Rest in peace
The original King OF Beats
Larry Smith grew up in St. Albans, Queens, New York, and attended Andrew Jackson High School. He taught himself to play bass by listening to James Brown‘s records. Eventually, Smith did all kinds of session work, played punk-rock, jazz, and blues, then logged stints in the house band of more than one musical.
In 1979, Smith was recruited by his old friend Robert “Rocky” Ford, then an aspiring record producer, to play bass on Kurtis Blow‘s “Christmas Rappin’.” Smith went on to co-write and to play bass on other Blow recordings such as “The Breaks” (one of the first hip hop records to crack into Billboard‘s Hot 100 singles chart and achieve Gold sales status), “Hard Times,” “Tough,” “Day Dreamin’,” and “The Deuce.”
It was while working with Blow that Smith met Blow’s manager, Russell Simmons. By 1982, the pair was producing records together, starting with a couple of singles for the rapper Jimmy Spicer: “The Bubble Bunch” (1982) and “Money (Dollar Bill, Y’all)” (1983). The latter has been sampled no less than 15 times, including by De La Soul (“Bitties in the BK Lounge,” 1991), Maino (“Hi Hater,” 2009), and Kanye West (“Eyes Closed,” 2010). Retitled “Money Money,” the song was covered in 1987 by the Jamaican toaster Reverend Badoo, who gave it a dancehall reggae treatment. (In 1985 Smith produced “Roots, Rap, Reggae” for Run-DMC and guest artist Yellowman. It was one of the earliest rap-reggae collaborations.) It was also covered by Coolio in 1997.
It was also in 1983 that Smith teamed up with guitarist-deejay Davy DMX and drummer Trevor Gale in a group called Orange Krush. Its one single, “Action,” was very influential, not least because of Gale’s stark and funky drumbeat. Before the year was out, Smith had transferred the beat to a drum machine, added some handclaps, and bestowed a name on the result: Krush Groove. He proceeded to apply the Krush Groove as a foundation to four of Run-DMC’s early singles: “Sucker M.C.’s (Krush-Groove 1),” “Hollis Crew (Krush-Groove 2),” “Darryl & Joe (Krush-Groove 3),” and “Together Forever (Krush-Groove 4).” (Taken from Wikipedia )