American in the United States, sourcing, roasting, blending, custom naming, packaging and exporting its own product. Little explains “Urbean Joe gourmet coffee is setting the tone and being a trendsetter, by placing its cafés in the inner city of Cleveland, Ohio, we are revolutionizing our coffee and cafés by helping bridge the gap in African American communities. Urbean Joe since starting in 2008 has opened two locations with one under construction and is now set to licence and open cafes in Atlanta, GA, Charlotte, NC and Houston, TX in 2013.

Awards and nominations[edit]

TV appearances[edit]

Soul Train, Showtime at the Apollo, The Arsenio Hall Show, Party Machine, Real Housewives of Atlanta

Movie appearances[edit]

Up Against the Ropes


External links[edit]