DJ Rashad, dance music innovator

DJ Rashad, aka Rashad Harden, started out as a dancer in Chicago clubs and streetcorners, and turned into a pioneering producer who helped usher in the next wave of dance music known as footwork. He was found dead in his apartment on April 26. (April 26, 2014)

DJ Rashad, a pioneer in the footwork genre of music who was found dead in April at a West Side apartment, died of an accidental drug overdose, according to autopsy results released today.

Rashad, whose real name was Rashad Harden, was found dead shortly before 2 p.m. April 26 at an apartment in the 2100 block of West 21st Street, according to the Cook County medical examiner's office. He was 34.

Narcotics and drug paraphernalia were found around his body, police had said earlier. 

Harden, who was influenced by House and juke music, started off as a dancer before he shifted to crafting records with fast beats, about 40 beats per minute faster than normal house music. His music fired up dancers to footwork, a rapid form of dance.

Harden toured with Chance the Rapper in 2013 and performed at the Pitchfork Music Festival in Union Park. He was known for the released single, "Let it Go," and his footwork album, "Double Cup."

Harden's death was ruled an accident.

chicagobreaking@tribune.com