Chucky Thompson, a Grammy-nominated producer who contributed to the sound of Bad Boy Records, died yesterday (Aug. 9). He was 53 years old. A cause of death was not disclosed.
Carl E. Thompson was a key member of The Hitmen, Bad Boy's in-house production team that finessed records for the label's incredible talent. Thompson's credits include "Big Poppa" and "One More Chance" off The Notorious B.I.G.'s landmark debut Ready to Die, as well as songs off Faith Evans' debut Faith, including the hit single "Soon As I Get Home."
Alongside Bad Boy founder Sean "Puffy" Combs, Thompson was also the primary producer of Mary J. Blige's sophomore album My Life (1994), which garnered a Grammy nomination for Best R&B Album. Thompson also co-wrote and co-produced Nas' fan-favorite "One Mic" in 2002.
The Washington, D.C. native was beloved for his multi-instrumental skills, something he honed under the tutelage of legendary bandleader Chuck Brown, who popularized go-go music in the region. Thompson was at one point a member of Brown's Soul Searchers; their instrumental "Ashley's Roachclip" remains a cornerstone of hip-hop sampling. Thompson's last Instagram post was a boost of Combs' forthcoming album Love, though it's unclear if he worked on the album.
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Combs and Blige joined the hip-hop community in paying tribute to Thompson yesterday. The Bad Boy founder called him "one of the greatest humans that I’ve ever met. He always kept you laughing, always kept you smiling and he always let you know that he loved you." Blige, meanwhile, remembered her producer as "a musical match made in heaven. He knew everything I was feeling personally and when we worked on the My Life and Mary albums. He was an angel sent to help me weather my storm."