Rico Wade, An Iconic Hip-hop Producer, Passes Away At 52

Rico Wade, a member of the well-known Atlanta-based production and songwriting team Organized Noize, which helped create the sound of Outkast and Goodie Mob, has passed away, according to The New York Times and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He was aged 52.

The Dungeon Family and Organized Noize also issued a statement in which they discussed their relationship with Wade and the part he played in their legacy. Wade’s influence on Southern hip-hop in the 1990s extended beyond its sound; in the years that followed, the genre as a whole would be shaped by the sound and definition Wade contributed to its creation.

Wade chose to infuse hip-hop with funk and soul through a pop filter, teaming up with Ray Murray and Sleepy Brown to form Organized Noize in the early 1990s, aiming to reimagine how genres could come together to create distinct regional sounds. Their close bond with Outkast and Goodie Mob was where they cemented their unquestionable supremacy and uniqueness.

Throughout their whole catalog, including Speakerboxxx/The Love Below—the only rap record to ever win the Grammy Award for Album of the Year—Wade’s production and songwriting skills are evident. Many rappers and artists, such as En Vogue, ScHoolboy Q, Alchemist, Juicy J, El-P, Open Mike Eagle, and Mike Will Made-It, have shared tributes in Wade’s honor.

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