Rico Wade: "We wanted New York to respect our brains, not them fat asses and our pistols."
Rico Wade says Organized Noize Productions played a pivotal role in shaping Southern Rap.
“Organized Noize Productions is responsible for making the South respectable and that’s no disrespect to Luther Campbell and J Prince and Geto Boys,” Rico Wade says during an interview with TheBeeShine. “We wanted New York to respect our brains, not them fat asses and our pistols.”
Organized Noize broke through with OutKast’s 1993 single “Player’s Ball,” years after Luther Campbell and 2 Live Crew’s 1986 debut album 2 Live Is What We Are. J Prince, whose given name is James Prince, owns and operates Rap-A-Lot Records, which began releasing albums from the Geto Boys in the 1980s.
In the interview, Wade says he had respect for early Southern artists, but that the South really popped in the ‘90s after Organized Noize released material including OutKast’s Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik and TLC’s “Waterfalls.”
Rico Wade founded Organized Noize Productions with Ray Murray and Sleepy Brown in Atlanta in 1992. Wade said that New York’s Hip Hop culture inspired his region’s musical output.
“New York is very influential to Southern Hip Hop,” Wade says. “New York is the father. Me and my partner Ray, we studied Hip Hop. We went to New York. We went Harlem. We went to the Bronx. We went to certain places to get breakbeats and stuff.”
Wade says that he spent the ‘80s learning from the music, style and culture of New York. He says he applied his knowledge and began production in his basement, which became known as “the Dungeon,” the namesake for the music collective the Dungeon Family.
In the interview, Wade recalls an early encounter with Dungeon Family member Big Rube to illustrate the impact of New York culture on Organized Noize.
“I remember walking through school and seeing [Big Rube] with this Run-DMC hat on, actually just a hat that looked like Run-DMC, and a pair of Cazals, but I’m thinking like, just like me, he just a fan of New York, but you can’t get real New York stuff in Atlanta," Wade says. “So I saw then that we weren’t fake. For a minute, I felt like we were in Atlanta, trying to be like New York , but we can’t get it here. We’ll never be as good as they are, but I just saw that we love that culture, the bombers, the break dancing. We just loved it and we studied it from youth.“
Organized Noize Productions continue to produce with the Southern artists. The group received a production credit on Future’s Honest album.
Rico Wade said he credits the Organized Noize’s planning and vision for bringing respect to the South.
“We’re putting together a plan,“ Wade says. “We’re not just gonna move without a plan. I knew NY was gonna respect our mind for that and I knew the West Coast was gonna respect our music.”