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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.

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:

Smith had reportedly been in ill health since suffering a stroke in 2007 that left him unable to speak.