Saturday, June 2, 2012

Large Professor - Professor @ Large

Anyone with any sense of perspective on hip-hip knows that the scene today is chock full of straight digital trash. Now that anyone with access to a laptop can throw some shitty rhymes over tired loops and call themselves a rapper, we have a biblical plague of overly tattooed nobodies of tomorrow terrorizing our ears and trying to either be Wayne or Jay. The strongest stuff over the last year has been from the old heads: KRS-One, Bumpy Knuckles, even Nas if you count all the ghostwriting he's been paying the bills with.

Large Pro has been in the game since the 80s, initially rocking pause tape that got him production gigs for Eric B & Rakim at 17. Two decade plus later, he's a bona fide legend: having rocked with Main Source and rhymed and produced a million more tracks since. The uninitiated should check this amazing retrospective put together by the good folk of Complex.

On the solo tip,  Professor @ Large is only X-P's fourth release and while they may come few and far between, #4 is worth the wait. After a perhaps too up-tempo a start, things settle down into the pocket for what may be the best hip-hop album we've got this year. Large Pro holds his own on the solo tracks like the title track and Live Again, but the guest appearances on Professor @ Large are totally bananas. Queens gets much love for the duration, and its residents represent on Focused Up with Tragedy and Cormega alongside an off the hook track with Mic Geronimo and Grand Daddy IU. Straight from Golden finds XP rocking kind of a Bun B/G Rap flow before Busta bum rushes the proceedings with his late period Jamaican auctioneer flow. Brooklyn is repped by Fam and MOP on Happy Days R Here, sporting a less frantic than usual flow that is still hard as fuck and we even get the recorded debut of the new Large Pro curated project MARS featuring Mega, Action Bronson, Roc Marciano and Saigon. Not too shabby for an old head that is still South of 40. Get Professor @ Large with the quickness here from your boys at Fat Beats.


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