Along with partner and friend Robert “Rob Base” Ginyard, Rodney “DJ E-Z Rock” Bryce also known as “Skip”, helped to define the pioneering hip hop sound.
While the method is common today, the Harlem, New York duo were one of the first to blend R&B and Pop elements into their unique brand of Hip hop. The world dance gleefully along as the duo crafted “It Takes Two” making it one of the best hip hop songs in history. DJ EZ Rock departed this life on April 27, 2014 at the age of 46.
Although the cause of his passing is currently unknown, one sure thing is that there is a wider void in Hip hop; as yet another pioneer is laid to rest.
After scoring a recording contract with Profile Records in 1987 the duo‘s first single "It Takes Two” exploded onto the scene. With iconic samples from the 1972 James Brown produced Lyn Collins classic "Think (About It),” The Teddy Riley produced track became a regional hit, eventually gaining multi-platinum status. The song also peaked at #3 on the Hot Dance Music/Club Play chart.
Their album also titled It Takes Two, was then assembled and produced two follow-up hits, "Joy and Pain," and Get on the Dance Floor” which brilliantly sampled “Joy and Pain” by Maze featuring Frankie Beverly, hit the Top 10 on the Dance chart and #38 on the Hot 100. "Get on the Dance Floor,” which sampled the Jacksons’ 1978 hit, “Shake Your Body”, hit #1 on the Hot Dance Music/Club Play chart. Eventually, the It Takes Two album went seven times platinum.
There were two albums that followed, 1989’s the Incredible Base, and 1994’s Break of Dawn but neither album matched the acclaim of It Takes Two.
Countless hip-hop artists sent heartfelt condolences to the fallen pioneer on social media, including his partner, and friend since fifth grade, Rob Base. Via Instagram, Base affectionally wrote, "R.I.Power DJ EZ Rock. Team Fearless Salute."