Rodney Bryce, better known as DJ E-Z Rock, passed away on Sunday of as-yet unknown causes. He was 46 years old.
As a DJ and producer, Bryce’s biggest moment came in 1988 with the release of “It Takes Two,” a crossover smash crafted with friend and collaborator Rob Base. The pair’s debut single, which found its way to number 36 on the Billboard Hot 100 during an era when that was rare for rap tracks, drew its signature “Yeah! Woo!” sample from Lyn Collins’ song “Think (About It).”
The song helped launch the pair and sent their debut album It Takes Two to platinum status. “It Takes Two” has subsequently been sampled by the likes of Snoop Dogg, the Black Eyed Peas, Chris Brown, Girl Talk, and DJ Jazzy Jeff & the Fresh Prince.
Bryce grew up in Harlem alongside Base, who announced his cohort’s passing on his Facebook page. “RIP Skip (DJ EZ Rock) friends since 4th grade, I’m really going to miss you,” Base wrote.
Though DJ E-Z Rock’s reign at the top wasn’t long, he left an indelible imprint on hip-hop, and hordes of luminaries paid tribute to him when news of his passing broke, including contemporary Biz Markie, radio legend Funkmaster Flex, and producer DJ Clark Kent.