N.W.A. & Tupac Affiliated Producer Laylaw Has Reportedly Passed Away
Laylaw, a pioneering West Coast Hip-Hop rapper, songwriter, and producer, has reportedly died. Born Larry Goodman, Laylaw was an affiliate of Dr. Dre and Ice Cube. He made contributions to albums by Tupac Shakur, Ice Cube, Above The Law, Kausion, K-Dee, and Anotha Level. DJ Pooh, Da Lench Mob’s J-Dee, and West Coast Hip-Hop journalist Chad Kiser are among those who have reported the news. No additional details have been provided at this time.
In 1985, Laylaw broke out as a solo artist on Rolex Records. He had grown up on 76th Street in South Los Angeles, reportedly in close proximity to some of Dr. Dre’s family members. The two man had known one another since the early 1980s. By mid-decade, they collaborated on music. One of those early Rolex singles, “Monster Rapping,” was produced by Dr. Dre and Lonzo while both beat-makers were members of the World Class Wreckin Cru. Those ties expanded to Dre’s post WCWC time at Ruthless Records. Laylaw told HipHopDX in 2011 that he had longstanding ties to Dre and Eazy-E. In 1989, he wrote Michel’le’s single “No More Lies,” in addition to reported songs for Eazy.
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Laylaw’s credits include breakthrough work for Above The Law, the Pomona, California group who came to Ruthless after Laylaw received a demo from his cousin, the group’s DJ, Go Mack. He would go on to work with Tupac on 1993’s Strictly 4 My N.I.G.G.A.Z, producing the title track, as well as early vinyl B-side (and later single) “I Wonda If Heaven Got A Ghetto.”
“I was kinda f*ckin’ with [Tupac] while I was still at Ruthless,” the producer told DX‘s Paul W. Arnold at the time. “Me and Pac was already friends. Atron Gregory was [Above The Law’s] road manager. Atron Gregory found Digital Underground …. And Pac used to come around. Dude used to come down and sleep on my couch and sh*t, kick it, and we end up doing some music together.”
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Laylaw worked with Ice Cube’s Lench Mob Records, producing for a roster including K-Dee, Kausion, and a non-label act that Cube handled: Anotha Level.
In that same interview, Laylaw alleged that he had a heavy hand in a mid-’90s hit for Pac and Dre. “[Dr. Dre] heard a beat that he wanted, and it was the ‘California Love (Remix)’ beat. He was officially working on The Chronic 2 way back then. And that song was supposed to have been for his album. … So Dre did the song, a couple days later Roger [Troutman] come out [and] get on it. … A couple days later, Pac [hears] it [and] Pac get on it. A couple days later now it’s Pac’s single. The very next day they wanna shoot the video. So within a week of us doing it, it became Pac’s single.” That smooth version replaced the Joe Cocker “Woman To Woman” sample with use of Kleer’s “Initimate Connection,” and featured a much longer Roger solo. The 1995 Death Row Records single B-side did not include any Laylaw credits. Months later, it landed on All Eyez On Me. Pac’s 1996 double album which subsequently achieved diamond certification. American Songwriter also reported on Laylaw’s hand in the classic.
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In 1997, Laylaw launched The Law House Experience, a compilation on his fledgling label that featured Ice Cube, Ice-T, The Pharcyde, Coolio, WC, Ras Kass, and more. In 2011, Laylaw planned to resurrect the label. In 2016, Laylaw supplied ATL’s Cold 187um (aka Big Hutch), Ice Cube, and The D.O.C. with “Legacy,” which premiered at Ambrosia For Heads. That same year, Laylaw and Hutch appeared on Sway In The Morning.
AFH extends condolences to the family, friends, and fans of Laylaw.