Fri 19 Dec 2014
Larry Smith, seminal producer for ’80s hip-hop acts including Run-D.M.C., Kurtis Blow and Whodini, has passed away at 63. The sad news was confirmed by Combat Jack, who spoke with Smith’s family after his passing on Thursday night. The cause of death is unknown, but Smith suffered a stroke in 2007 which left him unable to speak.
Larry Smith was hip hop's first super producer. His family wants him to be remembered through his music. RIP Larry Smith
— Reggie Ossé (@Combat_Jack) December 19, 2014
A Queens native, Smith’s career began by playing bass on early Kurtis Blow singles like “Christmas Rappin'” and “The Breaks” (which he also co-wrote), before going onto produce Run-D.M.C.’s first two albums alongside Russell Simmons. Though his name isn’t brought up in many conversations, it’s hard to imagine what rap would look like today had it not been for Smith’s punishing production on records like “Sucker MCs,” “It’s Like That” and “King of Rock.”
Our condolences to Smith’s family.
Rev Run, Nas, Q-Tip and more pay tribute to Larry Smith…