DJ E-Z Rock has died at age 46.
Born Rodney Bryce, the old-school hip-hop DJ helped bring rap into the mainstream with his timeless 1988 classic "It Takes Two" with rapper Rob Base. The hit, and its follow-up "Joy and Pain," helped make their debut album, also called "It Takes Two," go seven-times platinum.
In a 2012 interview in Toronto, Rob Base explained how the Harlem duo, who had been friends since the 4th grade, re-shaped hip-hop.
"Well, I know definitely I was one of the first artists to do the hip-hop and R&B thing. When we did it, I just wanted to do something different. I didn't want to do the same thing that the other groups were doing at the time. So we just did it that way and I really didn't care what people said. There were a few groups that were saying, “Oh, you're selling out. You're this, you’re that.” And I look at them now and they can't even get one show — so hey, what the heck, I’m happy."
"Me myself, I was a street rapper in the beginning," he added. "I used to do more of the hardcore thing. But then when I started doing records, the label that I was dealing with [Profile Records], they really didn't want the hardcore stuff so we just tried to smooth it out. The people from the streets, they know where I come from and they know what I do, so that's how I keep the love right there."
As for their song's enduring success, even Base didn't have the answer. "I can't even tell you, to be honest. All I know is it’s a club banger. You throw it on in a party, everybody dances. That’s all I can say."
Bryce died on Sunday, but the cause of death has yet to be announced.
this is sad. ROB BASE just posted this on his page. Apparently DJ EZ ROCK passed away. pic.twitter.com/VDlpTRzn47— R.A. the Rugged Man (@RAtheRuggedMan) April 27, 2014
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