The world lost one of the greats in music with the passing of Andre Harrel, who was the head of Uptown Records in the early 90s, and then later Motown Records. I sometimes find I can’t express the depths of what someone did or meant as articulately as others. So, I’m going to let someone who can.
Here’s Questlove on his Instagram on the passing of Andre Harrel:
Dude. #AndreHarrell man.
He gave you the best soundtracks of your life man and you didn’t even know it. We never gave him his flowers.
He redefined the party!
Def Jam was the artform.
Bad Boy was the attitude
Death Row was the muscle
But without even knowing it?
Uptown was ALWAYS the party.
I’m sitting here going through my crates STUNNED at the amount of six degree to Andre records I’ve spun weekly on a regular basis for the last 35 years yo.
The is a staggering loss.
We never gave Andre Harrell his flowers.
Name em: Al B Sure/Heavy D & The Boyz/Guy/. I mean mentoring Diddy alone brings in Jodeci/BIG/Mary J/Father MC/Christopher Williams—-and even in those names the success with THOSE artists come Missy/Timb/Neptune’s
But let’s not stop there: first time we really paid attention to Halle Berry was in a Harrell film called Strictly Business
Let’s throw “Candy Rain” in there or Lil Shawn’s “I Made Love”—-I may be dating myself but man Mgruff’s “Before We Start” got MUCH play round my way. Jeff Redd (who brought Blidge to the label) had a banger with “You Called And Told Me”—-“Touch It” from Monifah STILL bangs to this day. & back to Diddy, I’m absolutely w/o a doubt certain that he feels his success is also Harrell’s success so in a round about way there is no Bad Boy w/o Harrell. (Lemme also remember Daryl Chill Mitchell’s “Hip Hop’s Here To Stay” another classic uptown jawn. Horace Brown too….. Too Many Classics
Let’s not forget NY Undercover & all the clever music moments in each ep.
We never gave him his flowers. This isn’t even half of his achievements nor does this even bring to light the people’s lives he changed or his loved ones left behind.
He literally introduced a new sound to the world (the first new jack swing projects were on Uptown)—-wait hold that——his label changed music TWICE because hip hop soul’s music picked up where New Jack left off and on the same label. Such a short time to paradigm shift music TWICE!!!!!!!! Damn man.
We never gave him his flowers man.
We lost one of the great ones today. My condolences to the Harrel family and to all of those he touched.