Hip Hop architect Rico Wade has been posthumously recognized for his legacy and contributions to the city of Atlanta with the presentation of the Phoenix Award, the city’s highest honor, and a day named in his memory.

The prestigious distinctions were presented before his friends and family by Mayor Andre Dickens and Councilwoman Marci Overstreet at a celebration of life service held on Friday (April 26). The ceremony was attended by his longtime collaborators like Daz Dillinger, André 3000 and Big Boi.

Ahead of the service, Dickens noted that Wade “led in the creation of a Hip Hop sound that has spanned decades and genres. Without Rico Wade, the world may have never experienced the Dungeon Family, Outkast, Goodie Mob, Future and many more. Rico left an indelible mark on music and culture around the world, and for that, the South will always have something to say.”

The Organized Noize co-founder passed away on April 13 at the age of 52. Wade was a pioneer of the South’s rap scene, having played a major role in building and shaping the region’s funk-infused signature. He worked with some of music’s biggest stars, including Killer Mike, TLC, Ludacris and Usher, to name a few. The Hip Hop titan was also a pivotal contributor to Outkast’s acclaimed albums Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik, ATLiens, Aquemini and Stankonia.

The songwriter-producer was also known for being a member of Dungeon Family, the collective that boasted talents such as Future, CeeLo Green, Big Gipp and Sleepy Brown, among several others. In their official statement, Dungeon Family shared that the loss was devastating. “The world has lost one of the most innovative architects in music, and we have lost an invaluable friend. Rico was the cornerstone of Organized Noize and the Dungeon Family, and we will forever treasure his memory and the moments we shared, creating music as a united team," said the collective.

The regal send-off included musical selections of Wade's hit records, such as "Waterfalls" and “Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik,” by the Clark Atlanta University band, and a horse-drawn carriage that led a procession from the historical Ebenezer Baptist Church through downtown to Headland and Delowe Drives, an area symbolic of where Outkast auditioned for him more than three decades prior.