Known for his bass work on the early hits released on the Def Jam label, Larry Smith has worn several hats within the industry. Learning to play bass by listening to James Brown, Smith began as a musician-for-hire in the nightclubs and bars of Brooklyn. After touring with a Brooklyn blues musician he then spent time as the bass player for Brighter Side of Darkness who had brief success with 1972's Love Jones. He also worked in the theatre as the musical director for the play Your Arm's Too Short To Box With God and the musical Indigo.
But it was not until he teamed up with Kurtis Blow that Smith was able to achieve any level of real success. The association with Blow, which included a brief stint in the rap/r&b group Orange Crush, led to Smith's friendship with Def Jam founder Russell Simmons. Smith began producing and playing bass on Def Jam releases, among them Run D.M.C's critically and commercially successful first two albums, an the success of Run D.M.C has since allowed Smith the opportunity to produce other acts such as George Benson, Joan Jett and Terminator X.