- Footwork is as much a dance as it is a music genre. It's why The Era Footwork Crew exists in the first place. The Chicago dancers came to international light on tour alongside the likes of Spinn & Rashad and DJ Earl. That explains why almost every track on So·lo (z) is produced by an established artist. For their part in the music, The Era have chosen to MC. A different member fronts every track and embraces the hip-hop roots of ghetto-house, juke and footwork.
R&B and soul strings are a strong theme in So·lo (z). You hear them stabbing in P-Top & DJ Earl's "Getting Cream" and sampled to drones in Steelo & DJ Rashad's "I'm Blow'd Steel Mix." DJ Spinn uses samples to make a disco-soul beauty on Litebulb's "Bulby Wurk Hard." There are romantic strings, jazz keys and guitar, but the funky percussion—double-time bass tablas and clapping snares—gives it a surging energy.
The Era are significantly younger than most of the well-known footwork producers on the release, which is heard in their vocals. Their voices have a similar youthful pitch, while their inexperience is sometimes audible. Manny can go double-time, but a lot of the raps bleed together and take effort to distinguish from each other. Rap-wise, the strongest track is the posse cut closer, "Get U Some Remix." This could be because, together, The Era's competitive spirit comes out. After all, footwork is a competitive dance. There's real pleasure in hearing verses, not just looped hooks or catchphrases, on top of killer footwork beats. It's natural fit that will gel beautifully if given a couple of years to mature.
01. Chief Manny & RP Boo - Manny’s Home
02. Steelo & DJ Rashad - I’m Blow’d Steel Mix
03. Litebulb & DJ Spinn - Bulby Wurk Hard
04. P-Top & DJ Earl Getting Cream
05. The Era & Slick Shoota - Get U Some Remix