I pondered whether to write about this one at all. Then I remembered the purpose of this blog – writing the stuff about dance music that others won’t – and I quickly changed my mind. So here goes.
Last Wednesday, the world found out about the tragic death of Detroit DJ and producer Kelli Hand. Tributes came pouring in over the next hours s and days – but some voices have not been heard. And the reason? Because they curiously have nothing to say.
Out of the so-called Belleville Three, two of them remain silent, even five days later. Only Kevin Saunderson – the only one of the three men who seems to possess any integrity whatsoever – had the decency to say anything. So why do Juan Atkins and Derrick May have nothing to say?
A source who knows both men well said “They didn’t see her as one of them. That’s the truth. Detroit people only see you as family if you do the same as they do. K-Hand’s music was inspired by New York, Chicago and other places – not by Detroit. So they didn’t see her as being like them”.
And according to another source, Hand had few dealings with the two men – and this was entirely intentional. He said “Let’s just say she saw straight through their bull****. She never met them much, but she got the impression the two were in way over their heads”.
Still, at least May and Atkins had the decency to stay silent when they almost certainly know Hand thought so little of them. The same cannot be said of Ash Lauryn, real name Ashleigh Teasley, who publicly fell out with her mentor last year – calling her “one little groupie’s black friend” in one podcast afterwards.
Lauryn never apologised for her disgraceful comments towards Hand. Still, this shouldn’t come as a surprise. According to one Detroit source, Lauryn – who was in a relationship with Derrick May for a time, by the way – “was always the type of person who’d crawl up your ass and stay there until something better came along. The only person Ash Lauryn gives a f*** about is Ash Lauryn.”.