Larry Smith (producer)  

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Lawrence Michael "Larry" Smith (June 11, 1951 – December 18, 2014) was a pioneering African-American musician and hip hop record producer. He is best known for his co-productions (with Russell Simmons) of Run-DMC's Run-D.M.C. (1984) and King of Rock (1985) and his solo production of Whodini's Escape (1984) and Back in Black (1986).

It is a measure of Smith's creative range that he could work simultaneously with the decidedly dissimilar Run-D.M.C. and Whodini. The former was rock-oriented, the latter leaned toward R&B—or as the critic Tom Terrell suggested, "Smith envisioned Whodini as the luxe Cadillac Seville to Run-D.M.C.'s Electra 225 hooptie."

Smith's work has engendered not just critical esteem, but popular success. In the month ending February 23, 1985, both Run-D.M.C. and Escape were certified gold by the RIAA, as was the Fat Boys' eponymous debut album, on which Smith played bass and helped to compose the hit single "Jail House Rap." These were among the very first hip hop albums to be certified for Gold-level sales by the Recording Industry Association of America.

In 1987 Whodini's John "Ecstacy" Fletcher described Smith as "the Quincy Jones of rap." In 2010 Run-DMC's Darryl "D.M.C." McDaniels claimed, "Larry Smith's musical arsenal equals Dr. Dre's." In 2009, the producer DJ Premier placed Smith first on his list of Top-5 Dead or Alive Producers, ahead of Marley Marl, Quincy Jones, James Brown, and Rick Rubin.




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Larry Smith (producer)" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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