Larry Smith, Renowned Run-D.M.C. Producer, Has Died
The early hip-hop pioneer was 63
Pioneering hip-hop producer Larry Smith has died at the age of 63. Radio host Combat Jack broke the news via Twitter, reporting that Smith died on Thursday night.
Just spoke to his family. RIP Larry Smith, the original King of Beats who passed away last night.
— Reggie Ossé (@Combat_Jack) December 19, 2014
Born in 1951 in St. Albans, Queens, Smith was best known for his bass work on Kurtis Blow’s “Christmas Rappin'” and “The Breaks,” and for co-producing Run-D.M.C.’s seminal first two albums, Run-D.M.C. and Kings of Rock, with Def Jam founder Russell Simmons. Later, he solo produced two platinum-selling Whodini albums: 1984’s Escape and 1986’s Back in Black.
Tweeting his condolences, Rev Run wrote:
Rip to the greatest hip hop producer of all times…. Larry Smith. Produced my biggest and most significant hits..
— Rev Run (@RevRunWisdom) December 19, 2014
Smith had reportedly been in ill health since suffering a stroke in 2007 that left him unable to speak.