Attrell Cordes, better known as Prince Be from the ’90s R&B duo P.M. Dawn, died Friday at 46 from kidney disease, Cordes and his brother Jarrett, who went by the stage name DJ Minutemix, started P.M. Dawn in high school.
But when they tried to get signed, record labels rejected them because they were either too much like fellow laid-back rappers De La Soul or not hardcore enough to fit in with the gangster rap scene exploding on the West Coast thanks to N.W.A.
P.M. Dawn’s sound, a mix of what would later be called trip-hop and R&B eventually attracted interest across the Atlantic in Great Britain, where they were signed by Gee Street Records, which brought them to London to record their debut record, the positively-reviewed Of the Heart, of the Soul and of the Cross: The Utopian Experience.
But the label soon went bankrupt and the band’s contract was picked up by Island Records, which eventually released the album.
It spawned a worldwide hit, Set Adrift on Memory Bliss, a laid-back track laid over a sample of Spandau Ballet’s True.
Their sophomore album, 1993’s The Bliss Album…?, yielded the single I’d Die Without You, which was featured in the soundtrack to the 1992 Eddie Murphy movie Boomerang.