Artist Spotlight : Prof (+ GIVEAWAY)

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Prof at The Crocodile, Seattle / December 08, 2012

Prof at The Crocodile, Seattle / December 08, 2012

I am so pleased to announce my first artist in the spotlight, Prof. I discovered Prof  unintentionally and unexpectedly. I would call it an accident, but that’s got a negative connotation, and I do not regret this revelation for a second. The first track I was introduced to was “Animal,” an up-beat track with a music video featuring several sock puppets, a red and white bikini, gold chains, and one fabulous mustache. Have I piqued your interest? I had King Gampo on repeat for about seven weeks. No lie. If you’re not drawn to Prof because of his good looks and unconventional charm, you’ll stick around for his quick tongue and undeniably striking beats. If you haven’t heard of this gem, I suggest you change that by downloading his music (for free) and catching him at a show (he’s been touring to promote his new album, KVP3).

I’m  curious by nature, so I had to get inside Prof’s head. While his music portrays him as a relentless party-goer and Jameson aficionado, there’s more than meets the eye. Underneath talk about whiskey and women lies deeper concepts such as struggles faced growing up to life philosophies. He’s been in the rap game for about ten years and I think it’s time he got a little recognition.

Like any writer/artist/creative type, it’s not always smooth sailing. When faced with writer’s block / a dry spell, where do you draw your inspiration from? What provokes you? 
When I don’t feel like writing, I don’t. To just sit down, and start writing from scratch takes a certain creative mood. You got to be ready. But writing isn’t limited to the desk, or the studio. I do most of my writing by listening. Just keeping an open ear through out my day, soaking up the good stuff from conversations, certain topics, certain quotes. I record ideas into my phone like a weirdo. But you bet your ass I got hella ammo when I sit down.

Music is a surefire way to simultaneously express yourself and reach out to your listeners. Do you ever feel like you “owe” your audience anything, or is your music simply a means of personal expression?
I don’t make my music specifically for anyone. I can’t read minds. I just write what I feel, and hope people can relate. But its not that much of a shot in the dark. Humans relate. We’re all the same, we all go through the same shit.

Listening to tracks like “Baby Jacob,” one can’t help but get an idea of the misadventures you’ve experienced over the years. How do you deal with rejection/failure/break-ups? How do you “bounce back” from an unfavorable circumstance? 
I’m not really sure. I’ve had a lot of extreme drama in my life from a very early age. I’ve learned to just mentally drop everything and move on. Not sure if thats a good thing or not. But I feel like I generally know how to be happy. Maybe some day I’ll blow up hurt a lot of people. Who knows.

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Who are your role models/mentors and why?
My momma. She raised us kids as a single mom on welfare going to school. She became a teacher, and supported all of us through some very, very rough times. Even when I was super young, I used to look at her and be amazed at her work ethic. I always thought there was NO WAY I could work like her. I was probably right.

You have an affiliation with one of the biggest names in the game, Slug, from Atmosphere. At one point, he even referred to you as his “muscular brother.” You have not only shared stages with him over the course of the last few years, but now there are a series of interviews between the two of you where Slug discuss tracks from KVP3. What have you learned from this experience? 
Haha Yeah. I don’t know how that dude is so nice to people. But he has given me tons of advice on the rap game. Mostly the boring confusing shit like publishing, licensing, record contracts and such. Invaluable shit.

“On My Way” (King Gampo) is an up-beat track that paints you as someone who unapologetically and shamelessly lives life for yourself, in this moment. What do you tell someone who’s hung up on what other people think? 
It make sense to care what people think of you. We live in a connected society, and the relationships you make are very important to where you want to go. But lets be honest. You have to take care of yourself first. You’re all you got.

Too many people live their lives according to expectations of their family, friends, bosses or teachers, and, as a result, they’re generally unhappy. I dug up the track “Greatest Ambition” from the album Absolutely – “The future’s uncertain / You’re sick of being the passenger / So take the wheel / Drive off into the sunset.” At what moment in time did you decide to take the wheel into your own hands? 
Haha DAMN. Thats some deep digging! Dope. I remember writing those lines for sure tho. That was actually me sort of talking to my girl at the time. If you have a passion for something, DO IT. Money comes and goes. Fuck that shit. Spend your time doing what you love.

What constitutes a fulfilled life, according to Prof? 
Not sure yet. I wouldn’t conceder myself an angry person, but I got a hell of a fire in my belly. I’m the most completive person I know. I haven’t felt an ounce of fulfillment in my life yet. Pretty sure you cant have the amount of ambition I have and be fulfilled.

What do you believe to be your greatest accomplishment thus far?
Supporting myself as an adult through rap music.

Where would you like to see yourself in five years? Fifteen years?
In five years Id like to be selling out big rooms across the country. Id love to use rap as an excuse to travel and to shows abroad and all over the world. As far as 15 years from now, holy shit. I cant count that high.

Huge thanks to Mike C and Josh from Stophouse group for arranging this interview. High fives, low fives and much love to Prof for hoping on board. Facebook. TwitterBandcamp.

Giveaway /

*

Now that you’ve been acquainted, how would you like to get your hands on a signed copy of KVP3? Tshirt? After you’ve downloaded one or all of his albums, leave a comment below and let me know what your favorite track is. A winner will be chosen at random after the first of the year. Good luck. (:

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25 responses »

  1. He seems like such a great person! I love his music, too. I checked out one of his songs the other day, I think you posted it on your Facebook. I really liked it. Thanks for sharing, Jetta!

  2. Wow. What a fresh sound. Thank you for introducing me to Prof! After downloading all of his records, I listened to the tracks and thought, “Man, I have to pick a favorite?” But I must say “Myself” on the King Gampo record stood out to me a lot. I soaked up the words and felt connected with em’, you know. ” I believe in nothing / I believe in myself ” That’s rad. To be honest, I never really listened to a lot of rap, mostly because I can’t really relate to the lyrics. But in Prof’s songs, they actually make sense and have a meaning them. I respect that. That’s an artist.

  3. I am always lusting after new music.. Hit mehhh! 🙂

    And Idk what size that shirt is, but I would squeeze my bodacious brickhouse bod into it’s slim physique. I LOVE A CHALLENGE.

  4. I actually got a bunch of his stuff on spotify after you posted the cover you did. I really dig On My Way and Need Your Love….Whiskey also. I’m not very good at making decisions lol

  5. i found myself dancing to prof as i walked to school:) i was so into the beat! one of your youtube videos when you were singing a song by prof acoustic, i fell in love with that and is now downloaded on my ipod:) you inspire me in a lot of ways:) and i can say that you are my idol jetta., you are a wonderful human being

  6. How do I pick only one favorite……they’re all such different sounds.

    If I’m gettin stupid, gotta go with Animal. To get pumped up, I throw on Roughneck. or Terminator. For soulful moments, feeling some Borrowed Time, or Myself. And my all time favorite is A Month From Now.

    No matter the mood, you can probably find a Prof song to take it the next level. Mad love.
    Nice interview.

  7. ‘Borrowed Time” is that new joint, but “Rolling Stone” is an older classic from Project GAMPO. Hoping to read a lot more of these type of artices about how pleasantly surprised people are to find out about Prof.

  8. This is a hard decision considering that every song he makes is pretty much my favorite song. I guess if I had to chose though, I would say Horses In the Ghetto.

  9. I heard Prof for the first time at Soundset this past summer – freaking amazing. This is a dude who knows how to get crowds going. Favorite track off of KVP3 – Borrowed Time.

  10. Awe, looonng time Prof fan. Someone traded me a sampler I had of a local (Seattle) rap trio for a copy of KVP 1 way back once upon a lazy Minneapolis afternoon. I think my favorite Prof track is probably still Superstyle from Recession Music ❤ Gampo!

  11. Hi, Hello. I stumbled upon Prof in Atlanta last year. King Gampo was on repeat for 2 moths straight. Still a dope album. I lived off of East Lake for years and ended running into him on the streets. Dude is sick. I like to see artists from MN gain attention & recognition. Makes me feel like i’ve made it too & i’m along for the ride.

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