Producer Chucky Thompson Dead at 53, Hip-Hop Reacts
The hip-hop and R&B communities are mourning the loss of legendary producer Carl "Chucky" Thompson.
On Monday (Aug. 9), Thompson’s publicist issued a statement to XXL, confirming the sad news that Thompson died at 53 years old.
"It is with a very heavy heart that I can confirm the passing of Chucky Thompson," the statement reads. "To anyone in his orbit, you know how generous he was with his energy, creativity and love. Both the music industry, and the world has lost a titan."
Although the cause of death has not been revealed nor confirmed, according to radio personality Donnie Simpson, Thompson's passing could be connected to complications related to COVID-19.
"I just got word that DC’s legendary music producer, Chucky Thompson has died from COVID complications. He produced everyone from Mary J. Blige, Biggie & Chuck Brown, to Kanye West, Raheem DeVaughn, Craig Mack and Puffy. He was a bad man & a good bro.
My deepest condolences
RIP🙏🏾," he tweeted.
Chucky Thompson was an architect of the hip-hop soul sound and a pivotal R&B producer in 1990s. As part of Diddy’s Hitmen crew, Bad Boy Records’ in-house production team, Thompson produced classic songs and albums for The Notorious B.I.G. (1994's “Big Poppa”), Faith Evans (1995’s Faith), Craig Mack (1994’s “Flava in Ya Ear ( Bad Boy Remix)") and Mary J. Blige (1994’s My Life). Thompson also produced classic tunes for Nas (2001’s “One Mic”), Usher (1994’s “Think of You”) and Ne-Yo (2015’s "Worth It"), among others.
A native of Washington, D.C., Thompson's production career started when he was enlisted to produce a song called "Be With You" for Mary J. Blige’s second album, My Life. The recording session went so well, he was called back to produce the entire LP.
"I give lots of thanks to Puff and Mary for even trusting me because it was a brand new situation," he told Grammy.com last month. "I didn't know Puff or Mary like that, but that one session for 'Be With You' allowed us to feel the energy. She came to me and Puff to ask if I'd like to do the full My Life album. Man, I wanted to do backflips when I heard her say that. It just lined up. Certain things are just life and God; that situation came from me being in the right place at the right time."
Last month, Thompson hopped on his IG account to announce what appears to be his involvement in Diddy's R&B musical project. Sharing an image with a date "9.24.21," the caption read, "Vol 1. Welcome to the LOVE era... @diddy ??."
Upon hearing the shocking news of Thompson's death, several rappers and producers went on social media to pay tribute to the beatmaker.
In an Instagram post, engineer Young Guru described Thompson as his "mentor" and "big brother."
"There is nothing I can write that will take away this pain. I have to say RIP to my mentor, my big brother, the man who changed my life forever," Guru wrote. "You were the kindest person the world has ever seen. You were the most gifted musician I have ever been around. You treated me like family from day one. You made a point to the labels that I had to fly to New York with you on every session. You put me in rooms with Biggie. I will forever be in your debt and I will forever be your little brother. This one hurts so bad I can’t even explain it. RIP @chucklife365 there will never be another you!!!! 💔💔💔💔💔."
Fellow beat impresario 9th Wonder said in his IG post that Thompson taught him everything on how to produce R&B.
"This man taught me how to produce R&B, just by listening to ONE album," he wrote in an Instagram post. "That album was @therealmaryjblige’s “My Life”. A GENIUS mind, and ahead of his time. Rest Well, Big Homie. Chucky Thompson"
On Twitter, rapper Wale, a DMV native, expressed his grief over the sad news of Thompson's death.
"This Chucky Thompson news hurt...," he tweeted.
Producer Buckwild also paid tribute to Thompson on his timeline as well. He wrote, "RIP Chucky Thompson it sounda awkward typing this great guy as well as musician."
See more reactions to the passing of legendary producer Chucky Thompson below.
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Check out a playlist featuring Chucky Thompson's classic songs that he produced below.