Prolific 90's SF Rap Musician Barry "Race" Smith To Be Honored At Memorial Tonight With Producer TC & Other Old Friends

Posted by Billyjam, September 9, 2017 11:27am | Post a Comment

If you are a fan of 11/5, U.D.I., Rappin' 4 Ray, JT the Bigga Figga, Dush Tray, I.M.P., Neva Legal, Totally Insane and other 1990's San Francisco Bay Area rap artists then you've already heard the work of prolific musician Barry "Race Smith who was a staple of that scene. The 57 year old San Francisco artist, who played bass and did background vocals on numerous tracks from that era, recently died and will be honored in a memorial service tonight at a studio in his San Francisco hometown. Among those in attendance will be longtime friend and musical collaborator, producer TC who worked together with Race on numerous projects.

“We worked together on everything from 11/5 to U.D.I. to Duce Tray. We did tracks for 51.50, Rappin’ 4 Tay, Andre Nickatina, Herm, Primo, Key-Lo, and the list goes on. It was a lot,” TC told the Amoeblog by phone. The producer added that, “He played bass and that’s what a lot of people think of him for but he also did vocals. He did the background singing thing too. He did a lot. He did the vocals on such tracks as Tay Da Tay's “Slangin’ Dope” and the vocals on U.D.I. “I Wanna Get High.”    

TC further noted that Race had died from cancer. “By the time he found out he had cancer it was already at stage four. So he goes to the doctor one day and had no idea and then finds out he has cancer," recalled TC. "And by that time when they found out he had cancer, it was at stage four. And that was about a year ago. So he lasted about a year. Me and him was talking here and there in between then. And he was still trying to continue to record and to do things. But at the end there that cancer just took over,” said the prolific producer of such acts as Rappin’ 4 Tay, UDI, 11/5, and RBL Posse.

Over the years TC said he has also seen many of his former rap/hip-hop friends fall victim to the life of the street. “In Race's case at least he passed on from personal health issues and it didn’t happen by gunfire. Unfortunately I’m so used to so many of my hip-hop, my rap friends who have passed from gunfire,” said the veteran SF producer. TC still clearly recalls New Year’s Day 1996. That was the day when 22 year old rapper Mr. Cee of Hunters Point pioneering San Francisco rap group RBL Posse, whom he worked with, was gunned down and killed in his own neighborhood. That tragedy had a significant impact on the local hip-hop scene at the time. It also put a sudden end to a blossoming rap career that had already taken off but was about to blow up on a major national level as it occurred not long after his group, who had risen to fame on the local In-A-Minute label, had signed a major deal with Atlantic Records.

While Race will be most remembered for his body of work associated with 1990's San Francisco rap TC noted how in more recent times, “He was doing work with Narada Michael Walden and he had some rock group he was performing with on the weekends although I never got a chance to go see him do that. And he was calling me about some stuff in the studio that he wanted me to help him out but unfortunately it never happened. I don’t know what he was working on that he wanted to get me in the studio to do but we never got to it.” As for TC's favorite memory of Race?  "Man just us hanging out and kicking it. It wasn’t even just about the music with Race. But been friends and hanging out. Like with 11/5, Race was just like another member of the group basically. And with the music, everybody’s friends and family were intertwined. Race  was like another brother.”   As for tonight’s memorial event that TC will be among those in attendance at, he said: “Its for everybody who’s got love for Race to come on through.”

Memorial for Barry "Race" Smith this evening, Saturday 6-9pm (9/9/17) at Lennon Rehearsal Studios at 468 9th St. San Francisco 94103 with guests to enter via the 271 Dore Street studio entrance.

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Barry "race" Smith (1), Tc (2), 11/5 (3), Udi (1), Dogday (2), Duce Tray (1), Tay Da Tay (1)