DJ Deeon, the dance music pioneer whose exuberant productions assisted popularise Chicago’s “ghetto house” type, has died aged 56.
An administrator for his Facebook webpage declared the information, confirmed by his press representative, who claimed Deeon experienced been “battling with on likely health and fitness issues and coronary heart complications. He passed peacefully in clinic with his household about him.”
The DJ and producer, born Deeon Boyd, set up himself in Chicago’s storied dwelling scene in the mid-1990s, releasing his debut EP Funk City in 1994. Cleaving to a rapidly, raw seem that moved the city’s household audio onward from its 80s heyday, and introducing catchy and amusingly lewd chants on major, he produced numerous tracks now regarded as portion of the household tunes canon.
The most effective was Freak Like Me – a mainstay of residence sets at any time because its 1996 release – but other folks including the disco-sampling 2 B Free of charge, and the ultra-insistent likes of Residence-O-Matic and The Freaks, are also regarded style classics. He explained his operate as escapist and sexually frank: “Get-freaky-with-a-stranger songs. Girls kissing ladies tunes. Pressure-reduction songs.”
New generations of producers effectively sampled and remixed his operate: Freak Like Me attained a 2nd existence by means of a Lee Walker remix that includes pop singers Katy B and MNEK in 2016, whilst Hi-Lo had a techno strike in 2022 by sampling 2 B Free, and that 12 months Boyd additional vocals to another common observe, Dance System’s Operate It. Daft Punk namechecked Boyd as an inspiration, in their track Lecturers.
In 2020, he launched a crowdfunding initiative to go over his professional medical expenses, and explained his longstanding health issues: “Years of sick training on health in my more youthful a long time led me to quadruple bypass heart surgical treatment, then struggling through cancer and chemotherapy, and then finally they took my leg. I cried like a little one. But I stored fighting, I said no to the wheelchair, so they gave me a prosthetic and I wore it every day since.” He also endured diabetes, and beginning in 2018, “multiple mini strokes in 12 months”.
His health and fitness problems continued – in June 2022 he wrote on Instagram: “In medical center, amputation, pneumonia, now ICU with heart infection” – but so did his creativity, and he unveiled new audio as recently as 27 May perhaps.
At the weekend, he posted a picture on Instagram from a medical center mattress, inquiring his followers: “Pray for me, be sure to.”
Tributes were compensated online, including from his peer on the Chicago scene DJ Slugo, who wrote: “30+ several years and so several damn memories … you will be missed but under no circumstances forgotten”.