Footwork icon DJ Rashad has died.
The news, according to veteran DJ Godfather, has been confirmed by people close to Rashad. Members of Teklife, Rashad’s crew, are already paying tribute.
One of the most important musicians in Chicago’s footwork scene, Rashad Harden – along with his regular DJing partner, Spinn – became a breakout star when footwork went global. He’s released several albums in his career, most recently last year’s Double Cup on Hyperdub, and countless tracks.
A Toronto promoter (Rashad was due to play the city last night) is now also reporting confirmation of the news, while DJ Spinn has re-tweeted a photo of Rashad tagged with an ‘R.I.P.’ message, so, tragically, this seems to be the real deal.
Update: J-Cush, whose Lit City label released Rashad’s Welcome to the Chi album and who managed Rashad, has tweeted to say “I lost my best friend today. Love you bro. I can’t even breathe. I’ll remember you forever.”
Update 28/3: The Chicago Tribune reports that Rashad’s body was discovered by a friend in a Chiacago apartment, and that he was pronounced dead at 1.50pm. Police have stated that he died of a suspected drug overdose.
Update 28/4: An autopsy has proved inconclusive, reports The Chicago Sun-Times. Toxicology studies are being conducted to determine how Rashad died. Chicago Police said that drugs and drug paraphernalia were found nearby. There were no visible signs of injury, police said.
Update 1/5: We’ve removed this update while we wait for an “official, fact-checked” statement from Hyperdub.
Last year’s ‘Let It Go’ was #2 on FACT’s 100 best tracks of 2013. We’ve embedded it below, along with a selection of classics from the Rashad vaults and his 2010 FACT mix with Spinn.