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Outkast and Dungeon Family

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Rico Wade, part of Organized Noize and one of the founders of the legendary Dungeon Family of producers and artists out of Atlanta, has passed away. He was 52.

Wade’s family confirmed his pass and has issued the following statement: “We are deeply saddened by the sudden and unexpected passing of our son, father, husband, and brother Rico Wade. 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.”

Along with Ray Murray and Sleepy Brown, Wade formed Organized Noize, a production team that worked out of his mother’s basement in Atlanta—which came to be known as “The Dungeon.” Organized Noize would produce OutKast’s landmark debut album, Southernplayaliticadillacmuzik, and would go on to make music for TLC, En Vogue, Ludacris and more. The “Dungeon Family” includes artists like OutKast, Goodie Mob, Killer Mike, Witchdoctor and Cool Breeze, amongst others.

Thus to call Wade instrumental in the creation and proliferation of the Southern Hip-Hop sound out of Atlanta is a massive understatement.

The Grammy Award winning-rapper Killer Mike took to Instagram to mourn Wade’s death. “I don’t have the words to express my deep and profound sense of loss,” wrote Mike for a caption of a photo of Wade in a studio. “I am Praying for your wife and Children. I am praying for the Wade family. I am praying for us all. I deeply appreciate your acceptance into The Dungeon Family, mentorship, Friendship and Brotherhood. Idk where I would be without ya’ll.”

A documentary about the Dungeon Family collective, The Art of Organized Noize, featured Wade prominently and was released on Netflix in 2016. Also worth noting, Wade is star rapper Future’s cousin.

No cause of death has been revealed at this time. Rest in powerful peace Rico Wade.

Check out reactions to his untimely passing in the gallery.

This story is developing.