Rico Wade Of Organized Noize Has Passed Away

Rico Wade, a co-creator of Organized Noize and the Dungeon Family, has passed away. Killer Mike, a member of D.F. and somebody who worked with Rico as recently as last year’s Grammy-winning MICHAEL album, confirmed the news online. “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,” Mike wrote in a heartfelt Instagram post. At this time, no cause of death has been made public. Wade was 52 years old at the time of his passing.

In his mourning, Killer Mike continued, “I deeply appreciate your acceptance into The Dungeon Family, mentorship, friendship and brotherhood. I don’t know where I would be without y’all. 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 with you. Like you say though: I’ma “Stay Down on it”……we all are.”


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Big Boi, CeeLo & Organized Noize Unite For A Dungeon Family Reunion (Audio)

Wade has often been the spokesman of Organized Noize, alongside co-founders Ray Murray and Sleepy Brown. The musical trio worked out of Wade’s mother’s basement—using instruments, sampling, and even their own voices to enhance the sound of their records. The location spawned the name Dungeon Family, a collective that would go on to include OutKast, Goodie Mob, Society Of Soul, Cool Breeze, Killer Mike, Joi, Witchdoctor, Slimm Calhoun, Big Rube, and others including Sleepy Brown’s solo career. Wade is also a cousin of Future, who as an adolescent, witnessed some of those artists working in the studio.

In many cases, Rico and his cohorts coached, molded, and encouraged his collaborators, who were often a few years younger. Organized, along with LaFace Records, So So Def Records, and Dallas Austin’s crew, helped make Atlanta, Georgia an epicenter for mainstream Rap during the mid-1990s, and ever since.

How Organized Noize Created The Atlanta Hip-Hop Sound With Outkast & Goodie Mob

Wade and Organized were at the helm for early OutKast albums, producing all of Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik, much of ATLiens and Aquemini, as well as key tracks such as “So Fresh, So Clean” on later works, at the same time as André 3000, Big Boi, and Mr. DJ began to increase their self-production role. The trio also was behind Goodie Mob’s 1995 debut Soul Food, with a heavy presence on the group’s discography. Outside of their own disciples, Wade and Organized produced and played on TLC’s “Waterfalls,” En Vogue’s “Don’t Let Go (Love),” and Ludacris’ “Saturday (Oooh! Ooooh!).” After playing an instrumental role as producers at L.A. Reid and Babyface’s LaFace imprint, The Dungeon Family secured their own label and deal with Interscope Records in the late 1990s. In 2001, they delivered Even In Darkness, featuring a who’s who of pupils and D.F. family. They also teamed with Nappy Roots for a 2011 collaboration album.

Over the last decade, Wade’s life and career was chronicled in the documentary The Art of Organized Noize, which was directed by QDIII. Organized Noize released a 2017 EP, while producing full projects for Goodie Mob (2020’s Survival Kit) and Big Rube (2022’s A Thought Weapon). Wade’s voice was a narrator on Killer Mike’s MICHAEL, which took home three Grammy Awards in 2024.

Goodie Mob’s Soul Food Introduced The Dirty South. 20 Years Later, It’s Still Got the Recipe.

Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik will celebrate its 30th anniversary later this month.

Ambrosia For Heads extends condolences to the family, friends, and fans of Rico Wade. We are thankful of your kindness and support.