Published Dec 19, 2014Larry Smith, a classic hip-hop producer who helped to forge Run-DMC's sound, has passed away. He reportedly died last night (December 18) at 63.
This sad news comes via Reggie Ossé, a.k.a. veteran hip-hop figure Combat Jack, who sent out the following tweet this morning:
Smith's career dates back to the dawn of hip-hop, when he played bass on a number of tracks by Kurtis Blow. He began co-producing with Russell Simmons in the early '80s, and the pair helmed Run-DMC's self-titled album in 1984, plus the 1985 follow-up King of Rock.
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
He also enjoyed commercial success by producing a couple of mid-'80s albums by Whodini, and he played bass and co-wrote with the Fat Boys. Last month, Run-DMC's Darryl McDaniels told Ebony, "People tend to forget that Larry is the greatest hip-hop producer that has ever existed that nobody has ever heard of."
Smith suffered a serious stroke in 2007. This left him partially paralyzed and unable to speak.