Nine years after DJ Nate's Da Trak Genious helped introduce Chicago's frenetic footwork sound to the world in 2010, the producer returned with his much-anticipated follow-up. During this time, the regional style had expanded into a global movement, and its influence has been felt throughout numerous styles of electronic music and hip-hop. Nate, however, had basically abandoned the style by the time the album was released, instead pursuing a career in hip-hop and R&B, and eventually scoring a local hit with 2012's "Gucci Goggles," an anthem of Chicago's bopping scene.
The first thing that many outside Chicago's footworking community ever heard from its native son DJ Nate was "Hatas Our Motivation," a dizzying track in which the titular phrase, gravelly and defiant, looped ad nauseum over rapid-fire drum machine as brooding synths and pitched-down vocal samples churned ominously underneath. It was 2010, and Nate, just 20 years old, was the first footwork artist to sign to Planet Mu, a UK label better known for jewel-toned IDM. To outsiders, it sounded like a hole had opened in the earth's crust, exposing some heretofore undiscovered gyroscopic contraption swiveling below.
DJ Nate is known in dance music circles for footwork, but he didn't come from that world. In the late '00s, the Chicago artist's profile rose with chipmunk-soul ear worms like "Lil Mama Bad As Hell," which inspired a crop of homemade choreography videos uploaded to YouTube. There was "Bedroom Victory," a slow jam that was heard on the battle floor as dancers showed off their moves to competitors.