Axelrod, whose 1960s and 1970s jazz fusion records were rediscovered and sampled by hip hop artists including De La Soul, Dr. Dre, DJ Shadow and Swizz Beats, passed away on Sunday (05Feb17).
As a result of his influence on rap production, a number of famous musicians paid tribute to him after learning of his death.
The Roots musician Questlove wrote on Instagram, "So sad to hear about the passing of musician/composer #DavidAxelrod. He was so immersed in creativity and so pure with his arrangements he WAS hip hop."
Explaining how he had helped producers and composers of a younger generation he added, "David embraced and often reached out to producers and beatmakers for cool collabos (collaborations) he (sic) appreciation for music and his ability to recognize musicianship is what I'll take from him. Rest in Melody."
Californian rap group Cypress Hill posted a tribute on their Facebook page which read, "Legendary composer David Axelrod has died. Hip-Hop producers including Dr. Dre, DJ Premier, and Madlib helped make his music immortal."
DJ Shadow, who sampled Axelrod on his 1996 track Midnight In A Perfect World and also worked with him as part of trip hop collective Unkle, paid his own emotional tribute on Twitter.
"David could be incredibly intimidating, & he did not suffer fools...but if he liked & respected you, he was the most loyal friend on earth," he wrote.
"So honored to have known you David, you are a bonafide (sic) hero to an entire generation of hip-hop kids and musical dreamers. Miss you Axe!!!"
As well as creating his own experimental albums, Axelrod worked with stars including Lou Rawls, David MCCallum and Julian 'Cannonball' Adderley.
A collaboration with MCCallum, The Edge, is perhaps his most recognisable track, with its introduction used as a sample in Dr. Dre's 1999 hit The Next Episode.
Axelrod's cause of death had not been announced at the time of going to press.
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