Footwork Pioneer DJ Rashad Dies Aged 34

Tags: Chance the Rapper

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House music legend and footwork icon DJ Rashad – real name Rashad Harden – has been found dead on Chicago’s South Side. Harden’s body was found Saturday afternoon. According to the police, drugs and drug paraphernalia were found around the body. This has lead the police to believe that Harden’s death was caused by an overdose, according to Chicago Sun-TimesThe. An autopsy was performed today, but the results are yet to be released.

The tragic news came just days before the release of Harden’s new EP – “We On 1”. He was on the brink of a long awaited career breakthrough earlier this year. With a fifth album that was his best reviewed of his career behind him, he was scheduled to play club dates across the world.

Rashad, who lived in Calumet City, had been scheduled to perform Saturday night in Detroit with his friend and longtime collaborator DJ Spinn, who lives in Markham.

“It’s just a tragic loss of a great musical genius,” Spinn, whose real name is Morris Harper, said Saturday night before going onstage in Detroit.

Chance the Rapper also mourned Rashad’s death, tweeting on Saturday:  “Music lost a legend today. And he was my friend. Love you DJ Rashad. RIP.”

DJ Rashad’s was  known around Chicago as a pioneer of footwork – a fast-paced electronic genre, named for its quick and complex dance moves. The genre originated in Chicago and has been popular around the city for about a decade. Its distinctive sound features synths, fast driving beats and R&B samples to classic stepper’s movements and hip-hop dancing. It started out in high school gyms and neighborhood dances on the South Side and the West Sides. It has since crossed over into bigger stages an festivals and is slowly making its way into the mainstream.


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