Those of you who use Facebook or Instagram this week might have been forgiven for having a startled moment upon seeing posts on Paul Johnson’s socials – they’ve been active again. The man himself died last year after contracting Covid-19 at the age of 50, so what’s going on here?
Well, a relative has access to his account and has been posting information about a tribute event to his life which was due to take place. My sources in Chicago confirm they’re still feeling his loss. As one put it to me anonymously, “he was often the reason I carried on when I felt like giving up”.
One person who doesn’t appear to be involved is another name which came out of Chicago’s underground – DJ Sneak. Many noticed Sneak’s tribute to Johnson after his death was, as one put it, “pretty underwhelming” – and like a number of others at the time, he was careful not to reference Covid-19 in his words.
My sources in Chicago tell me most of the dance music scene there have their reservations about things like vaccine passports, but accept they’re the only way they can keep nightclubs open at present. None of them are prepared to go public at the moment for fear of ramifications – but privately, a number have expressed disquiet about Sneak’s opinion on the vaccine.
One DJ who’s been making house music since the 1980s was pretty angry. He said “What the f*** is Sneak playing at? Has he been smoking too many of his own greens or something? I don’t know what the f*** he’s up to. Maybe he’s missing the days when he used to beef with bigger players than him. Glad we won’t be seeing him around here now. [the state of Illinois demands proof of vaccination to enter nightclubs]”.
Another DJ from the same era is angry that Sneak expressed his opinion so close to the date of a Paul Johnson tribute event. Johnson, like Sneak, was another of the second wave of house music producers to emerge from Chicago – something which hasn’t gone unnoticed. The DJ said “He might as well s*** on his grave. Sneak knew Paul well, and I think this is f***ing disgusting.”
After this, he made a possibly less than polite suggestion that Sneak does something quite unprintable with his next joint – I’ll leave this one to your imaginations…