Killer Mike talks about super producer, Dungeon Family co-founder, Rico Wade and his impact in music

ATLANTA — Channel 2 Action News heard from a member of the famed Dungeon Family about super producer and co-founder, Rico Wade, who died on Saturday at the age of 52.

Michael “Killer Mike” Render spoke exclusively with Channel 2′s Karyn Greer on Channel 2 Action News at 6 p.m. about Wade’s life and his impact on Southern hip-hop.

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Wade and members of his collectives, Organized Noize, Outkast, and Goodie Mob, introduced the world to music that put the spotlight on Atlanta.

Render, also known as Killer Mike, is part of that iconic family and he remembers Wade as a giant in the music industry.

“He was the big brother that I needed. He was someone who challenged me, someone who encouraged me,” said Render.

Render was a bit choked up as he spoke about his friend, Wade.

Wade started creating beats with friends in the dungeon of his mother’s home, and while Render wasn’t there, he heard the stories.

“I didn’t have the courage to just pop up. But I knew guys in southwest Atlanta, whether it was Pretty Ken from the Attic Family, Sean Paul and J. Bo, you know, Pretty Ken, of course, was, you know, cousins with Sean Paul, but they’re affiliated you know, a new Cielo from the Goodie Mob seat was the first person from the Dungeon that really embraced me, you know what I mean? So, I knew those guys from afar, but I was a fan like everybody else,” said Render.

The Dungeon home is now owned by Atlanta artist Big Boy. The home is currently available for renting on Airbnb and says you can “Live like a Hip Hop Legend.

Crafting Atlanta’s hip hop sound through iconic collectives, Wade helped Killer Mike on his journey, even narrating his three-time Grammy Award-Winning album, Michael.

“I wanted to do the work...that made him proud enough to want to do that. And him coming to the studio. And he shares a birthday with my youngest son and pony. And having those two in the studio has given me that energy. It’s just something I’ll never forget. It’ll be a memory of heartbreak in my brain,” said Render.


Killer Mike said he is blessed to have known him and wants his friend to be remembered in the best way.

“He was the absolute best of us and he should be held that way. He should be thought about alongside the Dr. Dre’s and the Pharrell’s. He shouldn’t be talked about next to in terms of being an executive to the best of us...he should be talked about as we talk about the result of the founding of a huge camp. He was just the absolute best of us. And I’m blessed to have known him,” said Render.

Channel 2 Action News is waiting to hear back about arrangements for Wade.

He is survived by his mother, wife, and two sons.

The family is asking for privacy as they mourn his loss.

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