Published Wed, June 22, 2022 at 1:00 PM EDT
Patrick Adams, the legendary producer, writer, arranger and engineer has died at age 72. Adams was a pioneer producer and engineer in disco, R&B and Hip-Hop who worked with everyone from Black Ivory and Musique to Hurby "Luv Bug" Azor and Eric B. & Rakim.
Born in New York City, Patrick Adams sang in choirs and frequented concerts at Harlem's legendary Apollo Theatre as a youth. In his teen years, Adams learned trumpet, guitar and songwriting, joining The Sparks by the time he was 16. At age 20, Adams became vice president of A&R for Perception Records where he signed the teenage singing trio Black Ivory. Adams would go on to produce dance classics such as "Touch Me" by Fonda Rae, "I'm Caught Up (In a One Night Love Affair)" by Inner Life and "(Push) In The Bush" by Musique. Adams also played a vital part in P&P Records with Peter Brown. In the early 1980s, Patrick played a pivotal role in some of Hip Hop's biggest recordings.
Patrick developed a friendship with Rakim and became a mentor to him.
- Tony Arfi of Power Play Studios
"I met Patrick around 1983 or so, and he had some health issues, so I let him basically live at Power Play," Tony Arfi owner of New York's legendary Power Play recording studios, tells Rock The Bells. "We were recording 'One For The Treble' by Davy DMX and lots of big rap records at the time and Patrick was exposed to them. One of the first groups that he worked with was Salt-N-Pepa on their first stuff."
Arfi says that Adams was assigned to engineer Eric B and Rakim's 1987 album Paid In Full which was recorded at Power Play.
"Patrick developed a friendship with Rakim and became a mentor to him. He encouraged him to stay on the right path and avoid the cursing and other things that were becoming popular with some rappers. It was Patrick who is responsible for that deep kick drum that you hear on Paid In Full."
Arifi goes on to explain a piece of the technical process of Patrick's sonic contribution to Paid In Full.
"Patrick sub harmonized the bass several octaves lower than it was, then he brought the pitch down and put it on a separate track," he said. "We thought that we were gonna blow people's speakers and everyone was trying to get that sound. Patrick was a great guy and one of the nicest human beings that you could meet. We would share technical information with other producers which was really rare, but he just wanted to help everyone. We lost a genius, there will never be another like Patrick."
"He was such an amazing person in so many ways," said Power Play engineer and legendary producer Doc Rodriguez. "We will miss him."