About Me

Name: Adam Bernard
Home: Fairfield, Connecticut, United States
About Me: Entertainment journalist with 15+ years of experience. Supporter of indie music. Lover of day baseball, fringe movies, & chicken shawarma. Part time ninja. Nerdy, but awesome.
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Hot Features

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Artist Of The Week – Prof
Monday, April 07, 2008

Hailing from Minneapolis, MN, Prof’s musical career began at a very young age when he attended Ramsey, a school he describes as “a place where they try to put as many instruments in inner city kids’ hands as possible.” By the end of his junior high career he had found his way to emceeing and there was no turning back. Prof needed a producer, though, and it wasn’t until high school, and the horrific events of 9/11, that he met one he clicked with; Rahzwell. Prof remembers, “we had a class together first hour and the teacher had the TV on. We just looked at each other like ‘damn, this is fucked up.’” They quickly found out about their mutual love of Hip-Hop and have been working together ever since. Prof recently finished shooting a video for his song “Rocket Man” with director Doug Urquhart and this week he took a few minutes to sit down with me to discuss what qualities he feels make for a good album, a bad interview, and what exactly a gampo is.

Adam Bernard: Is Prof short for Professor, and if so what are you teaching?
Prof: Prof is short for nothing. I used to go by the stage name of Jacob Lukas Anderson, but I don’t really like my name, plus a gampo I went to school with started calling me Prof. That’s It. Prof. No prophecy, profit, professors, none of that shit. I’m not trying to teach anything. I’m not trying to preach to anyone. I think that would be a little arrogant. I might be able to clue some heads into what I’m about, or what Southside MPLS is like, but all I did was make an album. It’s about me. Listen to the CD and learn things for yourself.

Adam Bernard: OK, so what can listeners learn about you from Project Gampo?
Prof: You can learn anything from my dad burned my house down to “the only time I fuck up is when I’m on the bottom”

Adam Bernard: Who, or what, is a “gampo?”
Prof: If you have ever taken a drink off the bar that ain’t yours? That’s gampo. Broke. Not giving a fuck.

Adam Bernard: In an extremely over saturated rap world why do you think you'll be one of the artists who will survive and ultimately make an impact?
Prof: I hate that question.

Adam Bernard: Thanks!
Prof: No, I hate it because I hate the answers rappers and MCs give. “The game is struggling right now, we need to bring back that real shit.” What the fuck is REAL? Like most rappers ain’t really real!? Come on. That’s all bullshit. Yeah, I can see major labels getting into artists and pushing them in a direction to make hits, but those mother fuckers who call other rappers fake are the first ones to get on the radio rapping about girls with Akon or T-Pain on the hook (Plies). Yes, the market is completely over done. There are sick-ass MCs out there who will never be heard. That’s a shame. But I almost don’t want to answer this question. Yes, I’m a rapper. Yes, I think I’m the shit and feel I’m going to make an impact, but I just want to let my hustle do the talking.

Adam Bernard: What kind impact are you hoping to make?
Prof: I’m in between a backpacker and a thug when it comes to this shit. I’m not either. As backpack Hip-Hop head I would say “I just want to keep it real, never sell out and educate the people from my perspective and how I grew up. I want to have people see through my eyes as a witness of my environment, as a young man that grew up in the 80’s and 90’s in south Minneapolis, as a young man who has a commentary on the injustices that occur, even now.” As a thug turned rapper I would say something like this: “I have been starving all my life. It’s time to get what’s mine! I want the money and the fame. I want to eat. I want to show these lames how to rap.” I believe that I’m as ambitious as 50 Cent was, but also want to have creative input in everything I do, like the MCs at Rhymesayers. I’m also not afraid to say that I want to make money. A lot of these backpack MCs had money growing up, or enough to say, “hey, fuck that, it isn’t about the money, it’s about the culture.” I respect the fuck out of that, but my momma was on welfare for six, seven years, going to school, doing what she could. I want to be able to buy her any fucking car she wants. Of course the most important thing is that I can make a living doing what I love. It’s like this; I contradict myself all the time. I like to think of myself as nonviolent… until there is a problem with any of my people, then it might be otherwise. I want my music to express that. I don’t want to be bottled up or stuck as one image. I like to wild out, but I can’t be Lil’ Jon all the time. I want to help people through tough times in there lives with a soundtrack. On the flipside, I want to sell out every venue I’m at with fans who know every word.

Adam Bernard: What do you feel are some of the key ingredients for creating the kind of great album that will make that happen?
Prof: I think Project Gampo is a great album, so I’ll just go through some important aspects of that process. It started with the Beatchefs. They had beats that inspired me. Calling them beats doesn’t seem to give these dudes credit for what they do. They are more than beats. They are all ready complete songs even before I touch them. The most important thing they did during the whole process was trust me. They turned the whole Pro Tools session over to me, vulnerable as hell. They were that confident with their shit that they allowed me to change or tweak any part of the beat I wanted. This gave me all the creative freedom I could ask for. If my writing ever slowed I could make a random ass drop in the middle of the beat to switch it up and evoke a different emotion, thus sparking up a different/better four bars than I would have had. Well-orchestrated beats, breaks, bridges, a bangin hook; that shit makes me want to write. As far as the emceeing end? Flow. Dudes are getting so uncreative with their shit these days, thinking that the same type of rhythm and delivery is acceptable. Switch it up, punks! Lil’ Wayne is doing it. He is pushing what rap is right now. I think he is almost doing what Rakim did. I think Eminem did that shit a little. We’ll see. Then there’s the content. You better be saying something. If you get a little too caught up in your flow the content can hurt because if it. Look at Twista. He is fast as hell, but his vocabulary is about half of what a normal MC has because he needs to pick from words with sharp syllables.

Adam Bernard: What else should people know about you?
Prof: In Boy Scouts I shot 10 rounds all in a dime sized area from 50 yards. Boy Scouts was also the first time I ever smoked weed.

Related Links

Website: mplsrap.com


posted by Adam Bernard @ 7:46 AM  
  • At 3:49 PM, Blogger David said…

    Prof is one of the illest dudes that I've heard, not even based on the coontent or lyrisism but just the flow in itself, the way he presents himself on record is amazing...reminiscing of the line "Prof is Batman, chicka clicka diuagsfiuag lukas is bruce wayne..." the way he unexpectedly drop that is badass and a testement for his creativity.

    -A MN Hip Hop head and fellow emcee.

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