Disco D Commits Suicide

DiscoD DJ/producer/entrepreneur Dave Shayman (aka Disco D) committed suicide yesterday. He was 26. Born in St. Louis, MO and reared in Ann Arbor, MI, Shayman was a pioneer in ghetto-tech, a raw fusion of electronic booty music that emanted from Detroit in the late ‘90s.A byproduct of Detroit’s rave scene, Shayman began producing in 1996. He signed his first single to Bad Boy Bill’s Contaminated Muzik/Mix Connection at age 17, and started his first record label, GTI Recordings, at 19. Shayman later earned a degree from University of Michigan Ross School of Business and moved to New York City.

Shayman released several albums (including 1999’s notable Incomprehensible Representation of Self) and 2003’s A Night At The Booty Bar. As he directed his career toward hip-hop, he worked on a multitude of projects, including co-writing, co-producing and mixing five songs on Nina Sky’s debut album (including their airplay hit “Turnin’ Me On”). He also collaborated with Cipha on a number of hit dancehall remixes including Christina Milian’s “Whatever U Want” (peaking at #6 on the Billboard Hot Dance Music/Club Play chart) and Pharrell’s #1 single “Frontin” (co-remixed with Federation Sound’s Max Glazer and featured on the Grammy-nominated Def Jamaica album). Soon thereafter, D sought to establish himself as an independent production entity. In 2005, he unleashed his biggest record to date—the hood smash “Ski Mask Way” on 50 Cent’s multi-platinum, Grammy nominated album, The Massacre.

Shayman’s recent work included records with Trick Daddy (“I Pop”) and Lil’ Scrappy (“Right Away”), and remixes for Shiny Toy Guns (“Le Disko”) and Crime Mob (“Rock Yo Hips”). He just launched his brand-new Brazilian urban label Gringo Louco with BRAZA—a bilingual supergroup composed of three of the biggest rappers from Brazil, with their first Disco D-produced single, “Son Do BRAZA.” Shayman oversaw US marketing and distribution of aLeda—a brand of transparent rolling paper—and served as music marketing campaign for Cabana, the first double distilled Brazilian Cachaça.

“I want to be the person to bridge the gap between urban and electronic music,” Shayman told Big Shot in 2003.

More ominously, he told the Montreal Mirror in March 2006, “I ran around Detroit since I was 15, I ran around Kingston. I mean, dude, I’m bipolar, I tried to commit suicide twice, like, I’m not scared of anything, know what I’m sayin’? I don’t give a fuck, dude—to me, life’s a big video game.”

Numerous fans and friends have expressed grief over Shayman’s death on his MySpace page.

Darren Ressler