Renowned Atlanta Hip-Hop Producer Rico Wade Dies at 52

Rico Wade, part of the legendary trio Organized Noize, left us at 52. This group, hailing from Atlanta, was pivotal in defining the sounds of icons like Outkast and Goodie Mob. The news broke through reports from The New York Times and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. It’s a heavy hit to the music world, indeed.

The family’s statement hit hard. “We are deeply saddened,” they said, mourning the loss of Rico as a son, father, husband, and brother. Their words painted a picture of a man whose talent reached far and wide, touching countless lives. They’re asking for some peace, some respect for Rico’s legacy during this tough time.

Organized Noize and the Dungeon Family, too, shared their heartache. Losing Rico, they said, felt like losing a piece of their soul. He wasn’t just a friend; he was the bedrock of their music-making magic. As they navigated through their grief, they asked for privacy, holding onto the memories and music they crafted together.

But Rico? He was more than just a part of the scene. He was a force that helped sculpt the very essence of Southern hip-hop in the ’90s. With Ray Murray and Sleepy Brown by his side, Organized Noize wasn’t just a name. They were innovators, blending hip-hop with funk and soul, all while keeping it pop-accessible. Hits like TLC’s “Waterfalls” and Ludacris’ “Saturday (Oooh! Ooooh!)”? That was all Rico, earning him a well-deserved Grammy nod.

And let’s not forget about Outkast and Goodie Mob. These groups, under the Dungeon Family umbrella, became legends in their own right. But it was Outkast’s willingness to experiment that really let Rico’s genius shine through. From their groundbreaking albums to the only rap album snagging a Grammy for Album of the Year, Rico’s influence was unmistakable.

Noah Mitchell
Noah Mitchell
Noah Mitchell is a senior music writer at Noah has been passionately covering the music industry for over five years, with a particular focus on live performances and the latest updates on artists.