While Chicago’s juke and footwork culture has had many pioneers during its four decades of existence, it would be impossible to talk about it without mentioning the Godfather himself, DJ Deeon. Hailing from the Low End, one of the most fertile areas of the city for innovation, he and other residents of the since demolished string of housing projects on south State Street birthed a sound that would change the landscape of their city forever. Among his massive discography, timeless tracks such as Freak Like Me, Let Me Bang, and Work This M.F. have stayed in DJ’s crates for almost 30 years since their creation. Off of these classics alone, he would be cemented in dance music history forever, but since his first release in 1994, Deeon’s hustle hasn’t slowed down at all.
Continuing his legacy, he’s back with Destiny, four fresh new Chicago club monsters that mark his debut on the Teklife imprint. Combining classic kits with big pummeling synths and heavy FX treatments, these new tracks build a bridge between Deeon’s raw early ghetto house sound and a more modern pallet. While there’s still plenty of hard pounding 909 action, there’s strong detailing in the hats and micro percussion not unlike that found in footwork tracks. Somber string samples and morphing acid baselines sit under rowdy tom triplets, while party chants voiced by the man himself echo through the mix.
A longtime friend of the late DJ Rashad, Deeon dedicates this new EP to him and will be donating all the proceeds to his family. Even though the two were a generation apart, they both shared space on the legendary Dance Mania catalog in the 90s, and since meeting had always fed off each other’s energy, holding a great mutual respect for each other. While Deeon might be more known for the ghetto house & juke side of history, and Rashad for his great innovation among the footworkers, together they prove how intertwined the two sounds are, as both of them often worked within the grey area in-between them. In Deeon’s own words: “To Rashad. Much love and respect, thanks for the motivation. Missing you young bro.