DJ Rashad

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DJ Rashad
DJ Rashad performing in Moscow in 2013
DJ Rashad performing in Moscow in 2013
Background information
Birth nameRashad Hanif Harden
Born(1979-10-09)October 9, 1979
Hammond, Indiana, U.S.
DiedApril 26, 2014(2014-04-26) (aged 34)
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
  • Musician
  • DJ
Years active1998–2014[1]
  • Teklife
  • Juke Trax
  • Ghettophiles
  • Lit City Trax
  • Planet Mu

Rashad Harden (October 9, 1979 – April 26, 2014), known as DJ Rashad, was a Chicago-based electronic musician, producer and DJ known as a pioneer in the footwork genre[2] and founder of the Teklife crew.[3] He released his debut studio album Double Cup on Hyperdub in 2013 to critical praise. He died in April 2014 from a drug overdose.[4]



Born in Hammond, Indiana on October 1, 1979, Rashad Hanif Harden was the son of Gloria and Anthony Harden.[5][6] He grew up on 159th Street in the southern part of Calumet City, a suburb of Chicago.[7][8] He developed an early interest in music and began to DJ in his early teens, influenced by house and juke.[9] In high school, Harden gained further DJ experience at the Kennedy-King College radio station WKKC.[10] He also became a member of local dance troupes, including the HouseOMatics, The Phyrm, and Wolf Pac. In 1992 he made his first public appearance as a DJ at his high school dance party jubilation.[11]

While attending Thornwood High School, Harden met Morris Harper (aka DJ Spinn) during homeroom class. The two began to spend time at each other's houses producing tracks and performing at parties.[11] Harden was one of the founders of the Teklife crew and developed the footwork style around dance battles in the Chicago metropolitan area.[10] His first recording released to vinyl was the track "Child Abuse" on Dance Mania in 1998.[5] He gained further global attention after releasing his single "Itz Not Rite" on Planet Mu and being included on their Bangs and Works album in 2010.[5]

In 2013, Harden released the EPs I Don't Give a Fuck and Rollin' on Kode9's Hyperdub label. These were followed by the debut full-length album Double Cup (2013), which featured collaborations with DJ Spinn, Taso, DJ Phil, Manny, Earl and Addison Groove.[5] He was one of the performers at the Pitchfork Music Festival in Chicago in 2013 and completed support-slot on the tour of Chance the Rapper in December 2013.[12] His last performance as a DJ was at Club Vinyl in Denver, CO on April 24, 2014.[5]


On Saturday, April 26, 2014, Harden was found dead at an apartment on West 21st Street, Chicago.[12][13] An autopsy confirmed that the death was drug related, with heroin, cocaine and alprazolam (Xanax) being found in Rashad's system.[14]

A variety of artists paid tribute to Rashad, with Vice writing that "Rashad will undoubtedly be remembered as one of contemporary dance music's most innovative stylists and most irreplaceable presences."[15] On June 29, 2015, Hyperdub released the 6613 EP, a four-track EP of previously unheard tracks by DJ Rashad. Afterlife was Harden's last album. It featured previously unreleased songs in collaboration with other members of the Teklife crew. It was released on April 8, 2016, as the first release of the new Teklife Records label.[16]



  • Juke Trax Online Vol. 3 (2006)
  • Something 2 Dance 2 (2008)
  • Just a Taste Vol. One (2011)
  • Teklife Volume 1 – Welcome to the Chi (2012)
  • Double Cup (2013)
  • Afterlife (2016)

Singles and EPs[edit]

  • 2004: "Girl Bust Down" (with DJ Spinn; Juke Trax)
  • 2004: The White Tees EP (with DJ TY; Juke Trax)
  • 2007: "Jukestacy" (Juke Trax Online)
  • 2007: "Send It Up" (Juke Trax Online)
  • 2007: "Get It Shorty" (Juke Trax Online)
  • 2008: "We Break It Down" (with DJ Chi Boogie; Juke Trax Online)
  • 2008: "You Know What It Is" (Juke Trax Online)
  • 2008: Juke Trax Online Vol. 13 (Juke Trax Online)
  • 2008: "Imma Do Me" (Juke Trax Online)
  • 2008: "Freakin Me on the Flo" (Juke Trax Online)
  • 2008: "Tek-9" (Databass Online)
  • 2010: "Grace" (Ghettophiles)
  • 2010: "4 the Ghetto" (with DJ Spinn; Ghettophiles)
  • 2010: "Itz Not Rite" (Planet Mu)
  • 2011: "Meet Tshetsha Boys" (with DJ Spinn and RP Boo; Honest Jon's Records)
  • 2013: I Don't Give a Fuck (Hyperdub)
  • 2013: "Its Wack" (Grand Theft Auto V)
  • 2013: Rollin' (Hyperdub)
  • 2014: "We on 1" (Southern Belle Recordings)
  • 2014: "Don't This Ish" (with Alix Perez and DJ Spinn, Exit Records/Mixmag)
  • 2014: "Make It Worth" (with Alix Perez and DJ Spinn, Exit Records)
  • 2015: "6613" (Hyperdub)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Hyperdub release statement on the death of DJ Rashad". FACT Magazine. April 28, 2014. Retrieved April 28, 2014.
  2. ^ "BBC item" Entertainment Newsdesk, 'Chicago's DJ Rashad found dead', BBC News, April 27, 2014
  4. ^ "DJ Rashad cause of death: Autopsy reveals musician died after drug". The Independent. August 8, 2014.
  5. ^ a b c d e "Pitchfork news" Amy Phillips and Evan Minsker, "DJ Rashad Autopsy Inconclusive', Pitchfork Media, April 28, 2014
  6. ^ "Passings: Michael Heisley, DJ Rashad". Los Angeles Times. April 28, 2014. Retrieved April 28, 2014.
  7. ^ Greg Kot (April 27, 2014). "DJ Rashad dead; dance music innovator Rashad dead at 34". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved April 27, 2014.
  8. ^ "Q&A with DJ Rashad". March 27, 2014.
  9. ^ "Autopsy: DJ Rashad, music innovator, died of accidental drug overdose". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved May 3, 2017.
  10. ^ a b Schlikerman, Becky; Guatino, Mark; Wall, Brandon (April 26, 2014). "House music, footwork icon DJ Rashad found dead on South Side". Chicago Sun-Times. Archived from the original on April 29, 2014.
  11. ^ a b "Billboard – incl. official statement" Harley Brown, 'DJ Rashad Dead at 34 (Update)', Billboard, April 28, 2014.
  12. ^ a b "Chicago Tribune Newsreport" Archived April 27, 2014, at the Wayback Machine Ernest Wilkins and Carlos Sadovi, 'Chicago juke pioneer DJ Rashad reportedly dead' Chicago Tribune, April 26, 2014
  13. ^ "DJ Rashad has died". FACT Magazine. April 27, 2014. Retrieved April 27, 2014.
  14. ^ Gordon, Jeremy (August 7, 2014). "DJ Rashad Died of Drug Overdose, Autopsy Confirms". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved August 8, 2014.
  15. ^ Kramer, Kyle. "DJ Rashad Has Died". Noisey. Retrieved May 3, 2017.
  16. ^ Records, TEKLIFE. "TEKLIFE001 : AFTERLIFE - RIP DJ RASHAD". Retrieved March 29, 2016.

External links[edit]