DJ Corey, his grandmother Natalie Hill (who DJed as Chocolate Star in the 1970s), and his dad DJ Clent, at the 2019 Beatdown House Litnic. Credit: Melissa Blackmon for the <i>Chicago Reader</i>.

Chicago producer DJ Corey is footwork royalty. His father, DJ Clent, got hooked on ghetto house in the early 90s, and by the end of that decade had established a career in the faster, more aggressive styles of juke and footwork. Clent began nurturing his son’s interest in music long before Corey could make tracks on his own. In a 2009 video recorded when Corey was a toddler, he’s practically in his father’s lap while he plays around with Clent’s MPC—and the raw track they’re working on includes a sample of the young producer-to-be gleefully saying “DJ Corey.” Corey turns 16 in February, and he’s already been a part of the footwork community long enough to be considered a veteran. Clent’s label, Beatdown House, has released a handful of DJ Corey EPs over the past couple years, including last month’s DJ Corey Vol #1. Corey’s bare, aggressive production thrums more intensely with each subtle, elemental change he makes. On “For Rashad!!!!,” for instance, he establishes a chain-link pattern with a hiccuping vocal sample, zig-zagging synth, and skeletal, ticking percussion, then trickles the components of a big, bustling beat into the track one by one, supercharging its already alluring energy.   v