As many of you have probably heard by now, the legendary DJ Rashad passed away this weekend. The Booms and Claps family and the electronic music/hip-hop communities are mourning the loss of a true pioneer. This loss has certainly hit quite hard, and the responses of tribute have been inspiring. DJ Rashad represented something for many of us that is almost indescribable; and to attempt to express the true significance of DJ Rashad and his music would be a disservice. What I will say is that I feel an indescribable emptiness that I have not previously felt when a musical hero passed.
The music DJ Rashad created was legendary, but even more than being legendary, it created a connection between people that might not previously have been connected. Not only did it fuse the hip-hop, dance, and electronic music communities, but footwork and the Teklife crew became something that people all over the world could appreciate and find common ground in. When DJ Rashad began working with the also legendary UK label Hyperdub Records, the US and UK bass scenes connected in just one more way. When I think of Rashad, I think of basically one thing: dope, underground music. His career brings a smile to my face, especially to think that he released music alongside other legends such Joker, Zomby, Rustie, and Burial. It saddens me to no end that his life and career have been cut short, but thankfully his music will live on and continue to inspire us. As a parting gift, DJ Rashad left us with one last release, an EP on Wheez-ie‘s label Southern Belle Recordings entitled “We on 1”. Stream it below. This one is definitely gonna be blaring out of my speakers on repeat for quite some time. Rest in peace.
A note from staffer Ben Carvalho:
The bond of a listener and a musician is a strange thing, and losing someone whose music has profoundly influenced us can be like losing a personal friend. When I first heard DJ Rashad’s productions I was sucked in by the playfulness and the emotional presence of his music. Something just jumped out of those staccato kicks that was really genuine. He’d often leave me with a wistful smile, bouncing and wishing I could properly dance to the magic coming out of the speakers. In person that genuine spirit was even more prevalent, he seemed to radiate positivity even as he assaulted the crowd with kicks and spinbacks. It takes someone special to touch so many lives and, whatever comes after this, you know that place is a bit brighter with his presence. My heart goes out to Rashad’s 9 year old son, his family and friends and the whole Teklife crew. Rest in peace, man, you’re sorely missed.
There will also be a DJ Rashad tribute Boiler Room event streamed live tomorrow at 10:00 AM PST at the following link: Boiler Room London