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Disco D

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Biography

As a teenager, Disco D (born David Shayman) became one of the major contributors -- along with DJ Godfather and DJ Assault -- to Detroit's ghetto-tech scene. A tireless DJ and a shrewd businessman, he played regularly in Detroit and his native Ann Arbor, increasing his presence with underground mixtapes that reflected his raunchy, rowdy, breakneck sets. By the end of the '90s, he was a regular presence in record bins, with 12" releases on Intuit-Solar, Bad Boy Bill's Contaminated, and his own GTI label. Remixes for the likes of Eightball & MJG ("Buck Bounce") and Da Brat ("Boom") were something of a gateway into the rap industry; the two best examples of his production work are AZ's "City of Gods" (off 2005's A.W.O.L.) and 50 Cent's "Ski Mask Way" (off 2005's The Massacre), which are as nuanced and graceful as his GTI releases are brutish. More curiously, he was the producer responsible for Kevin Federline's infamous "Popozão." In addition to his many scattered, commercially released projects, he composed for VH1's Hip Hop Honors program, Nickelodeon's Kids' Choice Awards, and a handful of commercials. On January 22, 2007, while staying with his mother in Washington, D.C., he took his life, ending a long battle with bipolar disorder. At the time, a DVD documentary about his activities -- fittingly titled Hustle Harder -- was nearing completion, and he was establishing his Gringo Louco label to showcase Brazilian artists. The only officially released documents of his mixing skills are 2001's Straight Out tha Trunk and 2003's A Night at the Booty Bar. ~ Andy Kellman
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