Julian “Jumpin” Perez is switching from DJing to politics…

When acid house, the second Summer Of Love and so forth came along in the 1980s, they tended to be seen as movements for younger people. For some, they became fully signed up ravers because they considered it a form of rebellion against a stuffy older generation.

Exactly how accurate this generalisation was is something still being debated today – but one thing that was more certain was most of the DJs in the new movement were in the same age group as its members. So there was always a question of what those DJs would do when they became of, shall we say, a more advanced age.

Some of them are still DJing today and probably won’t stop until the last nail has been hammered into their coffin. There are some others who have totally lost the plot – just look at Danny Rampling, a pitiful man who now pushes conspiracy theories about social credit systems, monkeypox and Covid-19 in between the occasional DJing job.

And then there are those who choose to do something else entirely. Remember Julian “Jumpin” Perez? He was a member of the Hot Mix 5 in the 1980s and was one of the most influential house music radio DJs at the time. The five men were instrumental in sharing the sound of Chicago’s first wave of house music.

Nowadays? If all goes well, he could soon be the Alderman for Chicago’s 26th ward. Earlier this year, Perez filed papers with the Illinois Board of Elections on behalf of “Friends of Julian Perez”. He now has to submit a petition with the signatures of at least 473 registered voters in the 26th ward in order to get on the ballot paper – a task which begins on August 30th and must be filed by November 28th.

Assuming he’s successful at this stage, the final elections take place on February 28th and April 4th next year. Roberto Maldonado is the incumbent candidate, a Democrat who has been in the job since August 2009. So, will the house music community of Chicago get behind Perez and his attempt to seek political office?

Er, it’s unlikely. In 2019, Perez was pulled from the My House Music Festival in his native city after making a joke at another event. He reportedly said “What’s the best way to get Mexicans to run?” and answered “say ICE” – for those of us who don’t reside Stateside, ICE refers to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Let’s just hope no one in Chicago reads this and reminds him of the incident…

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