4:16:00 PM



Robbie: Were you rhyming first or making beats?

Large Pro: It was all kinda simultaneous, but the first time I went in the studio was to rhyme. It was three dudes – it was my dude Tony Rome, it was me – I think I was called K.G. back then – and it was my dude J-Wrath…he was JY, and we would go in the studio and just rhyme and shit. As a matter of fact, Wrath is the manager for Lost Boys now, Cheeks and ‘em. I guess everybody kinda stuck with it, they just went down their own little paths and shit.

So you were just making demos back then?

Yeah, demos. Tony Arfi from Power Play took an interest in us and he decided to invest some studio time in us. We were just puttin’ some demos together, and Karmel was our DJ. He was real nice and just getting’ busy.

So what happened between then and meeting the McKenzie brothers?

After a while I started getting in trouble for writing on walls, writing on trains and everything. They had put me in a group home and everything, and then when I came back out got really serious about tryin’ to do my tapes and do my demos, ‘cos in the group home dudes would be rhyming, bangin’ on the damn dressers and allathat. So I got outta there, came back and I had a little Division for Youth job, a little summer youth job and shit, and I’d blow my whole check goin’ in the studio and shit, tryin’ to make a demo. Then after a while I met the McKenzie brothers, and their moms started investing in us and we took it from there.

So you were pretty serious on the bombing tip?

Yeah, I was tryin’ to come up. My household was the typical, little hip-hop kids household. Goin’ out here you tryin’ to make noise and let people know who you are. So I’m out there tryin’ to write on trains and do all types of dumb shit. Robbin’ people, fuckin’ snuffin’ niggas and all that dumb shit. But I’m glad they caught me early, but that’s what I was into to. But after a while I just was chillin’ and started getting’ into my music and shit.

Fatal was telling me there was another version of ‘Live At The BBQ’ with totally different rhymes. Is that accurate?

Nah, I think it mighta been a whole different songs, man. I don’t think it’s like with the same beat or anything like that. When we were doing the Main Source album, there were a lotta things we were tryin’ to experiment in doin’. What Fatal might be talkin’ ‘bout is like a whole different song that we was tryin’ to put together, but it’s not a ‘Live At The BBQ’ kinda thing. It’s probably a different beat or something. To my knowledge, that was the only one that I let him rhyme on though.

And wasn’t MF Grimm – who was Build And Destroy back then – meant to be on the album?

Definitely, man. I was always tellin’ that dude, like, ‘Yo, just come through and I got you’. I don’t know what happened – where he didn’t make it through or whatever – but I had that slot for him. Like, ‘Yo man, just come through and you good’. But he didn’t make it through, so we just had to do it with the dues that was there.

It was a nice touch to have a track with Mikey D on the new record. So there were no hard feelings I assume?

Nah, never that, man, ‘cos Mike is one of my mentors. He’s the dude that kinda put me on, so I was able to return the favor a little bit. Mike ain’t really tryin’ to go too hard with anything, but once I played him the track, he’s like, ‘Yo! I wanna get on that!’ Let people know he’s still got it.

Is it true that you always try to keep everything simple and stripped back as far as your set-up?

That’s how I always try to keep it, man. Where it’s just basically just the records, a little couple of turntables, drum machine, mic kinda thing. Not really too many new gadgets and allathat. Even though I check for them moreso now than I did before, but I just try to break it down to like, ‘Yo, I like the MPC-1000’. So I’m not gonna have a whole bunch of different drum machines and everything around if that’s what I rock with.

When you did the 1st Class album you had gotten the ASR and was testing that out a bit. Was that why you had more of a stripped-down sound?

With the 1st Class joint I had got up on the ASR-X Pro, and I started making some beats on that. It was still my style, but I had these different sounds that I was enabling, and it was like I was taking a break from searching for records. And then at that time too, the record company was all sample conscious, like, ‘Oh, don’t use this sample! And if you use a sample…’ and all of this sample shit. So it was like, ‘Yo, aiight, cool. If I just rock offa this I don’t have to worry about that. When I get on the mic, people’ll know that’s it’s me – but it’s a different sound’. But it was a little too out there for some people, man. Some people don’t want to travel with you on your road when you tryin’ to broaden your horizon as an artist and shit. A lotta people gave me a lot of slack for that, man. It was like, ‘Yo, yo, yo – the samples!’ And this and that. But I always felt like once they heard me on the mic, that that would pain the perfect picture – it would be like, ‘Yo, he took this shit and turned it into his shit’. That’s all it is, man. I just bought it back for a second – just hooked-up my samples. This time around the record company wasn’t going crazy about samples and allathat, man, so I just went back in doin’ it how I usually do it.

Is ‘Queens Lounge’ from The LP ever going to see a proper release?

I’ll go back through the archives and try to dig that up and dust that off and get it right, man. I wanna finally put that stuff out there the right way – how it was supposed to originally be put out there. I might have to dust some of them tracks off, man, and get ‘em right. That was part of my whole reason with 1st Class – trying somethin’ new – because that album, The LP, was so muddy and dirty. The people [Geffen] they wanted to pull outta the deal and everything, it was like, ‘Yo, I gotta go back to the drawing board and get something fresh and new to work with, so I’m not just sittin’ here with the 12-bit sampler – about to go to the grave with a SP-1200 and some floppy discs!’ So I really tried to step it up and not be stagnated by one particular sound. Try to keep it moving a little bit.

In between projects you’ve said that you take ‘A vacation out in the ghetto’. Do you have periods where you try to stay away from the industry and live a normal life?

Definitely, man. I always try to just get back to real life, man. I don’t really let the clubs and the stages and allathat really affect me. I like to ride my bike around, go to different parts of Brooklyn, Bronx, Queens, the city and allathat. Walk around, take the train – things like that – so I ain’t never too good to just be a normal person. That’s what got me there – being on the train got me there! The train is…that’s the whole rhythm of it. You listen to ‘Looking At The Front Door’ – that’s the train right there! So I always try to stick to that, regardless of what’s going on in the industry. Musically I just try to stick to the roots of what it is.

That’s why a lotta dudes don’t sound the same as they did on their first album, ‘cos they’re spending all their time doing photo shoots and it’s hard to have that same hunger back when you were sitting on the bench, writing.

Exactly. You doing tours and not really around the way no more, dudes could get shit mixed up and shit starts being a little diluted, man. It be so potent in the beginning, man, and then shit just start becoming more and more diluted, man. I just wanna go the other way and just get iller and iller.

You Might Also Like


Most Popular