DJ Rashad

House music star Rashad Harden has been found dead, The Chicago Sun Times reports. He was 34.

Rashad was found unresponsive by a friend Saturday afternoon and pronounced dead shortly after. According to police, who suspect a drug overdose, Harden was found with drugs and drug paraphernalia nearby.

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Known as DJ Rashad, Harden began honing his craft at 10 years old. He performed throughout high school with dance troupes and eventually began spinning at parties and for the Kennedy-King College radio station. Rashad pioneered a technique known as footwork, which combines synthesizers, bursts of fast beats and R&B samples with classic stepper's movements and hip-hop dancing. The practice originated in Chicago.

"It's just a tragic loss of a great musical genius," Rashad's longtime collaborator Morris Harper aka Spinn said Saturday night before a show they were scheduled to perform at.

Rashad's new EP, We On 1, was slated for release on Monday.