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Lil' Louis

Chicago, United States


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Lil’ Louis was born on May 13th (Stevie Wonder’s birthday) and raised in the westside of Chicago. Before Technics 1200’s, Disco, The Garage, The Music Box, The Warehouse, and The Power Plant nightclubs, there was Lil’ Louis.

Louis’ rich background in music and parties gained its foundation from his parents. His father was a strong rhythm and blues guitarist and bandleader and his mother ran her own local youth center for many years.

In 1974, Louis made his DJ debut under some very, let’s say, challenging conditions. Several gangs, including the Latin Kings, the Black Gangster Disciples, and the Vice Lords, claimed different sections of Chicago. In an effort to bring peace and unity to the community, Louis’ mother threw a neighborhood party to which she invited members of all of the warring gangs. In a bizarre twist of fate, the DJ had an epileptic seizure and was rushed off to the hospital, leaving a hostile crowd with no music. Louis then found himself (at the tender age of twelve) behind the deck (as per his mother’s request…no, make that command). With only one turntable and an increasingly violent crowd, Louis created a calm in all the madness by playing Kool & The Gang’s “Funky Stuff.” The power of music indeed…

By the age of fourteen, Louis was getting paid to DJ at clubs and lounges around Chicago. Even at such a young age, Louis had complete confidence behind the decks, playing music that he believed in regardless of its popularity, or lack of same.

Later that same year Louis received his first big break. A Chicago DJ by the name of Milton Green decided that Louis had major potential and brought him on to play at his club, Rivers Edge. Two more of Chicago’s biggest DJ’s, namely Frenchy and “Terrible” Teddy, then put Louis on at their clubs, Keyman’s and MGM Grand. One evening during a raid by the police at Rivers Edge, a policeman was amazed that this young boy was in the DJ booth and referred to Louis as Lil’ Louis, and the rest, as they say…