Chicago DJ and producer Rodney Bakerr (real name Rodney Baker) has passed away.
The house music veteran suffered a heart attack last week. Baker, who stylized his stage name by adding the extra “R,” was well-known as a pioneer of the house scene credited for being the first producer to add live guitar and other instruments into the studio mixes of his acid house tracks.
Baker also incorporated the instrumentals, including live guitar and percussion, into his performances. He was additionally hired by Roland to write the first original house music patterns for the brand’s iconic TR series drum machines, including the TR-808 and TR-909.
News of Baker’s passing came in a June 1st tribute piece by Terry Matthew for 5 Magazine. The article included an interview with Tyree Cooper.
“When I met Rodney, he seemed like a guy who knew what young Black men were listening to on the Southside of Chicago at those house parties,” Cooper said in the interview. “When he said that he had heard of me and wanted a track from me, you can imagine how geeked I was all because he said that he loved my production.”
Rodney Bakerr founded Rockin’ House Records in 1986. The highly selective imprint only released an average of one record per year for three decades. 2007’s Diamonds & Luxury album was perhaps Baker’s most successful, and it is still considered a highlight of Rockin’ House Records’ catalogue.