Popular Bands

Hey Young World! The Paragon Project by Delayne Whiteside


Have you ever been to a high school talent show and as the performers did their thing,  you knew that the potential was there in each and every kid, but the talent still needed to develop? Or let’s say you went to a high school musical and you were able to distinguish the high schoolers that took their craft seriously as opposed to the ones that needed that drama credit to graduate? Well that wasn’t the case when it came to the students of Fort Hayes Metropolitan Education Center last Friday. This vocational school in Columbus, Ohio offers career study in business and health, however the school is mostly known for it’s Performing & Visual arts. On Friday Jan. 5 2018 I was invited by The Maroon Arts Group to come check out the cd release for The Paragon Project. The students were chosen based on their talent and skill to contribute to this project. TPP is the  brainchild of Dr. Tony Anderson, that happens to be the assistant principal of Fort Hayes. Dr. Anderson is a part of the growing number of professionals that have played a major part in the Hip Hop industry in their younger years, and are now making contributions in education with the experience of their former music backgrounds. Anderson spent years on the management side and the production team of Hip Hop band The Roots before they went to late night television with Jimmy Fallon. He also received direct tutelage from the late Rich Nichols, (official manager of the The Roots.) Jason Rawls better known as J. Rawls, producer for hip hop greats such as Mos Def & Talib Kweli, is another hip hop icon of Columbus Ohio that just received his doctorate last year, and he has plans in the future of opening a grade school with a hip hop based curriculum. Kudos to them!

Anyway, getting back to the experience. Upon entering the auditorium of the Columbus Performing Arts Center on Franklin Ave., I was amazed at the turnout. There were people willing to stand in the aisles because the place was packed. “We were blown away by the turnout, I mean, we did all the due diligence in terms of marketing, but nothing prepared us for the wall to wall standing room turnout, the kids were definitely moved by it.” says Dr. Anderson. I walked in on a cover performance sung by MyKesha Corbin “Love On The Brain” originally performed by pop artist Rihanna. The crowd roared with excitement as the student body, that took up the first three rows, cheered her on. The next performance returned me into the b-boy of yesteryear. TPP did a cover of “Ain’t Nobody” by Chaka Khan and I commenced to pop locking right there in the rows. From there, the audience and I had one thing in common…we knew these kids were special and that was just the warm-up.

After a brief intermission filled with networking and fine cuisine provided by Willowbeez SoulVeg vegan eatery, the students took to the stage to present their original music. Mind you, being in this business for 21 years, I can usually tell the difference between locally recorded music and industry production. I was astonished. Every track I heard felt like it belonged on the radio or in a motion picture score. What was more intriguing was the videos that told the stories behind the songs. Each student received a chance to interpret the song for the listening audience. One particular song resonated with me. Get Back To Me by Abby Deneke is on constant repeat in my playlist. Not only is the song remarkably written, the production and arrangement would give SZA or Kehlani a run for their money. The song talks about making a decision to separate yourself from something or someone you love to regain yourself and your focus back. “Sometimes we love something too much and we end up losing ourselves. I wrote this song based on something personal I was dealing with, and creating it served as a bit of therapy for me” says Deneke. The next song I enjoyed off of the cd was “We Go High”. It’s a fun song with a house tempo by Pia Monagan. The songs takes it’s cues from the Michelle Obama speech during the 2016 presidential campaign. Monagan cleverly infused Obama’s speech into her song. “We really invested in breakout sessions and presented round table discussions to get the kids to open up and be themselves. That allowed them to move freely in their craft.” says Dr. Anderson 

DJ Mr. King from Power 107.5fm (WCKX) hosted the evening and was quite supportive of the youth. “I wanted to come from behind that curtain and start dancing with them” say King. One parent said “Their level of talent is unbelievable. While some children are thinking about new outfits or the next party, these kids work tirelessly to hone their skill and continue to advance. If they stick with it, their dedication will take them far.”

The Paragon Project project is being well received by a number of media outlets around Central Ohio and across the nation. Dr. Tony Anderson is dedicated to seeing his students learn not only their craft, but the music business as well. He says in closing “Rich Nichols (RIP) manager of The Roots was my mentor. He was so wise, not only about the business, but his philosophies dealing with life were awesome. He taught me things no book can teach you about this industry. Little pieces of information he dropped on me I still use to this day. I’m  just looking to impart that same wisdom into my kids. I’m very proud at what they have accomplished” 

The Paragon Project is a great musical investment. It is now available on all streaming sites. And for all you  music snobs, it will be a great way to brag, knowing you may have a piece of artistry before any of these artists actually become rich and famous.





read more

Let’s Talk About Haven: Soul Singer Renee Dion speaks to DJ Layne Luv

Haven Renee

How do you really interpret being a fan of an artist you know personally? And how does one explain that fanship when you are involved in the inner circle of the artist movement within that city? Can one speak objectively without bias? I’ll try my best. I came to know of this female sultry soul singer by way of a poet I used to date. From her introduction, I grew to know of all of the players within that artsy scene from Wali Crowder (poet), to B Jazz and The Liquid Crystal Project to DJ Krate Digga (eclectic DJ) to Lawrence Lemon (dancer extraordinaire). But around 2011, Columbus Ohio was buzzing by the release of Eric Roberson’s Mr. Nice Guy. Of course the city of Columbus has an adoration for the grammy-nominated singer, but the talk was more that of his generosity, almost an ode if you will, to the place that continues to give him so much love. Roberson included most of the artist aforementioned on his project, and from there I started to hear more and more about the songstress they call Renee Dion who was also a feature on Mr. Nice Guy.

With each project released, with each live performance, I became more of a supporter of Dion’s movement. Even witnessing her sing the national anthem for our 44th president Barack Obama was nothing short of amazing. In 2014, she dropped her project Moonlight off at my radio show, and my crew at the time and I were blown away at the maturity of her sound. We played every track for the entire show. By that time Dion was gaining momentum on the music scene….then all of the sudden “POOF” she disappeared. For a year and a half I would see her appear at a few music events around town or see her with her students from my window at that bank I was working at. (she was a school teacher at a school next door). But still no spark of music until around the end of October 2017. I started hearing from her chief supporter (her husband) she had a project coming out. He showed up at the club passing out her project to all the DJ’s but I was on the set and by the time I got done, the project was sold out. I ended up having to wait for the release date to hear it, and believe you me it was worth the wait. Haven put me in a trance from the first track I played.

I’m the type of person that believes everyone has a path and I follow good energy, so when I heard that my long time friend Jonathan Baker helped out on a lot of the arrangements for Haven, it made perfect sense why I was drawn to this project. Baker is an extremely talented genuine guy. I also felt that Dion was coming from a personal place. She’s a private person, but if you follow her life on social media and in real life…you know she’s in love and she’s been in love for quite some time. A story that is very rare in this day and age. Dion and her husband Artist Eric Jefferson don’t do it for the vine either, their love story is real. Those that listen to Haven can feel that story in the songs. So if you are in love, looking to be in love , or you just simply have questions about it…you can use Haven as to what that looks like.

I caught up with the songstress and I wanted her to break down some key elements of this masterpiece. Without further adieu …..Renee Dion…..

SO: Hey Renee, considering I just interviewed a musician you know well Ill Poetic and him taking 10 years to finish his project, and knowing it took you a few years to complete Haven, explain how difficult the process is to bring about a project with the musicality both of your projects possess.

RD: Oooh wee! (laughs to self) well after Moonlight I sort of hit a brick wall and I had to ask myself the question all artist get to a point of asking. Do I want to keep doing this, or do I want to let this go and just stop? I then made a decision, and with my mouth I told my husband…”I’m done with music” and from there was an almost immediate shift in my life from health problems to personal relationships.. things were just off. Speaking to that, I learned that when we abandon our purpose and what God has given us to do, things will shift and things can change until we find that path again. So as I stated, I was going to walk away but something kept bringing me back to it, and more and more I began to  find inspiration. I was finding inspiration everywhere, from listening to my best friend T. Wong evolve to lyrics just coming to me out of no where…and I started thinking to myself like “Are we done?” So my husband and I turned one of our bedrooms into a recording studio and I began to tinker around, and from that, the creativity started flowing …like if you ever saw the movie with Bruce Leroy …I had the glow (we both crack up) but when I started to show these songs to Jonathan (Baker) …first of all this man is truly talented, but I truly love his musicianship, so when he began to add his musical flavor, that’s when Haven started coming to life.

SO: If I could give this album a positive critique, you sound the most confident on this album than your previous projects. Songs like Uno (I really like that song btw) have your signature sound, but you can also hear growth and confidence in these songs. What made the difference on you taking risk vocally on this project?

RD:  I would say, when you take ownership and responsibility from other people’s hands, no slight to any other producer I’ve worked with…but once I had to sit in this studio and hammer out these songs myself, and I had to figure out production nuances and truly trust myself to express what was coming from my heart, I would say the confidence to elevate happened organically from those experiences. If you really want to know who Renee Dion is…Listen to Haven. 

SO: Considering we’re saying goodbye to 2017…We had a number of bare-your-soul albums from music’s royal family The Carters. 4:44 setting the tone for truth in music. Listening to Haven you can hear these songs coming from a real place. Did your husband inspire those songs?

RD: Well, honestly speaking the entire album is about him. But it’s also about me, my relationship with God and my relationship with people. When it comes to my music, I’m attracted to really beautiful sounds, so sometimes the music can stand on it’s own and overshadow the lyrics based on the sounds I prefer. However on this project, if you stripped the production and listened to just the words, you’ll hear my vulnerability, my fears, my questions and me dealing with myself. I’m still continuing to learn how to be a wife, and my husband is still learning to be patient with me as I find my way, as I am with him and these thoughts are what come out in the music. Life is about continual self discovery.

SO: It seems like your songs speak to women in love or looking for love. In a time where trust in relationships is a rarity and often times scary, what would you say to those women looking for love in 2018?

RD: Wow that’s a deep question and loaded hahaha but I’ll try to answer. I’ll say this to my single women waiting for love. Don’t lose your affection, don’t lose your vulnerability by being guarded. What do they say, “you can’t receive a blessing with a closed fist”, so you have to remain open to love no matter how great the potential of you being hurt again. With each experience there is a lesson until you reach the destiny God has called you to reach. The problem lies for most people is that they look to all sorts of media like Facebook and Instagram and the wrong outlets for guides to relationships. However that is so far from the truth of what love really is.

Listen, people look at my husband and I funny because wherever they see me they see him and vice versa. If he has a showing I’m right there, if  I have a singing engagement he’s right there as my No. 1 supporter. And it’s not based on a level of insecurity. Our presence is a sense of protection in this crazy world. Furthermore, we enjoy each others company. I sometimes go to events and there are married women and men showing up to events by themselves and wonder why they get involved in single activities. Don’t get me wrong our marriage is still work but it’s less work when you work at it and stay in tune with your significant other. Recognizing and dealing with things when things are off are another way to build strong relationships. But people have to be willing to let go of pride and ego to accomplish that. Communication is Everything. Eric is my husband and I protect him and his art just like he does for me…that’s the best advice I can give Layne.

SO: Where can people purchase your music and what events do you have going on right now?

RD: So they can purchase the music on iTunes and we just did Healing Haven and The Black Infinity a few days ago but those events and more are the many things to come in 2018. Just follow me on Instagram and Twitter under @ReneeDionMusic and please visit my web page

SO: Thank you so much for spending the day with us. Haven is definitely a instant soul classic.





read more

The Spaceship Ride Wit The New ATLA..iens by DJ Layne Luv

Daz & Gipp 2gether

Ok so I’m working in my office in the official blogging headquarters of WTMH Radio/StraightOfficial Ohio/State Of Hip and I’m in one of those blah moods. All of the sudden my Telegram alerts are lighting up out of control. It’s the CEO of The Fleet DJ’s Klassik and he wants to know if I’d be available to interview Daz Dillinger of The Dogg Pound and Big Gipp of Goodie Mob. He said “Yo! I’m giving this to you because you really know how to put together great interviews…don’t let me down” But that’s not what I’m thinking… My mind automatically goes back to being in Sigonella Italy in January of 1993 and having two tapes in my walkman to get me through a Naval tour. Dr. Dre’s The Chronic and Redman’s Whut Thee Album. Then in 1995,  the month I’m released from the Navy…I’m in the post office hating life and the only two tapes that get me through are Goodie Mob’s Soul Food and D’angelo’s Brown Sugar. So to be able to talk to these guys was more than an honor…they really shaped my young adult life.

It’s 2pm Eastern time and the phone rings promptly. I look on the caller ID and immediately I see it’s a Los Angeles California number. Presumptuous I just answer..”Dat Nigga Daz!”….and in true Long Beach vernacular he replies “Whaddup homie?” I want to continue the conversation but I can’t stop smiling. This is gonna be a true “for the culture” phone call. These two were right in the middle of Hip Hop when it shifted in 1995 from East and West coast prominence to The South Uprising. But to see The South and West collaborate under one groove….DJ Layne Luv is here for this.

SO: Let’s just skip all the propers…how did y’all two muh fuchas decide to get together one day and make some music?

Bigg Gipp: Man Daz jus called me up one morning and said let’s make some music. I showed up..DJ Funky and Cool Dolla and Henry West was in there already cookin.. Then I heard the beat. I instantly loved it man. Daz made the hook…I went outside…when I come back in he had the hook and the verse laid. But I wasn’t ready. So I smoked a blunt..took it home and sat on it for a day or two…came back to the studio. Daz said you ready and I said yeah I’m ready…laid down the verse and the finished product was Type Of Girl. That was the first song we did.

SO: I’m very skeptical when veterans come back and make music because there is a dilemma of walking away from the game holding the hand in the air for The Final Shot…preserving the legacy versus coming back in a Washington Wizards Jersey. But Type Of Girl seems to fit right in with the music we are hearing today. How does feel to still be in touch with what’s going on?

Daz: I’m not gonna lie, it feels great! To still be able to do what you love and the people still respond to it with approval. We just keep thriving. As long as you have a good heart, you breathing and your health is good..from that point it’s about elevatin the game. And staying consistent. I’ve alway been able to be myself no matter where I’m at and I’m grateful for that.

SO: Man when I reminisce on how LA music make me feel and how Dungeon Family music made me feel, it just feels like a good a backyard cookout…blended with a lot of herbal essence as the elixir….does that help with the vibe of the records you all put out?

DAZ: Man we are doing just that right now as we speak (Laughter in the background from all the niggas in the studio hahaha) DJ Marijuana is IN THE HOUSE….(I can’t control my laughter at this point) Seriously it doesn’t help it or hurt it, It’s helps most rappers to relax so the thoughts and creativity and push through. You can smoke weed and still make a wack song, we just happen to be good and what we do and the weed helps with that.

SO: So Daz as good as you are a rapper, you’re also one hell of a producer and you’ve engineered some classic West Coast bangers…one of my favorites being Tupac’s “Got My Mind Made Up” two questions. Who’s producing your music now and tell our audience what it was like working under the tutelage of Dr. Dre?

DAZ: So Cool Dolla is our producer right now but we are working with anyone that got heat for real…

But when you talk about Dre and those years…whew….Man at first I was just puttin shit together that I thought sounded good. And then Dre would walk by the studio and say…I like this…or I don’t like that and I was just in there learning from him. But it all changed the day he said “Here Daz, I’ll let you use my drum machine” I don’t know what happened but from that one thing…it all changed and I created Rat A Tat Tat and all that shit…but seriously Warren G is who helped me get the most out of Dre’s drum machine. But Dre showed me how to put the beat on tracks and put stuff around it to make the beat sound fuller. Dre helped me out a lot.

SO: SO Gipp being that ATL has been a residence in the rap game for more than a decade going on two…how do you feel that your city has had such a long reign in music? It was a time that Hip Hop bounced around every ten years or so, but it seems that ATL has a stronghold on the game right now. How do you feel about that?

GIPP: It feels great, how these kids are taking the foundation that The Dungeon Family started and taking the ball and running with with. You see down south, we encourage growth, so when we see these kids creating, making their own beats and creating their own sound, that’s what keeps the music going for us…and quite frankly…as long as there is STRIP CLUBS…you always gonna hear ATL music. (A Loud laughter in the studio again) You can tell when you got a when them strippers start moving to it. Our music is a music that transcends gender or race. It’s family and it’s hood. I got nothing but respect for these young millionaires Migos, Metro Boomin, Mike Will Made It, Future, Young Thug, South Side, Colli Park they continue to push the culture by taking this music worldwide. I love it.

SO: So Gipp let me take you back to The Source Awards in 95′ . When 3 Stacks said “The South Got Something to say” Did you even guess that those words would be prophetic and set off the ATL revolution?

GIPP: Man to tell you the truth, I was on stage with him and I couldn’t hear let alone focus on what Dre was saying. We was all in fight mode. It was so rowdy and noisy in there, you could feel the tension to the point where any and everything could have jumped off… and we was ready. We was all on the defensive at that moment so I didn’t really hear what Dre said until years later when I saw the tape. But looking back, yes it was prophetic and I’m glad he said it, because the south took that baton and we never looked back.

SO: SO when can we expect the full album fellas?

DAZ: Late winter, early spring…just in time for them coasters and them honeys. ATLA baby!!!

SO: Well I thank y’all for taking time out of yall’s studio session to holler at ya boy. Much success to you both bringing the south and the west together to stir up a good pot of gumbo.

DAZ: Thank you Layne Luv and Straight Official for having us and big shout out to The Fleet DJ’s for playing our music!!! Much Respect!!! Respect The DJ!









read more



Yeeeeeee. The Gods of Hip Hop have spoken. P. Diddy is back to Puff Daddy. Puff Daddy dropped to new tracks on OVO sound on Saturday. It was just a matter of time before Puff connected Biggie Smalls and Rick Ross.

And to take it to the next level, Watcha Gon’ Do? had that original Bad Boy sound.


And Watcha Gon’ Do?Dre Day took off to the Nothing But A G Thang’.


read more




I’m French Montana is back with his sophomore album JUNGLE RULES. The line up is stacked with Max B, Chinx, Future, Quavo, Weekend, Travis Scott, Swae Lee, Pharrell, Ziico Niico and T.I., Young Thug, Marc E. Bassy and Alkaline.

The sound of this album is hella wavy from the C.O.K.E Boys, Bad Boy, Maybach Music Artist. French Montana found away to harmonize that auto hood with a hood bounce. If you like the single Unforgettable ft Swae Lee, then this album gots to find your way to your playlist.

Production credits: Harry Fraud, Scott Storch, Detail, London on da Track, Mike Will Made It and others.

read more



TLC’s self-titled album is on the way up and will be available June 30th. The 12 track album released on 852 MUSIQ has three tracks available now with a pre-order.

Before we go into these 3 tracks, just from the vibes of the songs available you feel Left Eye’s spirit everywhere.

TLC reached out to everybody’s favorite uncle, Uncle Snoop for Way Back. This joint is jazzy and reminds us that when you’re with your day 1 homies everything is revolutionary proper.

It’s Sunny brings the 70’s into 2017 with that Bar-B-Que family reunion music sampling September from Earth, Wind And Fire. This is one of those songs that’ll help you battle the storm of life.

Haters is an anthem. It reminds me of  Unpretty, but a version made for the people of today. This song is inspiring and empowering for women and everyone that are way too often judged for their appearance instead of their heart and soul.

I can’t wait until June 30th to hear the full album. Pre-order today! It’s a must grab.

read more

One Mans Art….A conversation with Louis Picasso by @DJLayneLuv


When your 20 year old daughter tells you “Daddy you have to listen to this artist….” with all of her enthusiasm, you have no choice but to drop everything and give her your undivided attention. The back story is that she was attending a listening party and she got there extremely early to find a young man setting up stage and lighting. As she engaged in conversation with the young man she became intrigued by his views and outlook on certain things. They ended their small talk without any exchange of names. She gradually attended the party to the progression of the featured artist for the evening. As they introduce the featured artist, she then made the connection with the moment of clarity. Louis Picasso was the gentleman from earlier setting up his own show. She was even more impressed with the quality of his music.

Come to find out, he’s well known in Ypsilanti Michigan and has a commendable following. With his latest single Gold, he’s booked for a few dates across the country including some dates in California.

It is one thing to know a person by their art…but to get to know the authentic person behind the art is something totally different altogether. When I speak to masterful musicians, I am so amazed by their humility and dedication to their craft. This conversation gave me hope for my daughters generation. So much is lost in translation based on age differences that when two people put aside those prejudices, they find they have a lot more in common than not. Speaking to this young man made it refreshing that he is in my daughters circle. And Oh! did I forget to mention she is helping with his artist management now?

Ladies and gentleman… Louis Picasso

OTT: I’m always interested in the inner workings of an independent artists journey considering I’m one myself. So tell us how did you get into music?

LP: As with a lot of musicians, my entire family is involved with music. Everybody sings, everybody plays and instrument, so I was kind of born into it. However, I didn’t start writing music until about 2008. It was like another way to express myself verses being out here doing a lot of wrong, music was my sole outlet.  Then about 2013 I started to take it more serious.  I started learning about music theory and the history of music and different genres of music I wasn’t listening to before…so that’s how it started.

OTT: Because there are limited paths to success in the music business today, I see you’ve taken the approach of a Lamar, Cole, or even names like Lupe and Badass. What brought about your eclectic sound?

LP: My approach to the music always zoned in on lyricism vs the beat which is not the approach most people take. The majority are moved by the beat or the flow. I took a liking to B.I.G. because of his wordplay. Biggie was the first album that I went through and fully dissected and I got that from my dad when I was in middle school. And I just admitted I was feeling my dad’s music so please forgive that crime. (It’s human nature to rebel against your parents music LOL) Yeah but I was really feeling how Biggie put a song together and from listening to more rappers like him and Nas, I noticed how they put different feelings and emotion into their stories. Because you see… when you’re creating, you really don’t know how it’s gonna come out, but through their influence, I learned how to trust my feelings and expression.

OTT: Tell us about your evolution as an artist and finding your own voice.

LP: Well it’s like you said up until 2008, my interpretation of music was from everything that I listened to prior, so in that, there is a lot of mimicking and trying different styles. It took a lot of changing man because you have to be true to yourself and your art, but you also have to produce something your audience will love and appreciate.

OTT: Great transition! Without giving away your business secrets lol, how did you develop your respectable following?

LP: Weeelll…hahaha, I was tired of being told no when it came to my vision. Necessity is the mother of creation and invention so I was forced to think outside the box when it came to my marketing and building relationships. I remember wanting to rock at certain shows and being told no. I remember wanting to record in certain studios and being declined. I got fed up and started doing it on my own. You have to have faith behind your ideas and your craft. Because if you don’t, you’re going to get discouraged and eventually give up. You can put tens of thousands of dollars into your project but without faith you don’t have much. This is why you have the Missy’s and Pharell Williams and Timbalands that are masters at what they do because they took the time to learn everything on their own and they were hungry for that knowledge despite the roadblocks.

The last show I got told no to, it left a bad taste in my mouth so I created what is called a Pop-Up show at Third Rail. That was my very first show and it sold out the first week based on how we promoted it and previewed it. Well before the show, people were impressed with our presentation which made them interested. That’s a key right there. Your presentation has to be so appealing that it makes people want to check it out. The buzz was so real that I just took that formula and applied it to every single show.  I put my all into and keep my faith in tact.

OTT: Being that you are from Michigan, what is your take on the house that J Dilla built and his contribution to your home state and just music itself?

LP: The first time I heard about Dilla was around 2008 and a producer friend of mind  let me listen to him and it took a while to get into my system because I wasn’t really into that boom-bap soulistic style. But one thing about music is you have to open your soul up to it in order to receive it and once I did, I really see the time and effort he took to learn music and develop his sound and it made a huge impression on me.

OTT: Let’s talk about your project now…what is GOLD?

LP: Gold….. I want to describe it as an opportunity. With this project I want Gold to pertain to worth as in worth of self not so much materialistic . I dropped Gold around April 1. I wanted to get a bunch of creators around the area and like put together an orchestra that would display to the audience the worth of these independent artist in the area. That is what I wanted to display on Gold and then again my entire album.

OTT: Lastly, where can old and new fans purchase your music?

LP: Apple Music man, they can purchase the single on iTunes and mostly all of your favorite other steaming companies. Please get the word out and it is definitely appreciated. They can see my videos on YouTube under Louis Picasso and they can follow me on Instagram under @LouisPicasso. Thank you for having me fam.

OTT: We appreciate you as well. Best wishes on all of your music endeavors.








read more

Exclusive! DJ Layne Luv Chops it up with The Legendary Large Professor

Large-Professor Promo Pic

When you become a journalist, you quickly come to realize that not all interviews are created equal. When I came to know the one they call Large Professor, I’m sure I stereotyped him along with the rest of the world. He didn’t look like Run DMC, Ice T or KRS-One. But he didn’t have to because before his release, The Native Tongues featuring A Tribe Called Quest and De La Soul, helped us to embrace difference in Hip Hop. So when we saw the intelligent hoodlum from Queens on our tv set, it made us pause to get past the Poindexter glasses to listen to what the rapper really had to say. Not to mention, with songs like “Looking At The Front Door” “Fakin The Funk” & “Live At The Bar B Que” you couldn’t deny his raw talent. Who knew that he would go on to be a fraction of the dynamic production squad that would produce THE hip-hop classic Nas’s Illmatic. Large Professor is the name you mention in certain hip hop circles when you want to impress high ranking hip-hop scholars.

While watching certain Hip Hop documentaries such as ATCQ’s Beats, Rhymes Life, Memories of Paul C McKasty & Nas’s Illmatic and a host of others, you’ll notice that they don’t get Large Professors inputs because of what he’s heard, they look to get his input because he was there. Right smack dab in the middle of The Golden Era. Right in the midst of New York’s comeback. Right in the midst of the beef between Jay and Nas. He’s always honored as being a dope lyricist and a phenomenal producer. To snag an interview with him is like a Jedi grabbing wisdom from Yoda.

Sidenote: As fate would have it, energy is real, and whether good or bad, it transfers. The day of our interview, I was not having a very good day, but I had already rescheduled the interview the day before, and there was no way I was going to stall The Legend a second day. So I set all of my recording equipment up the way I normally do and wait until Large Pro calls. As we’re going thru the interview, I’m hearing my mixer shorting. I’m sweating, and I almost break down because in all things, I love to present professionalism and I don’t want him to know something is wrong. After 6 minutes, my mixer shorts out completely and I had to go super old school and write everything out short hand. After 11 min we both agreed it was time to take what I had and make it work. Never the less it was a classic interview, and I would have even appreciated 2 minutes with The Legendary Large Professor.

OTT: First of all can I say, what a privilege it is to have an exclusive interview wit da hip hop god, but seriously I want to thank you for all you’ve done for this culture. I want to start off by talking about the love you get overseas vs. the love you get on your homeland. As I follow you on your page, I’m always seeing someone fly you out to do a show overseas. There are many stories of artists like yourself that are rockstars in the UK, Africa and especially China & Japan…why is that?

ExtraP: Well that’s simple. As with anything that is rare is treasured. Those countries didn’t get to see Hip Hop in it’s truest form on a regular basis. At home, you might see me and Mr. Cheeks hangin out on a corner at a bodega or in a club. You have people in America that actually watched us grown from nothing to somethings. Over there, all they have is what they see on tv. They know that Hip Hop started in America, so they pay homage to that. They collect and take care of the records we made that are classics to them. The US is just so used to seeing one artist after another; we can get a little spoiled. And furthermore, we don’t even carry ourselves like that at home. Cats over here might see us in the park and be like “Boom, yo there go Large Professor” and just leave it at that. As to over there, a cat may be in awe because it’s not every day you gonna see a cat like Raekwon just randomly walking down the street.

One more thing, they cherish their history over there. For example, overseas, they keep their historical buildings alive. Over here we can have a monumental building today, and it will be a parking lot tomorrow. But there they keep their traditions alive as the same with Hip Hop.

OTT: With your legendary status in the game, Large Pro…how do you stay so humble? I mean you still touch the people in a way like you never had hit records and like your name doesn’t ring bells in this culture.

ExtraP: Yeah, but see the whole thing about it, with you saying that, be clear, It’s About The Culture! It’s the culture that keeps me humble because this is what we do! Just like families have family traditions to it’s just certain things they do as a family. Nobody’s a star at the family table right? That’s what it is in Hip Hop. In fact, people look at you strangely when you on that. This is what we relay when we’re in a place like Australia. It’s like, I’m no different than you, I just have a story to tell.

OTT: We know you for being in the legendary group Main Source, but you are a legendary producer as well. When you’re are producing, do you get into all the latest gadgetry or do you like to keep it classic?

ExtraP: Akai MPC 1000 is my weapon of choice man. I mean don’t get me wrong, I can still nerd out on you if the conversation calls for that, but if you’re not a producer, then I’ll just keep it simple and say MPC. Hahahaha.

OTT: As I follow your page and Mr. Cheeks page, I see a lot of Queens rappers unifying lately, such as recording, doing shows together and just altogether hanging out. What sparked that?

ExtraP: Whoa! Be clear…Like there was never a time where that didn’t happen. Just yesterday It was me, Cheeks and Nas in the studio building. Through that building can come a session, through that session can come a song or a single. You just never know. We come together for the music man! It’s like wine tasting amongst brethren. It’s like sitting on stoop do0-wopping. We come from the same place, so we’re always going to have that connection.

OTT: Large, you were on the Beats Rhymes and Life documentary. Considering Tribe is from Queens, what are your thoughts on the memory of Phife Dawg.

ExtraP: Dang man….ummmm what can I say. Phife was……Damn man…..Phife was what I call The Perfect Trooper. He the type where you look at him like, you he knows where he’s headed and how he wants things to be. A level headed person. Real cool cat. Phife was my guy. Damn man…The Perfect Trooper that’s all I want to say about that.

OTT: Lastly Large….20, 30 years from now, what do you want your legacy to look like?

ExtraP: I can’t answer that B. I’m still adding to the culture. It would be a different story if I was done but I’m not. Right now I’m still creating; I’m still digging, still doing shows and still building my relationships like no one even knows my history. People can have their opinions about the culture, but if you’re not actively adding to the culture then what’s the point? People can say this and that about what I’ve done and what I haven’t done, but to the people that know me and love me…..I’m just Large P man.










read more
1 2
Page 1 of 2