Glenn Crocker, he would say that his House music was so deep it was “under the ground,” hence why he took the name Glenn Underground. Fact is, like his name, and despite becoming a legendary DJ with more than 30 years in the game, he himself has remained firmly underground. Yet, the famously opinionated Chicago DJ and producer that goes back to the earliest days of the genre itself, has more than earned himself a spot among the elite of House music royalty.
Born in Chicago’s Southside in 1971, Glenn grew up surrounded by the sounds of Jazz, Soul, Funk, Gospel, and of course Disco, which played a major part in his musical upbringing. Another major influence was his family, his step-father was a guitar player and one of his uncles was in a band that rehearsed in his house. After they wrapped up they would leave the equipment, which Glenn would immediately jump on, this is how he learned piano. Another uncle was a DJ at parties and local venues and motivated him to start spinning himself. This was circa 1984, just as House music was being born. Little did he or anyone else know that he had so much more to offer the scene.
Glenn, who is known for being very vocal about what he feels is the overlooking of his contributions to the House scene, would nevertheless go on to establish himself not only as a creative and crowd pleasing DJ, but as a pioneer producer. More importantly Glenn is known for his keen ear and the ability to create the right grooves that touch the listeners soul ever so deeply; one look through his extensive discography is all one needs to realize this fact. From his earliest tracks such as ‘Different Sides,’ ‘Future Shock,’ the EP ‘Clap Your Hands,’ which included the underground hit ‘Slam'en Mutha,' to his masterful albums, among them 2004’s ‘Black Resurrection’ and 2010’s ‘Legacy of the Know,’ to his more recent works such as ‘Escuchame’ and his last album Forgotten Art (Music)’ in 2011 -also a must own- along with many more, Glenn has more than established himself as one of House music’s best and prolific producers. Let’s not forget his work as the founding member of the ensemble Strictly Jaz Unit consisting of Boo Williams, Brian Harden, Dae Dae, Tim Harper, and Vick Lavender, which, like Glenn, keeps pumping out the good stuff till this day.
Fact is, Glenn is so underground it’s hard to find much info on him. He doesn’t do that many interviews and info is sparse online. If you really want to know about him, you simply have to delve into his works, go digging into the discography that I just scrapped the tip of previously. But, let me tell you, this is a good thing. Not only will you be taking a walk down House music memory lane, but you will be schooled by melodies so sweet, drums so moving, rhythms so penetrating, you will wonder why you don’t have every single one of his songs in your collection.
These days, Glenn can still be heard spinning his melodic concoction of hypnotizing House, Soul, Jazz, and more all the while keeping true to his Chicago born origins and more importantly his Chicago House roots, but no matter where in the globe that may be, you better believe it’s somewhere deep, deep underground.