RP Boo (sometimes spelled Arpebu) is commonly cited as the inventor of footwork, a frenetic offshoot of Chicago house that combines high BPMs and booming bass with offbeat, stuttering samples. After producing numerous tracks that became underground classics during the 1990s and 2000s, RP Boo finally began to receive wider recognition when British label Planet Mu started releasing collections of his music during the 2010s. His full-length debut, Legacy, appeared in 2013, followed by Fingers, Bank Pads & Shoe Prints in 2015. Both collected tracks that had dated back several years. His third full-length, 2018's I'll Tell You What!, was his first to be conceived as a proper album.
Born Kavain Space, RP Boo began DJ'ing (and later dancing) in the '90s as part of Chicago crew House-O-Matics. He began producing tracks on drum machines and samplers such as the Roland R-70, and his Ol' Dirty Bastard-sampling 1997 cut "Baby Come On" is regarded as the first footwork track. A few of RP Boo's tracks saw release on legendary Chicago ghetto house label Dance Mania toward the end of its initial run. RP Boo produced the Godzilla-sampling "11-47-99," which was credited to DJ Slugo and released on his Born Ghetto - From My Hood to Your Hood 12" EP on Detroit's Databass Records in 2001. Despite the controversy over who actually produced the track, it became a cult classic and helped establish the genre's international following. In 2007, RP Boo released Dude Off 59th Street, a 43-minute continuous mixtape featuring tracks by himself as well as fellow scene pioneers DJ Rashad, DJ Clent, DJ Spinn, and Traxman.
In 2010, British electronic label Planet Mu (run by Mike Paradinas, aka µ-Ziq) became the first label to devote significant attention to the footwork genre, releasing albums and EPs by underground Chicago artists such as DJ Nate and DJ Roc, as well as issuing the scene-surveying Bangs & Works, Vol. 1 compilation, which featured two RP Boo tracks. A second volume, featuring two further RP Boo cuts, followed in 2011. During the same year, RP Boo (as well as DJ Rashad and DJ Spinn) contributed to Shangaan Shake, a compilation featuring international producers remixing tracks from South Africa's shangaan electro scene, which had gained comparisons to footwork due to its frenetic, energetic pace. After nearly two decades of DJ'ing and producing tracks, RP Boo's full-length debut finally arrived in 2013 when Planet Mu released Legacy, which featured previously unreleased tracks from throughout his career.
Two years later, the label released Classics, Vol. 1 (an EP of some of his legendary, genre-defining tracks such as "Baby Come On") as well as RP Boo's second full-length, Fingers, Bank Pads & Shoe Prints, a collection of further unreleased tracks from his archive as well as a few newer productions. An EP titled The Ultimate followed in 2016. In 2018, RP Boo released I'll Tell You What!, his first release to be written and recorded as a proper album. ~ Paul Simpson