“Can we just let Erick rest in peace now?”, some people (mostly men) might ask, rolling their eyes. The answer is no, no we cannot.
In the same way that the George Floyd protests sparked the long-overdue realisation that the electronic music industry is racist to the core (something that Black people have always known), the outpouring of fawning tributes for Erick Morillo has yet again reminded women, trans women and non-binary people in the scene of how little they matter in the eyes of their male peers.
There is no denying Erick’s musical legacy. A house legend, an incredible DJ and producer, a global superstar — all of these things are true.
By all accounts, it seems that Erick was also a great mate to many of his male peers who have variously described him as “humble”, “a gent”, “generous”, “kind”, “welcoming”, etc.
His death must have been shocking and painful to his friends. But in either failing to mention the rape and assault charges at all, or euphemising them as “demons”, “flaws”, the work of a “troubled soul”, etc, they demonstrate just how insignificant they deem the rape of a woman to be, and inadvertently, how rarely they consider the female perspective at all.
“Yes he was a troubled soul…many great geniuses are. He was human,” said Sharam, here suggesting that committing rape is an unfortunate side effect of being a human.
“It’s easy to focus on the mistakes of some but we choose to focus on the LEGEND that you are,” said The Martinez Brothers. Never mind the rape, people. He was a legend, after all.
“Let he who is without sin cast the first stone,” said Dennis Ferrer (this one hurt). Right, so if you’re not perfect because you, I don’t know, had sex before marriage…