Chicago footwork pioneer DJ Rashad has died. He was 34.
Born Rashad Hanif Harden in Hammond, Indiana, DJ Rashad co-founded the Teklife crew and rose to prominence in the footwork and juke scenes, pushing his 160-BPM tracks farther than most of his contemporaries. Tracks like “I Don’t Give A Fuck” were widely hailed by dance and non-dance fans alike, and last fall he and DJ Spinn toured the United States opening for Chance The Rapper.
Rashad’s genre-hopping sound made him an innovator in the scene and helped bring footwork to the masses. He made EPs and albums for Planet Mu, Hyperdub, Honest Jon’s, and Lit City Trax, widening the reach of a movement that had previously only been about YouTube clips of Chicago residents wilding out.
Rashad’s new EP, We On 1, came out today on Southern Belle Recordings. Other collaborations he had recently made will be featured on the Hyperdub 10th anniversary album due out May 20.