A source close to the artiste confirmed that the firebrand reggae singer, who is also known as ‘King Furnace’, passed away at a hospital in The Bronx.
“Jesse transitioned at about 2:15 Monday afternoon. He had a malignant brain tumour that he knew about and had been battling for a long time. The last time I spoke to him was on July 23 and he wasn’t sick or anything. We were planning to meet up at an event, and he said he was going to check a bredren to give him a drive … because you know that he had lost his sight … but he never made it,” the source said.
Since then, she said that Jendah was admitted to hospital and discharged, only to be admitted again last week. That was the final time. She shared that his death has been a shock to persons in the diaspora.
“When I got the call on Monday from somebody asking me to confirm that Jesse had passed, I immediately called his phone because I knew it could not be true. His wife, Queen, answered and immediately I knew that something was wrong. If Jesse gets texts, then Queen will read them to him, but he always answers his phone. Queen confirmed his passing and it’s like everybody is in shock,” the source said.
A member of the Nyahbingi House and also the Twelve Tribes of Israel USA, Jendah recently became a father again, when his wife gave birth to their daughter, Sion. In a 2020 interview with The Gleaner, Jendah was elated that a single which was released from the mid-’90s detailing prophetic warnings had taken on new life.
“My song called Mark of the Beast is getting a revival. People from all over are calling me about it because it is a song for these times. When I was writing songs about things like microchip being inserted under people’s skin, my stablemates at Xterminator camp were offended by these arguments. But, tru people always seh me is a madman, I just continued speaking and writing reality as I envisioned it,” he said then.
The entertainer also said that the coronavirus “is ushering in the new world out of order”, which would see the collapse of many businesses, and stock exchanges going haywire. The controversial Jendah, who gained notoriety when he offered former Prime Minister P.J. Patterson a quarter pound of weed, shared that he had become a licensed ganja farmer, and had continued to record and perform.
Jendah made his recording debut with the song ‘Mind Jah Lick You with Disaster’, which was released in 1982 while he was still a student at Glenmuir High School. According to his bio, in addition to pursuing a career in music, Jendah was an exceptional footballer who received a scholarship based on his ability.
Philip ‘Fatis’ Burrell recruited Jendah as part of the Xterminator crew. The singer toured globally and released hits including, ‘Ready Ghetto Youth’ (with Sizzla), ‘Rasta No Fear No-One’, ‘Israel’ and ‘Strong Black Woman’.