Ghetto house icon DJ Deeon has died

The Dance Mania and Teklife “Godfather of ghetto house” died on Tuesday in hospital in Chicago

DJ Deeon

DJ Deeon

Ghetto house icon DJ Deeon, real name Deeon Boyd, has died.

The producer, DJ and label owner sadly “gained his wings”, earlier today (Tuesday 18 July) in hospital in his home city of Chicago. The news was revealed in a post to the artist’s Facebook page.

“Admin Jim here,” the post reads. “I’m sorry to announce the legendary artist, producer, DJ, label owner and my friend Deeon ‘DJ Deeon’ Boyd gained his wings today. The family thanks you for your support and will announce arrangements in the coming days. Thank you for your understanding.”

While the cause of death has not yet been confirmed, Deeon had been publically suffering from the effects of diabetes and pneumonia for some time and in 2002 was diagnosed with Stage Four Lymphoma. A crowdfunding campaign was launched in 2020.

Despite all of this, however, the Chicago legend continued to regularly release new music right up to May 2023. Last Thursday, he took to Instagram to post a photo of himself in hospital.

DJ Deeon helped drive the ghetto house genre, sometimes referred to as juke or booty house. This sassy and outrageously sexy sound takes elements of hip-hop, Southern rap, Chicago house and techno, and blends them, resulting in uncompromising club tracks.

Boyd pushed ghetto house in Chicago alongside the likes of DJ Funk, DJ Milton and DJ Slugo, who together played as DJs On The Low. He went on to release seminal tracks on Dance Mania, Teklife and Numbers such as Freak Like Me, WANNA GO BANG, and House-O-Matic, and also made music under the names Debo, Playground Productionz and Low End Theory.

Tributes have been pouring in from across the Chicago scene and further afield in electronic music. Take a look at some below:


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