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Chucky Thompson (1968–2021), acclaimed hip hop and R&B producer

by Linnea Crowther

Chucky Thompson was a hip-hop and R&B producer who worked with artists including the Notorious B.I.G. and Mary J. Blige.

Hip hop and R&B classics

Thompson was a musician before he became a producer, playing keyboards and touring with Chuck Brown and his go-go band in the 1980s. He went on to produce and co-produce some of the great hip hop and R&B classics of the 1990s and beyond. His early projects for Bay Boy Records included “Big Poppa” from the Notorious B.I.G.’s 1994 debut “Ready to Die,” Mary J. Blige’s Grammy-nominated album “My Life,” and Faith Evans’ 1995 debut album, “Faith.” Thompson also worked with other artists including Ice Cube, Mariah Carey, Nas, Busta Rhymes, and TLC, sometimes co-producing with Sean Combs. In later years, Thompson composed the music for a History Channel documentary on the Tuskegee Airmen of World War II, and he was working on a documentary about go-go music.

Thompson‘s advice to young producers

“To all of the new producers or guys that’s thinking about getting into this game, keep it as musical as possible for the next generation. I’m a fan of everything, I just don’t like too much of the saturated stuff. Remember the rules of hip hop, no biting! *Laughs* Just step out on your own and don’t be scared to just do something different.” —from a 2011 interview for You Know I Got Soul

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Tributes to Chucky Thompson

Full obituary: The Washington Post

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