Hip-Hop and R&B fans have been shocked and saddened to learn of the passing of Charles "Chucky" Thompson. A native of Washington D.C. who cut his teeth with the legendary Chuck Brown, the hitmaker who made a name for himself as one of Sean "Puffy" Combs's Hitmen was behind some of the greatest songs of the 90s and 2000s.
Thompson's brand of soul, bass-heavy grooves made him one of the most in-demand producers of his era. His hits for Faith Evans, the Notorious B.I.G., Busta Rhymes and the inimitable Mary J. Blige cemented his legacy and solidified his storied reputation. In remembrance to the man, we picked five of our favorite productions from Chucky Thompson.
Think Of You - Usher
Usher's debut album is one of the 1990s lesser-heralded treasures. The still-teenaged R&B star landed with producers like DeVante Swing and Chucky Thompson, who crafted this slow-burning banger of a single.
I'm Goin Down - Mary J. Blige
MJB's My Life album might be the crown jewel of, not only The Hitmen's legacy, but 90s R&B overall. Either way, it's definitely an amazing showing from Thompson, who helped evoke the sound of classic soul with this stellar Rose Royce cover.
One Mic - Nas
In the late 1990s/early 2000s, Nasir Jones had a career that looked directionless. But in 2001, the Queensbridge legend released Stillmatic, charting the course for one of rap's greatest second acts. And the album's manifesto was this Chucky Thompson-produced anthem.
You Used To Love Me - Faith
Faith Evans was ready to break out as the first R&B star of Bad Boy Records, and with this Chucky Thompson single, the Jersey native just that. Another great example of how Thompson could effectively channel classic soulfulness with Hip-Hop edge.
Big Poppa - Notorious B.I.G.
An anthem of the highest order and one of the greatest rap tracks of all time. Thompson brilliantly laced Biggie Smalls with a "Between The Sheets" sample and the rest is Hip-Hop history.