DJ Rashad

Double Cup (10th Anniversary) (Partisan)

Contact Sam McAllister & Ahmad Asani about DJ Rashad

Partisan Records announces a tenth anniversary reissue of the late DJ Rashad’s widely celebrated 2013 debut album, Double Cup, out December 8th. Hailed by Pitchfork as “unquestionably the strongest footwork-related LP since the genre was introduced to a wider audience,” Double Cup saw Rashad “pushing footwork out of its comfort zone, hybridizing it with hip-hop, R&B, acid house and other styles” (The New York Times). The tenth anniversary edition will feature new artwork by illustrator, photographer, and longtime friend of Rashad, Ashes57, and a limited edition gold vinyl pressing.

In conjunction, Partisan unveils “Last Winter,” a digital exclusive track originally only available on out-of-print CD versions of Double Cup. “Last Winter” is a luscious, wistful synth-studded outing that samples Stevie Wonder. The accompanying video compiles never-before-seen archival footage of Rashad’s legendary club performances, collaged with clips of Rashad and his collaborators recording in the studio.


From the beginning, Double Cup was fashioned to serve as a primer to the world of juke. Key collaborator and friend DJ Spinn furthers, “Rashad and I knew that this was our opportunity to showcase on a broader level. We wanted to make sure we included all the guys in the recording. It was really like a posse album for the most part, [introducing] DJ Earl, DJ Phil, Manny, myself, Taso.” It was also tailored with a variety of listeners in mind. After years of touring, Spinn noted, “We knew that we wanted stuff strictly for Chicago, and we wanted stuff for the people overseas to relate to. We just wanted to have a rounded-out project.”
Double Cup contains most of Rashad’s most beloved cuts, such as “Everyday Of My Life,” and “Drank, Kush, Barz,” which sets the scene of a sexy, sweaty basement juke party and builds into a celebratory explosion: its dense use of samples and intricate ebb-and-flow drum programming is nothing short of hypnotic. Meanwhile, “She A Go” tells an equally intriguing tale of intoxication and lust, marked by the juxtaposition of reverberating downtempo keys and breakneck drum programming, set to a pace that’s indicative of urban roller rinks in Chicago and Memphis. And from the first sound of a draw from a blunt to the “Summer Madness”-styled psychedelic Moog licks, “Pass That Shit” bears the mark of the lineage of juke’s predecessor, acid house.


Rashad Harden was born in Hammond, Indiana — just outside Chicago — in 1977, and raised in south suburban Calumet City. Before he ever made a track, he listened to Cajmere, Lil Louis, Fast Eddie and the rest of the locally grown house music that made up the vernacular sound of Chicago in the 1980s and 1990s. The music, the dance style and the social spaces (the juice bars, the roller rinks, park district auditoriums, the sweaty basement parties) were inextricably linked. DJ Rashad and the burgeoning Teklife crew were already spinning in these spaces in the early 1990s. And it was in these spaces that a sparse, energetic, raw strain of house music began to bubble up.

In some ways, Double Cup is Rashad’s debut album, but in more significant ways, it represents a lifetime of incubating a remarkable branch of Chicago house music. In a cruel twist of fate, Double Cup is also a testament to how much creative juice we lost when Rashad died tragically on April 26, 2014. WesHarden, Rashad’s manager around the release of Double Cup, reflects, “‘Double Cup’ represents the future. It did when it came out, and still does today. It’s the sound of Rashad grabbing the torch of Chicago house from people like Frankie Knuckles and taking it further – to a new generation, a new type of listener, to new parts of the world. The music sounds as alive today as it did in 2013.”