This morning, Reggie Ossé aka Combat Jack tweeted to confirm that legendary hip-hop producer Larry Smith has passed away at the age of 63.
Just spoke to his family. RIP Larry Smith, the original King of Beats who passed away last night.
— Reggie Ossé (@Combat_Jack) December 19, 2014
As detailed in a Cuepoint profile from earlier this year written by Robbie Ettelson, The Triumphs and Tragedies of Larry Smith, the 63-year-old producer suffered a debilitating stroke in 2007 that left him paralyzed and unable to speak. Smith's rightly credited as instrumental in the beginnings of hip-hop's broader cultural breakthrough in the 1980s; he played bass on Kurtis Blow's "Christmas Rappin" and, along with Russell Simmons, co-produced Run-DMC's first two albums, 1984's self-titled debut and the following year's King of Rock. Watch the video for King of Rock's title track above.