Legendary Producer For Run DMC & Whodini Suffers Stroke

Larry Smith, the seminal producer for acts like Run DMC, Kurtis Blow and Whodini, has suffered a stroke that has hospitalized him.The debilitating stroke has rendered the 50-something Smith bedridden and the St. Albans, Queens native is currently unable to speak, according to close friend/rapper Duane “Spyder D” Hughes, who is 47 years old.“The doctor’s prognosis is 85% [likelihood] of a full recovery,” Spyder D told AllHipHop.com. Although he has never been in the limelight, Larry Smith is considered by many to be Hip-Hop’s first super producer as he churned out a number of groundbreaking songs and albums in the late 70’s and throughout the 80’s.Early in his Hip-Hop career, Smith crafted songs for Kurtis Blow and Grand Master Flash and the Furious Five, rap’s early super stars. He later produced Run DMC’s first two albums, their self-titled debut (1984) and King of Rock (1985). Additionally, Smith wove a string of hits for Whodini, including their 1984 debut Escape with hits like “Friends.”  In the 90’s, Smith would go on to play bass for artists like Buck Shot of Duck Down.On Sunday, Smith wasn’t feeling well, but did not go to a doctor, said Spyder D. By Monday, he had suffered a stroke and was admitted to a New York area hospital. Spyder D said that after he found out about the stroke on Wednesday, he informed a number of Smith’s closest associates including members in Whodini.According to Spyder D, Smith was riding high after being acknowledged as a critical part of Whodini’s success, who was honored at Hip-Hop Honors this past October. “This has hit me hard. Larry taught me a lot,” Spyder D said, “I’m just so happy that he’s finally starting to get his just due.”Smith was planning an album that included many of his former associates.“Hip-Hop today ain’t what it is without Larry Smith,” Spyder D concluded.

Related Stories