An official statement has been released on the death of rising footwork producer DJ Rashad. According to his publicist, Rashad — born Rashad Hanif Harden — died on Chicago’s Lower West Side at around 1:30 p.m. last Saturday afternoon. While the Chicago Sun-Times quoted police as saying a drug overdose is suspected, the cause of death has not yet been determined. Rashad was 34. He’s survived by his 9-year-old son Chad and his parents, Gloria and Anthony Harden.
“Since he was a kid, he’s been doing this,” Rashad’s father told the Sun-Times on Saturday. “He knew what he wanted to do, and a lot of us don’t get a chance to make our dream come true.”
“I was honored to release music from Rashad on Hyperdub,” Kode9 wrote in a separate statement. “I’ve only known him for around three years, but he had become a good friend and one of my biggest musical influences. He was one of the funniest, most positive people I’ve ever met and a true innovator. Everyone at the label is devastated by his passing and wish to send our sincere condolences to all his friends and family in Chicago, the Teklife crew and anyone anywhere who was graced by his presence and uplifted by his music. I’ll never forget singing duet with him in a karaoke bar in Tokyo.”
“Rashad was a kind soul that left an indelible mark on the music world as the torchbearer of footwork and juke,” added his manager, Wes Harden. “Rest assured that all of those close to him will make sure that the legacy lives on for a great man whose life has been cut far too short.”
Rashad’s final performance was at Denver’s Vinyl Club last Thursday. His We On 1 EP hits shops today through Southern Belle; collaborations with Gant-Man, DJ Earl and DJ Taye are also expected on the tenth anniversary compilation Hyperdub is releasing on May 20. Stream a sampler of Rashad’s recent music below…