Paul Johnson: Music’s in Me

Paul Johnson, a pioneer and champion of house music, has passed away at 50 years old. He began DJing at just 13 in Chicago, eventually making infectious dance anthems that remain beloved all over the world. Best known for 1999’s “Get Get Down” (which landed in the top 10 in Belgium, France, the Netherlands and the UK), Johnson was an instinctive, self-taught DJ and producer. A wheelchair user since he was 16 (when a stray bullet left him paralyzed from the waist), Johnson later became an amputee due to ongoing pain from the injury, and again years after because of a car accident. In 2014, he said, “I never think about me when I’m spinning—just the people who are dancing… The crappy life I’ve had health-wise, that’s been nothing, man. That’s just been a shadow to what I’ve been doing, I don’t even see it, nobody sees it. It’s all about the music.” His track “Music’s in Me” samples Rare Pleasure’s “Let Me Down Easy” and Sylvester’s “You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real)” and creates a blissful mixture of joy, sleaze and triumph. His masterful, uplifting songs will forever have dance floors full, sweaty and smiley.