“I’ve had a wild ride of a career, from the the Dance Mania days to being name checked in a Daft Punk record,” DJ Deeon says, “but now I need some help.”
The Chicago ghetto house legend has launched a crowdsourcing campaign in recovery after a series of strokes.
In 2002, Deeon told 5 Mag in a cover story, he was diagnosed with fourth stage Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. “After a year of chemotherapy, I beat that,” he told Rees Urban. Later he was diagnosed with heart disease and a recurrence of lymphoma which resulted in quadruple bypass heart surgery.
And that was a few years ago, and it’s just scratching the surface of what this guy has gone through. More recently he had what he described as a “mini stroke” in September 2019 and another in November.
Deeon is one of the most amazing figures in Chicago house (and no longer unsung, that’s for sure.) He began spinning records at the notorious “Fort,” Chicago’s El Rukn temple named after Chicago gangster Jeff Fort.
“Members of all different gangs would come and just have a good time,” he told 5 Mag. “Everyone was there to party. It got so big that they had to tear out a few walls to make more room for the crowd.”
Help raise funds for DJ Deeon https://t.co/FP9v3PJK7h
— 5 Magazine [5mag.net] (@5Magazine) July 28, 2020
Using an 808, a 606 and a sampler, Deeon made what he called “minimal ghetto beat tracks” and record them to cassette, while selling mixtapes at parties. “But eventually the Feds shut that down, so back to the streets I went. From there I sold tapes under my building and eventually to the Chinese clothing stores. That’s how it started for me.”
Deeon released some of the most choice records to appear on the legendary Dance Mania label, including “Work This MF” and “Let Me Bang.” His music has been repeatedly rediscovered by successive generations of electronic music artists attracted by a brilliant musical mind that has created some of dance music’s most devastating dancefloor records. He’s recently collaborated in one form or another with Wehbba on Drumcode’s “We Have Bass,” remixes for Nina Kraviz and Parris Mitchell and Riva Starr on Snatch! Records and “Jerkin’ Houz” remixed by Catz ‘N Dogz on Unknown to the Unknown.
Deeon isn’t asking for a handout. “I’m not a money for nothing guy,” he says. “I’m not one to ask for help – it doesn’t sit comfortably with me – and I believe you should never get something for nothing so here I am offering to you what I can.” £25 or more (about $32) gets you a shirt or cap with his logo or image and “0 Fuks Given” emblazoned on it and for £100 “anything you see you get” from his bandcamp page.
Photo via Crowdfunder.