THE LIBRARY WITH TIM EINENKEL
created: May 7th, 2012 5:00 am |
Behind every legendary hip-hop act is a stellar producer. And for Whodini, it was bassist Larry Smith, who helped craft the rap group’s signature sound. Once hailed as “the Quincy Jones of Rap,” Smith also worked with Run DMC and Kurtis Blow and the Fat Boys. In addition to working in hip-hop, Smith was equally versed in rock, punk, reggae and jazz. His versatility and uniqueness were indisputable as evidenced by such genre-defining hits as Run DMC’s “King of Rock,” Whodini’s “Five Minutes of Funk,” and the Fat Boys’ “Jail House Rap.”
Fashioning an edgy sparse sound that often combined ’80s electronic music with rock, Smith is one of the sonic pioneers of hip-hop. His work has been sampled by numerous succeeding hip-hop stars such as Kanye West, Nas and Snoop Dogg. Sadly, Smith suffered a stroke in 2007, leaving him speech impaired.
I recently had the opportunity to interview Grandmaster Dee.