‘Established!’ is the new album from RP Boo, his fourth full-length for Planet Mu. In 2013, Mu released his debut ‘Legacy’ – an acclaimed album that put RP on the international music map, acknowledging his unique role in the creation of the Chicago-developed art form known as Footwork. It’s been said that RP Boo is to Footwork what Juan Atkins is to Techno. The start. The Soul.
RP Boo deliberately labelled his new album ‘Established!’ because that’s simply what he is. He’s thankful for being bestowed with a unique talent that has not diminished and continues to excite Footworkers both locally in Chicago and around the globe. Footwork remains a Chicago-centred art form, under-recognized at home, yet loved worldwide and RP remains its grounding point, with his productions being the place the entire scene goes to.
On ‘Established!’ RP looks back to that time when he was inventing Footwork, going out listening to disco and linking with the creators of house such as Paul Johnson. For tracks like ‘Another Night To Party’ or ‘Finally Here (ft. Afiya)’ he takes himself back in time to when he started DJing, playing ghetto house and being inspired by jack tracks. These moments were the foundation point to create his own style, elevating his sound into new territories for the future. With ‘Established!’ RP wanted to return what he soaked up over his journey and remind people of the layers of connections between various Chicago dance musics.
Another side of ‘Established!’ is the ’battle track’ mentality. The battle dance circle of course comes from Hip-Hop and also earlier forms of American Black Music. Tracks like ‘Haters Increase The Heat!’ reflect this competitive aspect of Footwork – RP notes “I was feeling heat that I detected targeting me in the scene and I grab it and tracked it out and that’s what fueled the track.” He adds “I’m not bothered by haters and no one should be – there’s no valid reason to.” He goes on to explain the track ‘Now U Know’ – how the track takes that hater energy and uses it as a way to “set the seed for footwork battles” transferring the energy “to a dancer (who can then) display it with goodness of their art.“ RP goes on to indicate how this reflects Chicago – “I’m a witness. Without understanding how, you can have hate implanted in society.” Footwork to RP is a way to counter these social ills – “to then grow out of it and have people understanding greater change – to start heading in the right direction.”
‘Established!’ is also a record about Black pride, Black dignity, Black beauty and Black creativity. This is perhaps best reflected in the track “Beauty Speak Of Sounds.“ The track was one of the last compositions completed for the album and RP was imagining himself “in the grasslands of Africa” and he set about thinking how his “spirit” felt in that setting using sounds and grooves that he wouldn’t normally use.
Ultimately ‘Established!’ is a snapshot of RP Boo letting listeners even further into his musical world – ”I want the listeners to really get close to something beautiful, to sit back and enjoy with family and friends.”
01 All My Life
02 How 2 Get It Done!
03 Haters Increase The Heat!
05 Finally Here (ft. Afiya)
06 All Over
07 Just Like That!
08 Be Of It!
09 Now U Know!
10 Ivory Surface
11 Beauty Speak Of Sounds
12 Another Night To Party