RP Boo

I'll Tell You What!

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Planet Mu has released several full-lengths and EPs by footwork originator RP Boo, but I'll Tell You What! is the first to be recorded as a proper album, as the others collected tracks dating back to the '90s. Essentially, the tracks on this album aren't too different than the ones on his older releases, but his style is still so advanced that most of the world hasn't caught up yet, so it doesn't sound like he's repeating himself. There are some noticeable progressions, however. Tracks like "Back from the Future" and "Cloudy Back Yard" have a spaciousness to them, taking time to progress through samples rather than piling them on, and sometimes just stripping down to a bassline for a few bars. The skittering triple-time beats do emerge, however, as do the clashing vocal samples, which take a few listens to fully cohere. "At War" is a footwork battle track that could easily double as social commentary, with a slight undercurrent of apprehension. Similarly, "Earth's Battle Dance" is about an intergalactic footwork competition, but it could be taken as an allusion to world war. "U-Don't Know" is more introspective, with a rainy-day piano melody and downcast R&B vocal sample, but Boo keeps his composure with his spoken interjections. He tries his hand at rapping during the brutal putdown "Bounty," but the vocal portion of the song is relatively brief, with much of the track consisting of punishing bass and crackling static interference. "Flight 1235" is a bit more direct and adventurous, with Boo reflecting "Things ain't been the same since I hopped a plane" over a heavily diced rhythm and airplane sound effects. "U Belong 2 Me" comes closest to sounding like Boo's earliest tracks, with a dirty distorted kick drum set to a faster tempo than most Chicago house, but still not quite as rapid as most footwork. "Wicked'Bu" is another taunt, and features wicked chiptune-like synth ripples that sound like they were ripped directly from the dungeon level of an RPG, along with unnerving horn and flute samples contributing to the track's sinister atmosphere. "Deep Sole" ends the album on a much more easygoing note, starting out with a yacht rock-like sample and excited percussion, and concluding with Boo assuring that "It's always beautiful at the end." RP Boo's style is a mix of experimentation and hard-fought confidence, and releases like I'll Tell You What! prove that the inventor of footwork is still several steps ahead of everyone else.

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