A month after late house legend Erick Morillo turned himself in on sexual assault charges, Detroit techno legend Derrick May has been hit with a new wave of admonishments on social media following sexual assault allegations of his own. 57-year-old Derrick May, credited with pioneering techno in the 1980s along with collaborators Juan Atkins and Kevin Saunderson, commonly known as the Belleville Three, has been accused of inappropriate sexual advances and sexual assault going back decades.
Last Tuesday, DJ Michael James, also from Detroit, came out with scathing accusations of May, alleging that he “has been raping and sexually assaulting women dating back to the 1980s.”
“Here’s what I can tell you guys for sure: every single venue Derrick May has been booked at, someone has a story about his sexual misbehavior,” James continues. “Like it has been alleged about Morillo, Derrick May developed a pattern that also involved using date rape drugs on women. In Morillo’s case, his drug of choice was ketamine. I’m told May used something in the same class.”
Some have mentioned that James might have a grudge against May for not crediting him on his most popular song, “Strings of Life,” which is based on a piano sequence by James. However, he replied to one person on Facebook, “I’m already in the credits for Strings of Life. Don’t you know that?” His name does not appear in the credits on Spotify.
James has also been admonished himself for how he treated DJ/journalist Ashleigh Lauryn and made public a private conversation with her, which she describes in her own words here.
OK, so a few brave female DJs have come out and told stories of their harrowing experiences of sexual molestation at the…
Posted by Michael James on Tuesday, September 8, 2020
Nevertheless, May’s name has been popping up on techno Twitter for the past week.
Derrick May, in the bin. Jesus Christ
— Annabel Ross (@annabel_ross) September 9, 2020
Here’s the deal, grown, almost 60-year-old men don’t act like Derrick May unless they have a very serious problem and peers don’t meet this with largely radio silence unless the industry has one.
— Austen van der Bleek (@avbleek) September 13, 2020
Maybe today wasn't the best day to send out pre-sale ticket details for Derrick May playing that Hacienda thing in Wapping.
— tim murray (@theraygun) September 10, 2020
Crickets on these apps about Derrick May. People and their selective cancellations. There are also layers and levels to who gets away with this crap and who doesn’t. Sus.
— DJ NOIR [JBW] ❄️👑 (@DownByDfault) September 9, 2020
the abuse of power, leverage + position in techno by derrick may, erick morillo + surely others makes my stomach sick thinking about how the unabashed joy of these men actively silences so many women & their pain. these men need to be stopped immediatelyhttps://t.co/5gjjoRXSIl
— Outer Heaven's Angel (fka insightful soundman) (@careforgotten) September 10, 2020
I was there, I was a journalist for a techno magazine and I will never ever forget the day a woman came up to me and told me what DM did to her and warned me that people need to know.
— sarascruton (@sara_scruton) September 11, 2020
fuck derrick may. kill your idols and be your own icon. if any of the people in techno stop being heads long enough to cancel this man, i will be surprised. here’s hoping!
— burlington thoak factory (@djzaida) September 10, 2020
First victims going public. Anyone who vomited this "where are the victims then, stop spreading rumors" bs, shut the f* up & actually start doing something to fight rape culture in which you're complicit. Derrick May is an abuser, and given what's coming to light likely a rapist pic.twitter.com/EsgSw3fCb9
— ØPĮÛM HUM / Michail 🏳️🌈👌🏻Ⓥ (@opiumhum) September 12, 2020
At time of publishing, Derrick May’s Twitter is private and he has not made any statement or response to Your EDM’s knowledge. He performed yesterday on a Beatport charity stream for Beirut.
A lawyer for May responded to Your EDM’s request for comment, stating: “The accusations by Mr. James are patently false. Derrick May is in the process of taking the appropriate legal measures against Mr. James.”