Rico Wade, a hip-hop trailblazer out of Atlanta and producer for OutKast, passed away at the age of 52, according to his family. 

Rico Wade was renowned for his significant impact on the hip-hop community. He co-wrote and produced TLC‘s 1995 hit song “Waterfalls” as part of the iconic Atlanta production team Organized Noize. He also established the Dungeon Family collective. 

Mayor Andre Dickens issued a statement about Wade’s lasting impact on Atlanta’s hip-hop culture during the 90’s: 

“My thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of Rico Wade. Rico was a musical genius and one third of the Grammy Award-winning music production team Organized Noize. A product of Atlanta Public Schools, he led in the creation of a hip-hop sound that has spanned decades and genres. Without Rico Wade, the world may have never experienced The Dungeon Family, OutKast, Goodie Mob, Future and many more. Rico left an indelible mark on music and culture around the world and for that, the South will always have something to say.” 

He was instrumental in producing numerous influential albums that helped establish the careers of artists like OutKast, Goodie Mob, and Cee-Lo Green. He also worked with Grammy-winning artists such as Killer Mike, Janelle Monáe, Future, and others. 

The Atlanta City Council also released a statement about Wade following his death. 

“Rico Wade, a music pioneer and a cultural architect whose impact resonates far beyond his time. His contributions to hip-hop and production shaped the sound of generations and made our city the beacon of the modern hip-hop era. As we mourn his passing, we celebrate his legacy and the countless lives he touched through his talent and creativity. We send our deepest and sincerest condolences to the family, friends, fans, and other members of the Dungeon Family who are hurt by the loss. Rico Wade’s influence will continue to inspire artists and fans, ensuring his spirit lives on through the beats and rhythms he crafted with passion and innovation.” 

Wade’s Organized Noize partners, Ray Murray and Sleepy Brown, said, “We are devastated by the news of the passing of our dear brother Rico Wade.” 

They continued, “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,”. 

Chaka Zula, Ludacris longtime manager and a close friend of Wade, expressed his sorrow on Instagram: 

“I just saw you a couple of weeks ago at our favorite new food court , you were with your sons and was telling me you had been in the hospital. We discussed both still being here and what that meant to us, I expressed what you meant to Atlanta. Thru my label days and radio days we watched each other grow and supported each other, you even produced a song on @ludacris independent album for the LOVE and let us put it out as the B side on the vinyl what’s your fantasy.” 


Killer Mike, also a good friend of Wade’s, took to Instagram to pay homage. 

“I don’t have the words to express my deep and profound sense of loss. I am Praying for your wife and Children. I am praying for the Wade family. I am praying for us all. I deeply appreciate your acceptance into The Dungeon Family, mentorship, Friendship and Brotherhood. Idk where I would be without ya’ll. This is a part of the journey. You told me “It ain’t been hard throughout the journey, it’s been a Journey” . The journey ain’t gonna be the Same Journey without U. Like U say tho Umma “Stay Down on it”……we all are. Love and Respect, Michael.” 

Hip Hop and radio legend Ed Lover also expressed his love and sadness for Wade on Instagram. 

“This has got to be one of the worst weeks ever! The architect and innovator is gone! His sound changed the very landscape of music! Not just for the city of Atlanta that he represented so well but for the entire world! His humbleness and candor and laughter will live on forever. His music will play on long after most of us are gone! Rest well Rico Wade!” 


 SOURCE: bossip.com 

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