Shanti Das on Rico Wade: ‘He was a visionary’

The former LaFace executive talks with Monica Pearson about the late producer.

Just two days after the death of Rico Wade, one of the primary architects of the sound of Atlanta hip-hop, former LaFace Records music executive Shanti Das sat down with Monica Pearson for an in-depth interview for an upcoming episode of “The Monica Pearson Show.” The weekend’s sad news was, of course, among the topics they discussed.

“Rico was our Quincy Jones,” she said. “He was a true leader. He was a visionary. But most importantly, he was humble in spirit.”

Das, in her role handling marketing for Atlanta acts such as OutKast, Goodie Mob and TLC at LaFace, was there in the early days, when Atlanta’s hip-hop and R&B artists were on the rise.

”There would be no Outkast, there would be no Goodie Mob, there would be no Dungeon Family, if it wasn’t for Rico. He was one of the ones leading the charge with Sleepy Brown and Ray Murray, the other two within Organized Noize. And everyone knows, though, that Rico was the one. He was the glue in all of it.”

He was the one who “put these relationships together, that made sure that once Outkast made it, that we were going to pull others up.”

She talks about how important Southern hip-hop has become and asserts that Atlanta is still the mecca of hip-hop. “None of that would have been possible without a Rico Wade,” Das said. “So we owe him a lot of credit.”

Following this devastating loss, “We will celebrate Rico as best as we can. It is an extremely sad time for the community, but I do hope that people use his death as a opportunity to celebrate a time when, you know, we were diverse when it came to hip-hop,” Das said.

Rico Wade and the Dungeon Family are part of the 2023 AJC film, “The South Got Something To Say,” an insightful documentary about Atlanta’s central role in shaping rap and hiphop. Stream the documentary and find related articles, video and photos at Watch The Monica Pearson Show streaming on