Founder of The Dungeon Family, Rico Wade, Dead at 52

We'd have no Outkast and the Atlanta sound if not for Wade.

Rico Wade, a pivotal figure in the renowned Atlanta production collective Organized Noize and a cherished member of the Dungeon Family, has passed away at the age of 52. A cause of death has not been disclosed.

Killer Mike confirmed his death on IG with a poignant post:

“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 with U. Like U say tho Umma “Stay Down on it”……we all are. Love and Respect”

Wade's journey began in the 1980s amidst the vibrant cultural backdrop of the Atlanta music scene. Growing up in the city's Westside, Wade was immersed in the sounds of funk, soul, and hip-hop, which would later shape his distinctive approach to music production.

In the early 1990s, Wade co-founded the pioneering music collective known as the Dungeon Family, alongside OutKast's André "André 3000" Benjamin and Antwan "Big Boi" Patton, and fellow musician Patrick "Sleepy" Brown. The Dungeon Family quickly became synonymous with innovation, pushing the boundaries of hip-hop with their eclectic blend of Southern funk, soulful melodies, and socially conscious lyrics.

As a key architect of the Dungeon Family sound, Wade played a pivotal role in shaping the careers of OutKast, Goodie Mob, and other influential artists within the collective. His production credits include iconic albums such as OutKast's "Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik," "ATLiens," and "Aquemini," which are widely regarded as landmarks in hip-hop history.

Wade's production style is characterized by its soulful, sample-driven beats, layered with intricate instrumentation and unconventional arrangements. His willingness to experiment with different sounds and genres has earned him critical acclaim and a dedicated following among music enthusiasts worldwide.

Beyond his contributions to the Dungeon Family, Rico Wade has also collaborated with a diverse array of artists, including TLC, Ludacris, and Janelle Monáe. Wade is also rapper Future's cousin and played a pivotal role in his music career.

Condolences to his family and friends. The music world has lost one of its finest.

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