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Screen shot 2023 03 30 at 3 13 21 pm
Photo Credit: Bun B (Instagram)

Russell Washington, Founder of Houston's BigTyme Recordz, Has Died

Russell Washington, who founded BigTyme Recordz and discovered Houston acts UGK and DJ Screw, died earlier this week.

Houston artists are grieving the loss of BigTyme Recordz founder Russell Washington,who died earlier this week. (Washington's cause of death has not been revealed.) An influential record executive in Houston's local hip-hop scene in the '90s, Washington discovered acts UGK and DJ Screw. Via BigTyme Records, Washington released UGK's earlier projects, including Southern Way and Banned EPs. The group, comprised of Bun B and the late Pimp C, would go on to sign with Jive Records. Washington was given an Instagram tribute by Bun B on Thursday.

“Thank you Russell Washington for believing in 2 kids from Port Arthur with a dream to put their small town on the map,” Bun B wrote on Instagram. “We did that and way more than we ever could’ve imagined.

“Without you there would be no UGK as we know it and for that I’m eternally grateful. You and Pimp chill out up there until I see y’all again. UGK and Bigtyme for life!”

Fellow Southern rap group Three 6 Mafia gave their condolences in Bun B's comments section.  During his life, Washington would go on to sign Houston artists Point Blank, PSK-13 and Wreckless Klan to BigTyme Recordz. The record executive was acknowledged in 2022 DJ Screw biography, A Life in Slow Revolution, which released via the University of Texas Press.

Check out more tributes below.