Round-the-way rapper DJ E-Z Rock (pictured), whose 1988 monster hit “It Takes Two” that he collaborated with hip-hop pioneer Rob Base (pictured below left) on, reportedly passed away on Sunday at the age 46 from undisclosed causes, according to Rolling Stone.
DJ E-Z Rock, whose actual name was Rodney Bryce, grew up in Harlem, N.Y., and always had aspirations to become a successful rapper. Base and Rock, who were friends since the 4th grade, decided to try their hand at the rap game together, so in 1986, the pair released their first single, “DJ Interview,” which didn’t wow the hip-hop masses.
Two years later, however, Rock and Base collaborated with recording producer Teddy Riley. The trio struck platinum history when Rock and Base rapped and sampled music from the Lyn Collins‘ 1972 hit “Think (About It)” for “It Takes Two.” The musical collaboration between the men and the song pick resulted in an iconic sound that quickly shot up the charts and has remained a hip-hop culture staple to this very day.
Listen to “It Takes Two” here:
The dynamic duo also pumped out a few other hit singles that have remained requested favorites throughout the years: “Joy and Pain” and “Get on the Dance Floor.”
Listen to “Joy and Pain” here:
After making a splash on the hip-hop scene as a duo, the men temporarily parted to pursue individual projects but would reunite in 1994 for Base’s “Break of Dawn” album.
Rock’s untimely death has sent the hip-hop community into a tailspin as many artists took to social media to pay their respects such as rapper Biz Markie who tweeted:
“R.I.P. TO EZ ROCK FROM ROB BASE AND EZ ROCK YOU WILL TRULY BE MISSED.”
Famed radio personality and club mixmaster extraordinaire DJ Red Alert tweeted:
“We Have Lost Our Very Own From Harlem NYC & The Hip-Hop Culture Our Brother DJ E-Z Rock. Rest In Peace….
Base took to his Instagram site and posted a picture of Rock with a border that reads:
‘R.I.Power DJ EZ Rock TeamFearless Salute.’
In addition to:
R.I.P Skip (DJ E-Z Rock) my friend. My brother.