News of producer Disco D's death by suicide sent shockwaves across the hip-hop community. The 27-year old Detroit native (born Dave Shayman) was found dead on January 22, 2007. He was at the forefront of the ghetto-tech music scene, and is best remembered for his remarkable production on 50 Cent's "Ski Mask Way" as well as his collaborations with Nina Sky, AZ, Pharrell Williams, and many others.
Why did Disco D take his own life? Close friend and L.A.-based producer DJ Warrior helps us make sense of it all.
On his relationship with Disco D:
That's one of my best friends. The most positive, hardest working honest person I have met in this music industry. Besides us doing just business, we were real friends. As longs I have known him, he has always motivated me. He was a very innovative person.
On his last conversation with Disco D:
It's hard for me to believe that this happened, and I just spoke to him this past Friday (January 19), and he sounded like everything was okay and he was going to be okay. We were discussing about him (Disco D) moving to. L.A. Me and him were working on some big stuff.
On Disco D's battle with depression:
Well, he has been going through a lot since Fall, 2006. From breaking up with his ex-fiancee to the drama he had in the music industry, which he was trying to solve for long time. People weren't paying him. Also, other businesses he had going...all the deals were bad. It's crazy, you know. He was under a lot of pressure with bills. He kept telling me: "Warrior, I dont know how long I can do this. Bills are getting high, credit is going out the door, my girl is gone. I can't do this no more. During christmas, we were talking about all our problems in this music business. We both kept lifting each other, like "Yo, things are gonnna get better. Lets keep praying and God will make it happen for us. There's always a brighter day."
On Disco's frustration with the music business:
These people in the music business owe my homie Disco D money, just like plenty of other producers and DJ's. Disco was going through things like that for a while, and me and the crew always kept him happy. He wanted to move to L.A., and we were just getting all that together. It was just few weeks away for him to move to L.A. and now he is gone because of the pressure he had from this industry. This is insane to me.
On Disco D's reaction to the RIAA crackdown on mixtapes
Three nights prior to his sudden death, he was just joking with me about the whole mixtape thing that happened recently with DJ Drama.
I've talked to his parents. That was their only son, you know. It was hard for me to talk to them. Disco D was a very good DJ. I know he is in a better place than this world, but at a age of 27 he had to go like this? Because of the pressure of this music game and bills...this is crazy to me. That's somebody that will always be my friend and a real homie in my heart forever. I will see him once I go away one day. I dont know when, but I will see him in a better place. He was my partner and we had plans to go the top, and I'm gonna do that for him. My mind is lost right now. MY homie Disco D, may his soul rest in peace and his music will always stay alive.