Matt Dike — the rap producer known for his pioneering work with such acts as Beastie Boys, Tone-Lōc and Young MC — has died. An announcement from Delicious Vinyl — the label Dike co-founded — confirmed Dike passed away at his Los Angeles home after a brief illness. He was 55.
Born in West Nyack, NY, in 1962, Dike grew up in a family of strict Jehovah’s Witnesses, who banned records from such bands as Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath from being played in their home. However, a love of music led to him DJing parties in New York before moving to Los Angeles in 1980.
While DJing at L.A. club Rhythm Lounge in 1983, Dike met Mike Ross, with whom he’d go on to found Delicious Vinyl in 1987. The duo co-produced and released hip-hop hits of the era such as Tone-Lōc’s “Wild Thing” and “Funky Cold Medina,” as well as Young MC’s “Bust a Move.”
Dike also had a heavy hand in the creation of the Beastie Boys’ 1989 album Paul’s Boutique, much of which was recorded in his apartment. While the record was initially a commercial flop, it has since been held in high regard critically.
“The album was a complete and utter failure at the time,” Dike said in 2014. “It didn’t sell shit! But it got mind-blowing reviews, which I think is better for me in the long run.” Paul’s Boutique was the last major album to feature Dike’s production credit.
Dike left Delicious Vinyl in 1992, leaving sole ownership of the company to Ross. The label’s website notes that in recent years, Dike expressed surprise at the longevity his records have and was quoted as saying, “It’s mind-blowing. I just wanted to have as much fun as possible!”
Find reaction to Dike’s passing from industry figures and fans below.
Dog. This is crazy. So upset I never got to meet up/chat w #MattDike. Proprietor of @deliciousvinyl records. Creator of some of the most timeless fratty party hip hop ever (“Wild Thing” “Funky Cold Medina””Bust A Move”). Signing some stellar artists that were out of the norm at the time: #BrandNewHeavies #MellowManAce #ThePharcyde) but man, imo his crowning achievement was as one of the producers for one of THE greatest timeless hip hop albums ever #PaulsBoutique. It simply gets better with time (will be 30 years old in 2 years) it took 10 years to go double platinum and was considered a flop at the time of its release. But EVERY creative agrees that this album was not only @beastieboysofficial finest hour —but one of hip hop’s finest hours as well. It was my dream to nerd out and ask him (& the dust brothers too) about how they defied the laws of sampling gravity & made some of the most groundbreaking work ever. Rest In Beats.
RIP Matt Dike.
Thank you for Paul’s Boutique.
— LAMBOLAMBO (@LAMBOLAMBO) March 13, 2018
RIP Matt Dike. Delicious Vinyl! Paul’s Boutique!! Damn..
— Strip Mall Karate (@atrak) March 13, 2018
What a sad day, Craig Mack and Matt Dike too. RIP.https://t.co/e75rE3XoMq
— theherbaliser (@theherbaliser) March 13, 2018
Matt Dike!…Super visionary,ultra OG, one man tour-de-force! Changed the path of music w sheer will,brains and charm! He really brought it! RIP my good brother! Gonna miss you! https://t.co/m1m9Jacf8P
— money mark (@moneymark) March 13, 2018
This is incredibly sad. I can’t honestly think of an album that has influenced me more than Paul’s Boutique and its infinite rabbit hole of samples and grooves. https://t.co/GoO9tyZzsa
— THE BLACK MADONNA (@blackmadonnachi) March 14, 2018