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Rico Wade, OutKast Producer, Dies at 52

The City of Atlanta is mourning the loss of hip-hop pioneer Rico Wade, who passed away at the age of 52 on April 13, 2024. Wade was a founding member of the Dungeon Family and played a crucial role in producing iconic albums that helped launch the careers of OutKast, Goodie Mob, and Cee-Lo Green. He also co-wrote TLC’s hit song “Waterfalls” in 1994. Mayor Andre Dickens and the Atlanta City Council both issued statements expressing their condolences and recognizing Wade’s lasting impact on Atlanta’s hip-hop culture.

Rico Wade was a musical genius and one-third of the Grammy Award-winning music production team Organized Noize. His contributions to hip-hop and production shaped the sound of generations, making Atlanta a beacon of the modern hip-hop era. Wade’s influence will continue to inspire artists and fans, ensuring that his legacy lives on through the beats and rhythms he crafted with passion and innovation. Wade is survived by his wife and children, and the exact cause of his death has not been revealed.

Atlanta rapper Killer Mike, a close friend of Wade’s, shared his grief on Instagram, along with other notable figures like Cee-Lo Green, Ludacris, and Busta Rhymes. The outpouring of support from the hip-hop community reflects the impact that Wade had on those around him. His mentorship, friendship, and brotherhood were deeply appreciated by those who knew him, and his absence will be felt in the music industry.

Rico Wade’s legacy as a producer and hip-hop pioneer will be remembered for years to come. His influence on artists like OutKast and Goodie Mob helped shape the sound of southern hip-hop and solidify Atlanta as a cultural hub for the genre. The loss of Wade is felt not only in Atlanta but in the music industry as a whole. Rest in peace, Rico Wade.

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