BMI Remembers Songwriter/Producer Rico Wade

Posted in News on April 17, 2024

BMI was deeply saddened to learn of the death of pioneering songwriter/producer Rico Wade, who passed away on Saturday at age 52.

A pivotal architect in Atlanta’s music scene, Wade was instrumental in cultivating the signature sound of the “Dirty South,” seamlessly mixing the contemporary style of hip-hop with classic elements of soul, funk, and R&B. A founding member of songwriting/production team Organized Noize along with Ray Murray and Sleepy Brown, Wade helped pave the way for Atlanta to become the capital city of Southern hip-hop. Out of his home studio, The Dungeon, located in the basement of his mother’s home in East Point, Georgia, Wade delivered a string of multi-platinum albums by artists like TLC, OutKast, Goodie Mob, EnVogue and many more. The musical collective spawned from Wade’s studio, The Dungeon Family, included influential members like André 3000, Big Boi, Killer Mike, Goodie Mob, CeeLoo Green, Big Gipp, Janelle Monáe, his cousin Future and many others.

The breadth of Rico Wade’s extensive, award-winning work and the core of all the music he was responsible for he felt was best exemplified in a quote André 3000 famously expressed at the Source Awards on August 3, 1995, in New York City, when the rapper stepped up to the mic and said, “The South got something to say.”

Rico Wade will be missed by his friends, fans and family at BMI.


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