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Larry Smith
Larry Smith
Larry Smith in 1983

Birth name

Lawrence Smith

Born

11 June 1952
St. Albans, Queens, New York, United States

Died

19 December 2014 (aged 62)
Flushing, Queens, New York, United States

Genres

Hip hop

Occupation(s)

Record producer

Years active

1979-1994

Associated acts

The Fat Boys, Kurtis Blow, Run-D.M.C., Russell Simmons, Jimmy Spicer, Whodini

Lawrence "Larry" Smith (11 June 1951 - 18 December 2014) was a pioneering American hip hop record producer. He is best known for his co-productions of Run-D.M.C.'s albums Run-D.M.C. in 1984 and King of Rock in 1985 alongside Russell Simmons, and his solo production of Whodini's Escape in 1984 and Back in Black in 1986. It is a measure of Smith's creative range that he could work simultaneously with the decidely dissimilar Run-D.M.C. and Whodini, as the former was rock-oriented while the latter leaned toward R&B.

Smith's work has garnered not just critical acclaim, but popular success. Both Run-D.M.C. and Escape were certified Gold by the RIAA in February 1985, 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 RIAA.

In November 2007, Smith suffered a stroke that left him unable to speak. He died on 18 December 2014 at the age of 62 in Queens, New York.

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