Nas Helped Change Large Professors’ Work Ethic
Large Professor remains one of the most influential figures to ever grace the genre of hip-hop. With more than 25 years of producing and creating hit records for himself and legendary artists in the game like Nas, Busta Rhymes, Mobb Deep, Big Daddy Kane and countless others, Large Pro looks to continue blessing hip-hop purists with his sound and music in 2015. As Xtra P gears up to release his Re:Living project this spring, the Queens MC and producer recently launched the second single off the album entitled “Own World” to get the masses prepared for his next solo project.
With this album in the works and his brand new single, XXL recently chopped it up with Large Professor about his current projects, the state of hip-hop and the best advice he’s received from Nas. Check out the full interview below. —Roger Krastz
XXL: Tell me about the new project Re:Living.
Large Professor: This project is nice because I’m moving forward, but then I kind of do a little bit of a throwback feel to it. I went back to an earlier formula song making-wise and I went for all those who traveled with me throughout my career with my solo joints. You know, with this project I feel like it’s the closest that I take it back to kind of that Main Source formula a little bit.
Who are some of the guest features we should expect on the album?
Feature-wise I got a nice joint with Cormega and Inspektah Deck. We got that “Industry (Remix)" joint that we put out a little earlier. That felt good going on the project and I just basically kept it with my campaign of song topics, so it’s definitely nice.
What do you want people to get from this album?
I’m just basically adding on to the catalog and just giving people a project that makes them feel the energy, and they are going to know that this is official, especially with a lot of the bullshit that people are putting out there right now. So I just want to add on and give people something out there for people of my generation.
The project you did last year with Cormega received rave reviews. How do you feel about the outcome of the Mega Philosophy album?
Well, you know, with today’s technology we were doing a lot of stuff via the Internet. We were getting up in the lab and everything like that, so you know, we taking advantage of that, and it was just cool, man, because Mega kind of spread his wings a little bit more. He took it outside of his usual gun talk and things like that and he kind of just gave us his point of view on different topics, so that was good. With me, I just wanted to give him the beats that complimented him. He did his thing on the project and it came out very good.
Do you want to continue working on duo projects like you did with Cormega?
I mean, that’s definitely something that I would obviously want to do with Nas or with Tragedy Khadafi. You know, all my Queensbridge dudes. I mean, I’m ready to rock, man. I would definitely work with ill lyricist dudes like Lord Finesse and all of the MC’s from my generation and even some of the new ones if they were up to it.
You’ve produced several classic records in hip-hop. What’s the beat that took you the longest to create?
The beat that took me the longest to create... I think it would have to be “Peace Is Not The Word To Play” off the Main Source Breaking Atoms album because that was just a whole bunch of stuff that we had to revisit on the record. We had to go back to it a whole bunch of times and add just different pieces and scratches to everything.
What are your thoughts on the state of hip-hop nowadays?
See, I was raised in the culture, and a lot of people today are being raised in the business aspect of hip-hop right now. And it’s just different because they are just looking to get what they can out of the game and then get out of the game. In the era I grew up in we would break dance. We would write graffiti. This was our daily things to do, so I’m different when it comes to that. I put these beats together. I put these songs together and it’s just what I do. It’s like a pastime for me, but it just so happens to be that I share it with the world.
Who are some of the younger MC’s that you find yourself listening to?
I like Joey Bada$$, I like my boy Timeless Truth and there’s a few dudes that are coming up, but my dudes right now are Timeless Truth because they are trying to keep it 100. They got the Polo, the boom bap beats and they happen to be young dudes who are putting out great music.
Last year we were introduced to New York MC Your Old Droog, who drew a lot of comparisons to Nas. What are your thoughts of the young Brooklyn MC since you have a close affiliation to the Queensbridge rapper?
Your Old Droog is nice in his own way. He has little rhythms that sound like Nas, but not really, you know what I’m saying? I mean, if you listen to the tone of voice, some of the flows, he doesn’t really sound like Nas. But he’s nice in his own way and I think he’s going to get better and better and he’s going to have his own slot and keep it moving. I tell DJ Skizz all the time that he’s going to get better. He’s nice.
Since you have a close relationship with Nas, what advice have you picked up from Nas?
I was a hip-hop purist at the beginning days. I didn’t really have a work office ethic because I was just purely and solely into the culture of the streets and Nas was always a dude that kept the level head to really decipher things on another level and on a business aspect. I’ve always been good with creating and getting beats and rhymes together, but this is definitely a business, and after a while that’s what really dawned on me. And that’s the energy that Nas would always put out, and I got that from him. To see how he’s conducted business throughout his career is amazing.