The rap community is mourning the loss of a hip-hop pioneer as the seminal Southern rap crew Geto Boys’ original DJ and influential producer, Ready Red, passed away on Friday (Aug. 24), at his home in New Jersey. He was 53 years old.

News of the passing has been circulating on the internet and confirmed by Geto Boys member Willie D, who addressed the sad circumstances on Instagram.

“Bad news. DJ Ready Red died today of an apparent heart attack,” Willie started. “Red was the Geto Boys first DJ and producer. He gave us our sound. He was responsible for most of the production on the early stuff and all the production on my first album Controversy. To say that he was a pioneer would be an understatement. Red was before his time. There’s a lot of producers today that are eating off Red that don’t even know why their bellies are full. I just wanted to drop that on y’all real quick, let y’all know what was going on. And let you know that we lost a real one. DJ Ready Red, the musical enforcer. Rest in peace, homie.”

Born Collins Adams Leysath, Red was a prominent presence alongside Willie D, Scarface and Bushwick Bill, whom were the first iteration of the Geto Boys to put out an album. He appeared on the ground-breaking Houston group’s first three LPs 1988’s Making Trouble, 1989’s Grip It! On That Other Level and 1990’s The Geto Boys, on the DJ and production end of things. He later parted ways with the outfit due to monetary issues but maintained his status as a legendary Houston record spinner up until his death.

Check out Willie D’s announcement and what other people in the hip-hop community are saying about DJ Ready Red’s passing below.

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