Run-DMC’s Secret Weapon

Larry Smith

With all the hoopla and the emotional speeches, Run-DMC and company forgot to thank a producer who played a huge role in building their sound. Larry “King of The Beats” Smith is the most underrated trackmaster of all time. He crafted classics for Darryl and Joe (“It’s Like That,” “Sucker MC’s,” “Rock Box”), Whodini (“Friends,” “Five Minutes of Funk,” “Freaks Come Out At Night”) and Maino’s “Hi Haters” jacked his Jimmy Spicer hit “Money (Dollar Bill Y’all).” You kids got a lot to learn and I have to teach. Ha!

Uncle Rush does a do-over for his old friend after the jump.

“I had a genius, a real genius co-producer named Larry Smith.  This old funky ass jazz guy put a R+B BASS LINE that served as a BEAUTIFUL melody on this song.  We came in the studio late, and Larry who knows no boundaries, was put on loud blast because anything sounding remotely R&B was unacceptable…it sounded a huge alarm with us.  Larry took his lumps and I went uptown to get more coke.  When I got back, it was Larry, who along with guitarist Eddie Martinez, who aid that famous guitar line.  It was the only traditional melody we could stand.  It was obvious to us that this fit.  Rev and D complained a little bit, but they liked it better with the guitar then with that “p*ssy” baseline.  So in the end it suited their rhymes…it was loud and it fit.  So there it was, an acceptable rock song with a traditional rock guitar.  And Larry, my dear friend, who because of illness missed his celebration, was a major cause for this celebration.  But let’s never forget rock or hip-hop or jazz is a feeling.  It’s not about instrumentation…it’s about heart.  And that rock heart is equal in Sucker MCs, Jam Master Jay and Rock Box.”

Global Grind, fools!

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  • i’m glad to see/hear larry smith getting shine from russel, especially with the recent HOF induction. He always seems to get overlooked, and guys like rick rubin get all the producer glory.

    on a seperate but related note, we all know RUN DMC were influenced by groups like cold crush but one specific person who doesnt get enough credit is DJ Jazzy Jay of the zulu nation. He was cuttin up peter piper years before JMJ and the jazzy 5 mcs were no slouches on the mic either

  • fats

    YO! HEADS UP!!!!!

    Larry was a part of the group Orange Krush who did the tracks Sucker MCs, The Bubble Bunch, Action, etc. Of course everyone knows Dave from the legendary One for the Treble joint when he did his solo thing but although Larry did his thing it was definitely a group effort. I am proud to have Dave as my friend and after speaking with him last night he broke it down. Not to take anything away from Larry! He often got the credit but let’s show the LEGENDARY Davy DMX some love. Besides from being a master of the Oberheim DMX, he was masterful on the bass guitar as well as other instruments as well. Dave is still doing his thing! Don’t believe me………check out Run-DMC’s induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame this past weekend. Dave is the brother with the black cap on the ledt of the stage.

    Much Respect Dave and Larry!



  • CabriniGreeny

    I can not tell you have many times at stared at this man’s name in the credits of those old Run-DMC albums. Nice to see a picture of him. He should have been mentioned/giving thanks to from Run-DMC. “Friends”…one of the dopest best from the era (Hip-Hop period).