Rico Wade and Organized Noize’s 10 Essential Songs


Rate this post

The Atlanta producer Rico Wade was the de facto leader of the Dungeon Family, the loose collective of rappers and musicians that coalesced around his mother’s smoke-filled Georgia basement — a.k.a. the Dungeon — in the mid-90s. Wade’s open doors and nurturing vision became the engine of Atlanta’s creative explosion, tilting the spotlight away from New York and Los Angeles and toward the homegrown sounds of artists like Outkast, Goodie Mob, Killer Mike, Janelle Monáe and eventually Wade’s younger cousin Future. Wade’s death at 52 was announced on social media last Saturday.

Beyond his roles as conceptualist and deal maker, Wade served as one-third of the adventurous production team Organized Noize. The crew’s red-clay-scuffed sound was steeped in vintage ’70s soul, cutting-edge electronica, murky noise, slurping hi-hats and the warmth of live instruments. Working alongside the melodic sensibilities of Sleepy Brown and the beatmaking prowess of Ray Murray, Wade was “the mouthpiece,” Outkast’s Big Boi said in the 2016 documentary “The Art of Organized Noize.” “He was the inspiration guy; he could sell it.”

Here are 10 essential productions from Rico Wade and Organized Noize, who brought the “dirty South” to the world. (Listen on Spotify and Apple Music.)

Outkast, “Player’s Ball” (1993)

The slow-rolling breakout moment for the Atlanta sound emerged after the LaFace Records co-founder L.A. Reid tapped the teenage duo Outkast to fill the final spot on the R&B-heavy album “A LaFace Family Christmas.”Though initially reluctant to make a Christmas record, Outkast decided to focus on lived reality instead of holiday cheer. “Just talk about how we kick it on Christmas at the Dungeon, man,” Big Boi recalled for GQ. “There ain’t no chimneys in the ghetto. We won’t be hanging no socks on no chimneys.” A slightly less Christmas-themed version was released as the group’s debut single, and the Puff Daddy-directed video was filmed in Wade’s house. (Wade convinced André 3000 to wear an Atlanta Braves jersey for the clip.) “I remember the day they played it on the radio — everybody quit they job,” Goodie Mob’s Big Gipp said in “The Art of Organized Noize,” thinking, “‘If one of us’ll get in, all of us’ll get in.’”

TLC, “Waterfalls” (1994)

This indelible pop smash emerged from a moment of studio serendipity. The songwriter Marqueze Ethridge sang the hook to Wade in the middle of an Outkast session. Murray played a stuttering beat on the SP-1200 and LaMarquis Jefferson improvised some slippery bass licks. They called TLC’s T-Boz to come in and do a demo and a No. 1 hit was born. “The horns in the song was live,” Wade told Complex. “As you can tell, the horns were very pop. But we were at that point in our career where we wanted to bring everything back that was analog”

Yorum yapın