RP Boo interview: New album, the next generation of Footwork


DJ and producer RP Boo iis widely regarded as the godfather of a style of dance music called. Born Kavain Space in West Chicago, he gained notoriety in the late 90s for pieces where he pushed the tempos to almost crazy speeds. On songs like “Baby Come On”, often considered one of the very first footwork tracks, a stuttering sample of around 150 bpm is a kind of transcendent experience. Of course, dThe people on the Chicago floor were thrilled.

But it wouldn’t be before compilation 2010 Bangs & Works Vol. 1, of the prestigious British label Planet Mu, an international audience would cling to local sound. And RP Boo didn’t become a full-time musician until 2013, following his debut album. Heritage, when he was able to tour instead of a day job. Now with her fourth full album Established!, you feel like RP Boo has reached a point where he is exactly what he is title suggests. It also means that it is firmly grounded. On the phone from his home in Chicago, he’s clearly proud of his new album, but he’s just as happy to talk about his wife Zee’s academic work to become a grief counselor: “It’s something she’s wanted to do for years, and now she’s finally here, she’s already a year old and half, luck that I have, I will be there to support her. Because she supported me.

It’s the same kind of authentic energy that course throughout Established!. The album is packed with exuberant drum patterns and borderline motivational vocal chops, like the vocals insisting on “Haters gon ‘get hot” throughout “Haters Turn Up The Heat!” Elsewhere there is a track that builds a menacing groove from a track by Phil Collins from the early ’80s, and another that works with vocals from Snoop Dogg from the Immortal “Nuthin But a G Thang “. Both samples reflect the DJ’s lifelong desire to hit the crowd with a familiar chorus.

RP Boo says he is dedicated to helping nurture the next generation of talent, pointing to a pair of more house tracks on the album which he sees as a bridge between footwork elders and the current generation. “The future of house music is footwork and what’s to come is always connected,” he says.

At one point, RP Boo even mentions an interest in audio engineering or teaching as he contemplates his own life after music. Of course, he is also ecstatic about the next tracks he is going to release. The DJ and producer spoke to Rolling stone In regards to Established!, his future favorite producers and his favorite tempo.

When was Established! checked in? Are these all new leads?
The funny thing is that we had just finalized [2018 album] I’ll tell you what!. I just did “The haters turn up the heat!” And I just continued to make tracks, to make tracks, to make tracks. As soon as I came back from touring in 2019, I said “Hey, I got a lot of new material”. So I told Mike [Paradinas, Planet Mu label head] and we talked about it, because I learned when to release an album to help you get better tours, better lines, and better gigs. As this happened, the leads kept piling up. It was in February of last year that we said, “Oh, that could be a possible September or October”. He said, ‘Alright, let’s wait a minute, just in case.’ Then here is COVID. I said to wait until next year because we don’t know what might happen. And that’s when I started to learn things that I had missed while traveling. Here’s streaming, now everyone is doing stuff online. But I was so busy, without paying attention. I was walking into the future.

How does the title and theme Established! come together?
During the time when I’ll tell you what! was still going around, as I read some of the comments I read something like, “It seems like that’s what he was feeling, that’s what he had in mind.” I said, ‘You have no idea what’s going on.’ I’m like, none of this matches what I’m doing, at all. Nothing. So I have to find something that will keep them stuck, and keep them stuck for a long time until they figure it out. So I named the album Established!. Because no one knows the story you are living. No one can tell you how you really feel because no one can come into your body and tell you how you feel. So I say, ‘Established: March 11, 1972. The day I was born, I was already established. I just had to figure it out as I went along. So in other words, let me be who I am. And you do what you do with yours, and leave me alone.

I am not here to compete, I am just here to express the things that I have created. These are people here in Chicago who come from the footwork music business, who still don’t understand how I do it. And they’ve been there since day one. And they were like, ‘Nobody does what RP Boo does.’ And it’s a gift from God. I’m not the only one, I just know how to recognize it. It’s about understanding and being at one with your talent, having a great relationship with it.

There are quite recognizable samples, including Phil Collins and Snoop Dogg. What made you rework pop hits?
I thought of Phil Collins five or six years ago. I couldn’t get it the way I could imagine, because I wasn’t very friendly with the MPC. So I was listening to the radio and I was like, ‘Let me try again. Let’s try a different approach. I just wanted to swing a certain way. But what I did was I played the record while the needle was pulled, the “eeer? “It was a bridge. I finished it and I said,” Hey Mike, I have something for you. You might like. Just for listening purposes. He was like, “Oh, I like that. ”Then the next thing you know, a few weeks later, blah, blah, blah, he says,“ It’s okay on the album. ”

And then with the Snoop Dogg, Dr. Dre, I’ve always loved that song. I just played with it. And it came out like that, and it’s good. And I tested it. Those who hear it, it’s like, ‘Oh, wow!’ I love those listeners who adopted the footwork from what they heard, even though they couldn’t dance to it. But it brings them into life, but it’s something different. I love the reaction.

The way I produce, a lot of people can’t identify how it goes like that. The only person who really understood it, and built his own, was [DJ] Rashad. Rashad was trying to show someone else it’s hard, that’s what we’re going to do to show you how to do it in other genres that you already know. He’s going to change course.

I read in an interview that you don’t like 160 as BPM, you prefer 155. Is that still the case?
We’re still on 155. There’s a lot of footwork here in Chicago, since the time it started, 145 to 150. And what happened was I looked at them and I listened to them, and they talk about the fact that the tracks are at 160. They like it, they like it. But they still try to catch themselves wanting to dance and still enjoy dancing. And I’ve noticed that those who like that, the aged people, will want to say, “Oh, I don’t exercise like I used to, but I still want to cut a mat. 155 is where they will stop. The movements are always crisp and clean. It’s very few people who are in Chicago, it’s footwork, who know how to control the 160. It’s too fast. 160 is for experts.

Are there any producers or DJs that you’ve really been listening to lately that get you excited about coming in the future?
DJ Corey, DJ Chad, DJ Acey, DJ Emo, DJ Roc, DJ T-Rell, DJ JR I sit and listen to these guys as they shoot, . We see each other if it’s a function, and I hear them all playing. Or they can argue, fuck each other bullshit, “Oh, I have this song for you,” blah blah blah. Greater opportunities await them. I’ll say to people, “You never know where you might be, who you’re playing for, but be able to understand when the opportunity arises. “

Is there anything else on the album that you would like to talk about?
“Beauty Speak Of Sounds” as well as “All Over” is a dedication to the home community, and it was built to show them, “Hey, if I can do that, I have the opportunity to bring this out. , that means there is still a future in this profession, with house music. It will help them to be able to now have a better relationship with the younger generation. The future of house music is a footwork and what Coming Up is still connected. I would tell people, enjoy this album, and there will be more to come.

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