OutKast Honor Rico Wade: ‘There Would Be No OutKast Without Rico’

OutKast pay tribute to the late producer, Rico Wade.
FRAUENFELD, SWITZERLAND – JULY 10: Andre 3000 (R) and Big Boi of Outkast perform on stage at Openair Frauenfeld on July 10, 2014 in Frauenfeld, Switzerland. (Photo by Philipp Schmidli/Getty Images)

OutKast has been ranked as one of the best rap groups of all time, but it wouldn’t be without the help of Organized Noize, in particular, Rico Wade. On Saturday (April 27), the duo hopped on Instagram to pay tribute to the late producer. The collage post contained statements from both Andre 3000 and Big Boi.

Organized Noize was a three-man producing crew that included Wade, Ray Murray, and Sleepy Brown. The trio was also part of a collective of Southern artists called the Dungeon Family.

“Without Rico Wade… There would be no Outkast,” Big Boi began. “From the beginning. Organized Noize signed us. They were our big brothers, and they did a production deal with LaFace Records.” He continued: “They were the ones that gave us our first shot and we been doing music with them since the beginning.”

Andre 3K recalled their first encounter with Wade, noting that he “saw something” in the two. “The first time we met Rico [Wade] of Organized Noize, we had the ‘Scenario’ instrumental on and we just rapped damn near the whole song, non-stop,” the rapper wrote.

Andre continued: “Big Gipp from Goodie Mob — it was his truck we were listening to it out of. We put it in his cassette. We didn’t know Gipp or Rico or none of them, but Rico knew people who did beats — [Organized Noize’s] Ray [Murray], and Sleepy Brown.”

The rapper added, “That day, after we rhymed, Rico saw something in us.” Dre noted that at the time he and Big Boi met with Wade, they were young and looking for ways to stand out amongst the crowd.

“At that time we’d both shaven off all our hair. We’d dyed our hair blonde one time: We were young and in high school, we were outcasts, you know? Rico saw that, and he said, ‘These guys can really rhyme,” the rapper wrote.

On Saturday, April 13, the 52-year-old producer had been pronounced dead. So far, no cause of death has been revealed.