Rap legend Rico Wade dies at 52: Member of Organized Noize and Outkast producer has passed away

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
Rico Wade, a key member of the Atlanta-based production trio Organized Noize, has died aged 52

Rap legend and hip-hop producer Rico Wade, who was a member of Atlanta-based production trio Organized Noize, has died at the age of 52. His family shared the news of his shocking passing in a statement and said that “Our hearts are heavy as we mourn the loss of a talented individual who touched the lives of so many. We ask that you respect the legacy of our loved one and our privacy at this time.”

American rapper and activist Killer Mike took to his Instagram to share his thoughts and said “I don’t have the words to express my deep and profound sense of loss. I am Praying for your wife and Children. I am praying for the Wade family. I am praying for us all. 

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“I deeply appreciate your acceptance into The Dungeon Family, mentorship, Friendship and Brotherhood. Idk where I would be without y'all.

“This is part of the journey. You told me ‘It ain’t been hard throughout the journey, it’s been a Journey.’ The journey ain't going to be the Same Journey without U. Like U say tho Umma ‘Stay Down on it’... we all are.

“Love and Respect


Killer Mike has been inundated with thousands of comments. One person said “One of the most humblest musical giants ever met. ATL musical movement started here,” whilst another fan said”Damn.. Rico will always be one of the best things that happened to Atlanta music.”

As well as being a member of Organized Noize and an Outkast producer, Rico Wade also co-founded the Dungeon Family collective alongside Ray Murray and Sleep Brown in the early 1990s. In a statement, Organized Noize and the Dungeon Family said that “We are devastated by the news of the passing of our dear brother Rico Wade.”

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

They went on to say that “The world has lost one of the most innovative architects in music and we have lost an invaluable friend. Rico was the cornerstone of Organized Noize and the Dungeon Family, and we will forever treasure his memory and the moments we shared, creating music as a united family. Our hearts weigh heavy with sorrow, and we kindly request privacy and empathy during this challenging period. Rico’s presence will always have a special spot in our hearts, and in the music we presented to the world.”

The Hollywood Reporter said that “Born in East Point, Georgia, on Feb. 26, 1972, Rico Wade helped launch the careers of Janelle Monáe, Killer Mike and Future through his work with the Dungeon Family collective and Organized Noize. In 2014, the Mask Off rapper attributed his success in rap to Wade.”

Rico Wade is survived by his wife, two sons, brothers and sisters and his mother.

Related topics:

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.