Run-DMC, Whodini and Kurtis Blow producer Larry Smith has passed away, according to a tweet from Combat Jack today (December 19).

“Just spoke to his family,” Combat Jack, whose given name is Reggie Osse, wrote on Twitter today. “RIP Larry Smith, the original King of Beats who passed away last night.”

Larry Smith worked extensively on the early material of such pioneering Rap acts as Kurtis Blow, Whodini and Run-DMC.

He was known for his melodic production and use of live instruments.

Smith’s refusal to sample led to his reduced workload in the mid-1980s, when Rap beats became sample-driven.

Smith had been living in a nursing home since suffering a stroke in 2007, according to XXL.

HipHopDX sends its condolences to Smith’s family and friends.

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