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Legendary Atlanta Producer Rico Wade Dies At 52

Legendary Atlanta Producer Rico Wade Dies At 52

Atlanta’s vibrant hip-hop community just lost a legend, Atlanta producer Rico Wade, who passed away at the age of 52, according to his family. 

A statement was released around 1 p.m. on Saturday, bringing the sad news and asking for privacy.

“We are deeply saddened by the sudden and unexpected passing of our son, father, husband, and brother Rico Wade. Our hearts are heavy as we mourn the loss of a talented individual who touched the lives of so many. We ask that you respect the legacy of our loved one and our privacy at this time.” 

– The Family of Rico Wade

As a member of the pioneering production group “Organized Noize,” alongside Ray Murray and Sleepy Brown, Wade played a pivotal role in shaping the sound of Southern hip-hop in the early ’90s.

One of Wade’s most notable contributions was his work with Outkast and Goodie Mob, helping to craft their debut albums and setting them on the path to superstardom.

He was also a founding member of the Dungeon Family, a musical collective that includes luminaries like Andre 3000, Killer Mike, Big Boi, CeeLo Green, and even his own cousin, Future.

In a past interview with 11Alive, Big Boi of Outkast spoke fondly of the early days and the pivotal role Wade played in their success. 

“I think it was just all fate, you know. All from the Most High. For Rico Wade’s mom, Ms. Beatrice Wade to open up her home to all these young cats that have dreams and aspirations of being musicians and letting us camp out at her house and work non-stop. It’s how it was supposed to be,” Big Boi said. 

“First, we have to give thanks to her because without her we wouldn’t be none of that. And Rico, Wade, and Pat for believing in us – Outkast, Goodie Mob, Big Rube – like the whole crew. We were dreamers working towards one goal.”

The Dungeon Family and Organized Noize released a joint statement around 2 p.m., remembering Wade. 

“We are devastated by the news of the passing of our dear brother Rico Wade. The world has lost one of the most innovative architects in music, and we have lost an invaluable friend. Rico was the cornerstone of Organized Noize and the Dungeon Family, and we will forever treasure his memory and the moments we shared, creating music as a united team”.

“Our hearts weigh heavy with sorrow, and we kindly request privacy and empathy during this challenging period. Rico’s presence will always have a special spot in our hearts and in the music we presented to the world.”  -Organized Noize and The Dungeon Family”.

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