Rico Wade speaks onstage during day 3 of REVOLT Summit x AT&T Summit on September 14, 2019 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Moses Robinson/Getty Images for Revolt)

The music community has suffered another tremendous loss with the passing of Dungeon Family founder, Organized Noize producer, and Atlanta legend Rico Wade.

On Saturday (April 13), Grammy Award-winning rapper Killer Mike took to Instagram to mourn the Atlanta legend.

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.

I deeply appreciate your acceptance into The Dungeon Family, mentorship, Friendship and Brotherhood. Idk where I would be without ya’ll.

This is a part of the journey. You told me “It ain’t been hard throughout the journey, it’s been a Journey”.

The journey ain’t gonna be the Same Journey without U. Like U say tho Umma “Stay Down on it”……we all are.

Love and Respect


See Killer Mike’s original post below.

Official Statements On Rico Wade’s Passing

The family of Rico Wade:

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.

Organized Noize and The Dungeon Family:

We are devastated by the news of the passing of our dear brother Rico Wade.

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 team.

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.

Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens:

My thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of Rico Wade. Rico was a musical genius and one third of the Grammy Award-winning music production team Organized Noize.

A product of Atlanta Public Schools, he led in the creation of a hip-hop sound that has spanned decades and genres.

Without Rico Wade, the world may have never experienced The Dungeon Family, OutKast, Goodie Mob, Future and many more.

Rico left an indelible mark on music and culture around the world and for that, the South will always have something to say

Rico Wade: An Architect of Atlanta’s Music Renaissance

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In the early 1990s, amidst the bustling streets of Atlanta, a revolution was brewing in the world of music.

At the epicenter of this seismic shift stood a visionary named Rico Wade, whose pioneering efforts reshaped the landscape of Atlanta’s music scene forever.

Wade emerged as a central figure in this cultural renaissance, spearheading initiatives that propelled Atlanta artists to the forefront of the industry.

His journey began with the creation of two iconic musical collectives: Organized Noize and Dungeon Family.

The roots of Wade’s influence can be traced back to his childhood home in the Lakewood community of Atlanta.

It was within the confines of his mother’s house that the legendary Dungeon was born—a makeshift studio nestled in the basement where artistic dreams took flight.

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The Dungeon became the breeding ground for raw talent, nurturing the likes of OutKast and Goodie Mob as they honed their craft.

Under Rico Wade’s guidance, these budding artists formed a tight-knit community, forging bonds that would shape the course of their careers.

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As the driving force behind Organized Noize, Rico joined forces with Ray Murray and Sleepy Brown to create a production powerhouse that would leave an indelible mark on the music industry.

Together, they crafted a signature sound that blended elements of funk, soul, and Southern rap, captivating audiences worldwide.

Their collaborations with OutKast and Goodie Mob yielded groundbreaking albums that pushed the boundaries of hip-hop, earning critical acclaim and commercial success.

But Rico Wade’s influence extended beyond the confines of Atlanta, reaching far and wide to touch the lives of artists across genres.

One of his most notable collaborations came in the form of TLC’s smash hit, “Waterfalls,” a testament to his versatility and creative prowess.

In addition to his own achievements, Rico Wade’s familial ties further solidified his legacy within the music industry.

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As the cousin of rapper Future, he played a pivotal role in shaping the budding artist’s career, introducing him to the world as a member of the Dungeon Family.

Rico supported me 1000 more times than anybody ever could. Nobody could ever do what Rico Wade did for me.

Everything I know about music, I know because of Rico.

Future to Rolling Stone (2014)

Social Media Tributes

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The news of Rico Wade’s passing has sparked an outpouring of tributes and condolences across social media.

The impact of Rico Wade’s contributions reverberates through the halls of music history, serving as a testament to the power of creativity and community.

His visionary leadership and unwavering dedication have left an indelible imprint on Atlanta’s music scene, inspiring generations of artists to follow in his footsteps.

As we celebrate the legacy of Rico Wade, let us not only honor his past accomplishments but also look to the future with hope and anticipation, knowing that his influence will continue to shape the sound of Atlanta for years to come.

My sincerest condolences to the Wade family and all who knew, loved, and cherished Rico.

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