Founding member of the Geto Boys, DJ Ready Red has passed away at the age of 53 after suffering from an apparent heart attack on Thursday (August 24).

“Bad news,” revealed Geto Boy Willie D in an Instagram video. “DJ Ready Red died today of an apparent heart attack. Red was the Geto Boys’ first DJ and producer. He gave us our sound. He was responsible for most of the production on the early stuff and all of the production on my first album Controversy.”

“To say he was a pioneer would be an understatement,” he adds. “Red was before his time. There’s a lot of producers today that are eating off of Red and don’t even know why their bellies are full.”

It was in the late 1980s that the Geto Boys first took root in their hometown of Houston, becoming an integral part of the success of Rap-A-Lot Records. Ready Red was responsible for producing the group’s first three albums: 1988’s Making Trouble, 1989’s Grip It! On That Other Level, and 1990’s official debut The Geto Boys.

In recent years, Red has been noticeable absent from Geto Boys reunions, and it was in 2013 that he explained the reason for his exit on the Murder Master Music Show.

“In the beginning, we all got paid evenly split four ways,” he explained. “When I came back, I was offered to do shows for like $100-$200. I was thinking, ‘Y’all must be crazy because I started this thing, and y’all are trying to do me like that,’ because I would never do y’all like that. I left because I got tired of the B.S. that was going o […] I have no regrets all these years later because I see that nothing has been accomplished. [J. Prince] still has all the money. Everybody has been through something dealing with this record company and nobody has anything. I’m glad I got out.”