DJ Ready Red, founding member of the Geto Boys, died at his home in New Jersey Friday (Aug. 24), from an apparent heart attack. The former DJ and producer was 53.
As Hip-Hop DX reports, fellow Get0 Boys member Willie D posted an Instagram video to announce the passing of his former group member.
“DJ Ready Red died today of an apparent heart attack,” Willie D says in the recording. “Red was the Geto Boys' first DJ and producer, he gave us our sound."
He goes on to note that Red, a.k.a. the "Musical Enforcer," was responsible for "most of the production" of the Geto Boys' early work, as well as Willie D's first solo album.
“To say that he was a pioneer would be an understatement,” he continued. “Red was before his time. There’s a lot of producers today that are eating off of Red and don’t even know why their bellies are full.”
The Trenton, N.J. native -- whose birth name was Collins Leysath -- discovered a passion for deejaying in the late 1970s and worked as a DJ for years, before transitioning into production. In 1987, Red moved to Houston for what was initially supposed to be a two-week trip to visit his sister. He ended up signing a deal with J. Prince’s Rap-A-Lot Records imprint. The “Ghetto Boys” (also on the Rap-A-Lot roster) added Red, Prince Johnny C, and Bushwick Bill to the group after the departure of original members Raheem and Sir Rap-A-Lot. The group split up after their first album and were rebranded as the “Geto Boys,” along with members Scarface, Willie D and Bushwick. The Geto Boys scored their biggest hit with “Mind Playing Tricks on Me,” off the 1991 LP, We Can’t Be Stopped.
See tributes to DJ Ready Red below.