Large Professor is so involved with the history of hip-hop, it's almost impossible to separate the two. His first beat work was for Eric B. and Rakim. As a founder of the golden age crew Main Source, he gave Nasty Nas his debut. He rapped and produced on Tribe's Midnight Marauders (1993), and he co-crafted the sound of Illmatic. The list goes on: Kool G, Kane, Slick, Busta, Common. Whatever LP touches seems destined to become classic, and through it all, like rap itself, this Queens auteur continues to push the movement forward whether lacing others or blazing his own path.
Lyrically speaking, LP is timeless. "When I started out, it was just about talking slick on the mic in the vein of the old DJs," he reminisces. "Now when I write, it's in defense of real hip-hop. Of the street and the slang. Once I get busy, it all comes pouring out." The rhymes certainly do come pouring out on Large Proefssor's latest solo release Professor @ Large, which dropped this past June. The album takes the Prof's beloved boom-bap and reinvents it for a new school of students and practitioners alike. "The tree's still growing, still branching out," says LP. "But it's been so long since we've heard these sounds. This is what we love and there's a lack of it right now."
The full length of Professor @ Large finds LP rhyming with a clarity and cadence that never goes out of style. Tracks like "Kick Da Habit" get to the heart of what Large Pro is all about. This particular track pays tribute to its author's addiction – making beats – while contrasting the coulda-been life of a kid who struggles with a different kind of dependence. That's rap at its essence right there. You might hear a subtle warmth to these songs inspired by a recent trip to Los Angeles. You might notice the cameo from LP's daughter Jillian, or get lost chasing a far-out instrumental, or geek over the opening line of "LP Surprise," but Professor @ Large is ultimately hip-hop as the big picture. For Large Professor, it's a way of life.