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Practice What U Preach

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Album Review

Arriving five years after the double LP The Crack Capone on Planet Mu, DJ Roc's 2015 release Practice What U Preach is shorter and more focused than its predecessor, at only eight tracks. It definitely seems less frenetic, with far less emphasis on sample mutilation and bone-snapping beats. The tracks here all run close to four or five minutes rather than two or three, allowing more time to build moods and let samples breathe. It doesn't quite have the intensity or jaw-dropping weirdness of his earlier work, but it's still an impressive album. "It Takes Two" samples the familiar Rob Base & DJ E-Z Rock hit of the same name, beginning by looping the infamous "Think" breakbeat for the first couple minutes before dovetailing into woozy synths and samples of Rob Base's voice commanding to "get loose now." "The Worst" is footwork at its most contemplative, with slow, atmospheric pianos and a repeated female vocal sample stating "don't take this personal." "Destruction" is straight-up battle music, with stuttering combat horns pitted up against triple-time beats. "Ready or Not" contains even more grand orchestral samples, with horns and strings reversed and pitched up for a suspenseful effect. The brief album shows a remarkable amount of maturity and restraint, without sacrificing the intensity and unpredictability that made DJ Roc's work notable in the first place.


Born: Chicago, IL

Genre: Electronic

Years Active: '00s, '10s

An innovator in the world of Chicago Juke -- a genre where Chicago house, bass music, and ghetto tech come together -- DJ Roc was born Clarence Johnson on Chicago’s South Side. After encountering the furious sound of Ghetto house music, Roc became a fan. When he bought the FL Studio program in 2001 -- then known as Fruityloops -- he became a producer, creating a series of tracks and mixtapes that would, over time, evolve into the faster Chicago Juke style. He began DJing in 2005, and in 2007 he released...
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