When throwing the word "veteran" around with the players of Chicago's juke/footwork scene, it's easy to lose sight of the fact that RP Boo was making moves roughly a decade before the likes of DJ Rashad and DJ Spinn. The artist born Kavain Space is credited with being a key part of creating the hyped-up ghetto-house sound back in the late '90s, and he certainly has the experience, stories, and production chops to prove it. Maybe that makes him something of a legend in relation to his contemporaries, which is why it's even more surprising that RP Boo's debut LP, Legacy, was released just this week via Planet Mu. To do our part in marking the special occasion, we asked Space to select for us five tunes he believes to be integral to the history of footwork, and the DJ/producer came back to us with a list of music and anecdotes spanning eight years of Windy City music and culture.
DJ PJ "Chase Me"
When I first heard "Chase Me," it was the first track played on a mixtape named Wild and Freaky Part 2. It was made on the MPC 300, and I can say I let the tape play, then rewind, let it play again, and I was so amazed at just how well the track was built. When it made it to vinyl on Dance Mania, the parties that got a taste of it went nuts. This is truly a classic anthem.
DJ Clent "Third World"
This track was made just using horn patterns that, like, signal the footworkers instantly to the floor to battle. I was in Club Cavallini when I first heard it. Clent gave me notice that he had something new, so when he played it, I was instantly like, "Hey, run that back!" The track became highly requested in the weeks after. It was released on Dance Mania.
RP Boo "Heavy Heat (Another RP Track)"
When I did this [track], which is the second follow up to ["11-47-99 (Godzilla Track)"], I had to just say, "[Here's] another hit about to unfold. Now just need a place to play it." Within a week, I had to do a sound set up, so I played it during a dance performance. It was new to them, so at the end of the night I played it again. When the crowd exited, some guy told me, "That last track you played is a serious hit!" "Yes," I smiled.
RP Boo "Eraser"
I was at 5th City in Chicago when I first played "Eraser," and the crowd just looked at me while I quoted the [lyrics of] the track. When I came back the next week, the crowd was quoting it back [to me]. The footworkers worked hard every time it came on. So did New York!
DJ Clent "Back Up Off Me"
I was at a party in Chicago on 47th & Princeton, and I was approached by a member of Beat Down Productions named Majik Myke. He told me that Clent made a track called "Gutta Thugs Anthem." Gutta Thugs was a group of footworkers that I was originally a part of, and [the song] was a dedication to me. When I heard it, I demanded that I get a copy fast. [Back then], it [would] send a footwork event to the Moon.