Late DJ Erick Morillo, who was best known for his 1993 song "I Like to Move It" under the name Reel 2 Real, died of acute ketamine toxicity. Morillo’s cause of death was revealed two months after he died. The Miami-Dade medical examiner, which confirmed the new details to E! News, ruled his manner of death as an accident.
Years before his death, in 2017, Morillo opened up about his struggles with ketamine and alcohol addiction, telling Skiddle that he "went to rehab three times and even after all three I never gave up alcohol." Morillo said it was "what seemed to keep pulling me under," adding that "the most difficult part was coming to the realization that I was going to have to go completely sober."
"It was a scary thing because you think life is going to be boring then. What's life going to be like if I can't drink and if I can't go to a place where there's drinking?" the music producer continued. "You stop worrying about the future and you start focusing on the right now. So, the beginning of being completely sober was the hardest part. Once I had six months under my belt it was very easy."
Morillo, 49, was found unresponsive by his cousin at his home in Miami Beach on the morning of Sept. 1, just two weeks after he pleaded not guilty to sexual battery in a recent criminal case. Miami Beach police had responded to a 911 call at around 10:40 a.m. that day, MBPD public information officer Ernesto Rodriguez told PEOPLE at the time. At the time, circumstances surrounding his passing were unclear and his death was said to be under investigation. Confirming his passing, his family said that Morillo "was well-loved by his family and he had a lot of love to give."
Born in New York, Morillo began his career as a DJ in Colombia, where he was raised. He rose to fame in 1993 following the release of "I Like to Move It," which he co-wrote and co-produced under the alias Reel 2 Real for the Strictly Rhythm label. The song would go on to appear in Madagascar in 2005, regaining popularity. Morillo dropped several albums under Reel 2 Real, including Move It! in 1994 and Are You Ready for Some More? in 1996. He also released more work under other pseudonyms, such as Ministers de la Funk, The Dronez, RAW, and Smooth Touch. Throughout his career, he was nominated 15 times for DJ Awards, winning the best house DJ award in 1998 and 2001 and taking home the international DJ award in 2002, 2005, and 2006.