Dj Erick Morillo at Homelands in 2001.

Rest in peace

Dj Erick Morillo known for ‘I Like to Move It’, dies in Miami at 49

The Colombian-American DJ and record label owner were best known for house music, an electronic music genre.

Everybody feels like we already have had enough of 2020, but this year keeps throwing more sad news. Today the entertainment industry mourns the death of Erick Morillo, the DJ and music producer best known for his 1993 hit, “I Like to Move It.” According to TMZ, Morillo‘s body was found in Miami Beach, and the circumstances surrounding his death are still unknown.

Weeks ago, Morillo was arrested in Miami on alleged sexual battery charges after a female resisted sexual encounter, slept on his place, and woke up nude next to the now deceased. He turned himself in after the rape kit tested positive with his DNA. According to NBC Miami, he had a court hearing this Friday.

The Colombian-American DJ and record label owner were best known for house music, an electronic music genre. His iconic track “I Like to Move It,” featuring ragga vocals by Trinidad and Tobago rapper The Mad Stuntman (Mark Quashie), peaking at number 89 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1994 and also number 8 on the US Billboard Hot Dance Music/Club Play chart. The song became popular in Africa and the European continent reaching number 5 on the UK Singles Chart, number-one in Belgium, France, the Netherlands, and Zimbabwe.

“Still sounds as hot today as it did when it first came out in 1993,” wrote AllMusic. ”The pulsing synths and sirens of the song made for an instant wall shaker.” Billboard also praised the jam, noting that ”reggae beat sensibilities are woven around loose house and rave keyboards. The Mad Stuntman toasts with predictable speed, cutting through the fairly thick groove with a raspy edge. His energy transforms what could have been a laid-back record into a rousing peak-hour anthem.”

In 2011 Morillo‘s song received from MTV Dance the title of “The 100 Biggest 90’s Dance Anthems of All Time” and was included in the ThoughCo list of ”The Top 100 Best Party Songs of All Time.”

The track also made it to the small and big screen. The song appeared in the films The Master of Disguise, Saving Silverman, and one episode of American Dad!

Commercial brands and video games have also used Morillo‘s jam, like SingStar Dance. The song has also been sampled and covered numerous times by the Madagascar franchise.

Making adjustments in the lyrics to match each movie, “I Like to Move It,” has been recorded by will.i. Am, Baron Cohen, Danny Jacobs, and Chris Rock.

Before releasing the song that consolidated his career, Morillo began in the entertainment business as a DJ at local clubs in New York City. In the club scene, the Colombian met Latin reggae star El General, and collaborated in “Muevelo” and “Anasthasia.“ Later, he worked alongside “Little” Louie Vega on “Ride on the Rhythm.”

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