Joseph Johnson, known by his stage name N.O. Joe, is an American musician, record producer, and songwriter. N.O. Joe was a pioneer of the Southern Hip Hop sound during the 1990s. He operates a production company named Gumbo Funk, which is also a name given to his mélange of musical styles.
Johnson was born in New Orleans, Louisiana. While in high school (in New Orleans), he began providing beats to local performers. He was later encouraged to move to New York, where he began an affiliation with Universal Music Group as a producer.
Then known as Joe Kool, Johnson collaborated with Devante Swing, and the production group Da Bassment with that he contributed to Jodeci's first album, Forever My Lady. Johnson went on to work with Brian McKnight, R&B artist Joe and D'Angelo before moving into the rap genre.
The potent knock of Scarface’s 187 raps. The blues-inspired swang and bang of UGK. Though his name might not be immediately recognizable, N.O Joe helped shape Southern hip-hop. As Rap-A-Lot’s former in-house producer, the man born Joseph Johnson spread his “Gumbo Funk” sound across the globe. Like Organized Noize in their Georgia basement, Joe was inspired by his country upbringing to mix West/East Coast flavor with the influence of soul music and church instruments. The underrated Louisianan is considered among the first to add organs to rap and counts Dr. Dre, Jay Z, Biggie, and 2Pac as fans.