Joe N Little III (born July 14, 1968), also known by names 'Joey Beanz Little', 'Casino Joe', J.Little and 'Lil Joe' , is a Grammy and Billboard music award-winning American singer-songwriter, record producer, actor, fashion designer, philosopher and American entrepreneur. He's most known as lead singer of the internationally known group The Rude Boys, who are known for their #1 Billboard hit and 1991 Billboard R&B Song of the year Written All Over Your Face, and also writing 1991 #1 hit Billboard single Are You Lonely For Me.
Joe is C.E.O, co-founder and spokesman of 'Urbean Joe Gourmet Coffee', and first Black African American independently owned coffee brand and franchise, which harnesses the slogan Coffee With a Touch of Soul with a tagline "Sip Soulful".
He is 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 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 tutelage of Johnny Duncan Jr,
Little also developed a passion for singing while participating in his church choir at Temple Baptist church. Little knew he had discovered his passion and calling having been influenced by many great artists, that he proceeded to participate in local talent shows while attending Shaw and Collinwood High schools racking up win after win.
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.
The band's 1990 debut album Rude Awakening, started slow with its first release Come On Let's 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.
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 (an 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 renderedRude 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.
Awards and nominations