OutKast Shares Touching Tribute To The Late Rico Wade: 'Love You Forever'

By Tony M. Centeno

April 30, 2024

Photo: Getty Images

Big Boi and André 3000 paid tribute to the legendary Rico Wade on the same day the revered producer was laid to rest.

Sleepy Brown, Ray Murray, CeeLo Green, 2 Chainz and other celebrities gathered at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta on Friday, April 26, to say goodbye to the late Organized Noize producer. As Wade's family, friends and supporters filed in the church to pay their final respects, OutKast recalled the first time they met Wade in a heartwarming joint statement.

“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,” André wrote.

“That day, after we rhymed, Rico saw something in us," Dre continued. "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. They don’t really rhyme like people from the South.’ So he told us to come over to his house, and that’s where the dungeon is, in the basement.”

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

It wasn't lost on the duo that Wade's funeral occurred on the same day their debut album Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik turned 30. Rico Wade, along with his Organized Noize brethren Sleepy Brown and Ray Murray, used live instruments to produce OutKast's first LP. The production trio also crafted beats for the duo's other albums ATLiens (1996), Aquemini (1998) and Stankonia (2000). Instead of just posting the album's cover to honor the milestone anniversary, OutKast posted throwback photos and pivotal moments from Wade and the Dungeon Family's vault.

"30 years of Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik," the caption said. "Without Rico Wade, there is no Outkast."

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