Hip-Hop just lost one of the founding fathers of its sound. Larry Smith, a Queens NY-born musician and producer who was responsible for making classics for RUN DMC and Kurtis Blow has passed away at age 63.
Larry Smith was responsible for producing foundational tracks such as “It’s Like That” and “Sucker MCs” for RUN-DMC as well as Whodini’s Escape album including the classic, “5 Minutes Of Funk.”
Smith suffered a stroke in 2007 which left him voiceless, partially paralyzed and bedridden since.
“Larry was this great musician. He reminded me of Rick James and all of the funk dudes,” DMC told Ebony Magazine. “He was a bass playing musician, but he made hip-hop beats. He was in the Orange Krush band that was making records for Jimmy Spicer, Kurtis Blow, Alyson Williams, and others. But he was hanging out at Disco Fever with Melly Mel, Busy Bee, and all of those cats. Larry was so, incredible. He could produce a funk record, but also youthful energetic music and that was key to the success of Run-DMC.”
Rev Run was among the first to break the news and Producers such as Q-Tip and DJ Premier expressed their condolences on Twitter:
Damn. He gave me so many notes and great advice … Big homie from round the way. RIP LARRY SMITH. The 1st tru hiphop prouder.
— QTip (@QtipTheAbstract) December 19, 2014
R.I.P. Larry Smith…One of my inspirations of a Producer from RUN-DMC, Whodini, Kurtis Blow, Orange Krush…A style like no other
— DJ Premier (@REALDJPREMIER) December 19, 2014
The Bubble Bunch Dollar Bill yall Larry Smith
— Nasir Jones (@Nas) December 19, 2014
RIP to a legend.