Tracker Pixel for Entry

The Evolution of Prof

Music | October 18th, 2021

By Sabrina Hornung and Jr Lacroix

sabrina@hpr1.com

Prof Comes to Town With a New Album, 'Powderhorn Suites'

Minneapolis-based rapper Prof has undergone a number of changes within a short amount of time. Abruptly dropped from the Rhymesayers label, he went on to release his latest album “Powderhorn Suites.” Prof is best known for his sharp tongue and absurdist lyrics. After listening to his most recent release and comparing it to his breakthrough album “King Gampo,” which was released a decade ago, one could say he’s grown up quite a bit.

We had a chance to catch up and chat about the Rhymesayers Controversy, living in a war zone in South Minneapolis, and what kind of a future he anticipates for his new baby.

High Plains Reader: So it’s been 10 years since the release of “King Gampo,” How do you feel your songwriting has evolved?

Prof: I’ve gotten better. You know, my process is different, my process has evolved. I do more recording, right on the spot, and I guess that means less writing. So a lot of this stuff is freestyle, but re-recorded, but I'll take passes on things more organically and freely because I'm in my own home studio, and I don't need to worry about studio time or anything. My melodies I think got a little bit better, and how I change rhythms, and make my verses more dynamic. Back in the day, with “King Gampo” and stuff like that, I would have a pair of headphones, and I'd just be going over the beat, over and over and over again, just writing down my music. It was completely linear.

________________________________________________________________

I LIVED UNDER HELICOPTERS FOR THREE OR FOUR MONTHS...THERE WERE GUNSHOTS ALL SUMMER

________________________________________________________________

HPR: What turned you on to hip hop, were you into poetry? Were you a class clown?

Prof: It was kind of like a survival tactic, basically, you know, like, it was either that or do some really, really gnarly shit, you know, like, people around me carrying knives, stealing bikes and stuff. Just getting in fights, drinking and doing that kind of stuff. You know, I was always a smartass and I started freestyling. I was like a battle rapper, and then I would just learn to destroy people at house parties and walk out safe. I got a reputation for that and going into clubs battling and drinking and partying rather than, like, stealing or selling drugs that much. You know, it's kind of like a tool, kind of like a lyrical knife I sort of wielded. “Butterfly Knife” from “Powderhorn Suites”, is kind of about that, you know, my language, my sharp tongue that got me through those tough times.

Right. So “Powderhorn Suites” was scheduled to come out in June of 2020. Is that correct?

Prof: Oh man, probably even before that, I think it got pushed back like 2, 3, 4 times, you know, it was just tragedy after tragedy. It kept on getting delayed. I think it was supposed to come out maybe even before COVID happened and I couldn't tour it. We delayed it once. George Floyd was in my city; my neighborhood burned down. I was in a war zone for a few months and all of 2020. So it was tough to get off the ground but we did it.

HPR: So, the aftermath of George Floyd’s murder: what was that like in your neighborhood? Watching it on TV was surreal enough. I can't imagine living it…

Prof: Yeah, I’ve never seen anything like it, you know, it was a war zone. I’ve moved since then. I used to live in one of the closest houses. I lived under helicopters for three or four months. They were right above my house. I had to get up and leave in the middle of the night because the fire was jumping blocks you know? My house was filling up with smoke and the house next to me was melting and shit. There were gunshots all summer and it was a completely lawless summer afterwards too. Without police dispatch, you know, so like there was just gunfights every night it was just oh my god...

HPR: Wow. So, after living through something like that, what do you think about the future for your child? Are you optimistic?

Prof: No. I mean, honestly, I think my child will probably have a nice, full, hopefully decently happy life, because I'm lucky to be a very very rare, successful artist making money, you know what I mean? But like, if she wants to have kids or the next generation...they might have to have some real tough conversations about...I think climate change is gonna go crazy, inequality is gonna go crazy, and there's gonna be some really crazy shit happening in the next, you know, 15 years. I want to get it in while the getting is good and f*cking move up north in a big cabin somewhere. I don't know...I'm not optimistic about the future.

HPR: What happened with Rhymesayers?

Prof: For me, there wasn't ever an event of anything I did on this physical Earth. I haven't told anybody about my private life, but I've been very much cooped up, living a boring life for a long time. So I haven’t been partaking in anything like that, you know? But, um, yeah, Rhymesayers dropped me purely because of my content in the past and the art that I put out with them, you know, which is the most interesting part. You know, they released the music that they dropped me for. It was there, it was their label, they put it out to distributors and everything.

It's hard. It's hard for me to say what this is all about, like, it started with an old DJ of mine. But even with all that shit, I wasn't there and I wasn't aware of it. I don't know...it's a tough situation for me to speak about. I didn't get along with the dude. So, I fired him five, six years ago. Well before any of this. I'm definitely out on the other side of this. I’ve never been more successful. I hit the Billboard charts with my album release of “Powderhorn Suite” through Stop House. I think everybody understood that I got a hard shake on things and people started sharing my content even more and listening even more. And I'm just super, super thankful for it.

HPR: Did you ever think that you would be releasing something on your own? How does it feel?

Prof: I love it. I absolutely love it. I'm very happy with how we shaped our company, all the things on the back end, legal stuff, the connections we've made and what our company is capable of. We spent a very, very long time shaping that while you know that summer of 2020 was going on. And you know, we've been extremely, extremely busy.

HPR: That’s really exciting! Can you share any insight about what’s going to happen next?

Prof: Yes. It's gonna be... you know, the songs that we already have on deck and some of the features that we have, it's going to be...I don't know what kind of insight I can tell you right now, but it's, um, I'll be just fine. You can expect a lot of music and a lot of really, really good shit coming up in future.

IF YOU GO

Prof (J Plaza opens)

Thursday, December 2, 7:30PM

Sanctuary Events Center, 670 4th Ave N, Fargo, (701) 404-9006

Recently in:

By John Showalter  john.d.showalter@gmail.comEveryone knows that dogs are often referred to as “man’s best friend.” It’s no mystery why. During…

By Olivia Slyteroslyter@cord.eduFalcon Gott, Sapotaweyak Cree Nation member and filmmaker/photographer, was recently named North Dakota Human Rights Film Festival Native American Programs Director, and has many projects in store…

Sons of Norway, Kringen Lodge #4-25, is a fraternal organization dedicated to the preservation and promotion of Norwegian culture.Sentrum på 722 2nd Ave N, FargoKringen Kafe er åpen for Kaffe og Bakverk mandag-fredag 9.00 til…

By John Strandjas@hpr1.comOur Opinion: The Little Newspaper That Could, still can.Like most everyone else we know, HPR is different these days. The pandemic changed our world in ways we never imagined. Yet here we are. And as you…

By Ed Raymondfargogadfly@gmail.comThe Spread of Luxury and Poverty in the Middle of a PandemicThe wealth gap between the top ten percent and bottom ninety percent has reached staggering proportions. In 1970 the wealthiest families…

Well shiver me timbers. After weeks of sampling some of the finest drinks in F-M from more bars than we could shake a belaying pin at, the results of High Plains Reader’s 6th Annual Cocktail Showdown are in! For nine weeks,…

By Sabrina Hornungsabrina@hpr1.com“If you had talked to me five years ago or even a year ago and told me I was gonna be a chef in Fargo I probably would have looked at you pretty funny. It's wild where food is taking me in…

By Sabrina Hornungsabrina@hpr1.comYou may recognize Owen Hanson, from seeing him play with any number of folk punk projects throughout the past few years, such as his solo project Owen Broke, Bottle Wound, or Mr. Meaner. His folk…

By Greg Carlsongregcarlson1@gmail.comWith almost surgical precision, filmmakers Peter Middleton and James Spinney dissect the life and work of “The Real Charlie Chaplin,” a worthwhile addition to the many studies of one of the…

By Alicia Underlee Nelsonalicia@hpr1.comCreative Moorhead is injecting new life into Moorhead’s art scene and revitalizing its downtown spaces. Artistic or handy people with a connection to the city are encouraged to connect with…

By Kris Gruberperriex1@gmail.comDrag shows, for me, feel like a celebration of artistry, esthetic, music, and camaraderie. With a dash of confetti thrown in.The local drag community is a close-knit family. Giving back to affiliated…

by Kris Gruberperriex1@gmail.comAdam Quesnell's last show at The Cellar beneath the Front Street Taproom in Fargo was in early September of 2018. He was embarking on a seminal move from Minneapolis to LA. As always, his comedy was…

By Kris Gruberperriex1@gmail.comSpring is here (mostly), and our area is buzzing with people eager to get back out and about -- many newly vaccinated and feeling a bit safer. Partnering with Jade Events, Fargo Brewing is just…

by Laurie J Bakeremsdatter@gmail.com Part of modern yoga is participating in the world around us. We live in a time of upheaval in society and nature, and of great suffering in humans of all ages. Most of us perceive this suffering…

By Theresa L. Goodrichsubmit@hpr1.comIt was day ten of our epic southwest road trip and we’d made it to Arizona. After camping in Oklahoma, the Texas Panhandle, and New Mexico, we were exhausted, but fortunately our night in…

by Annie Prafckesubmit@hpr1.com17 June 2021On June 19th, from 12pm to 7pm, nonprofit Faith4Hope Scholarship Fund is hosting their first ever Juneteenth Freedom Celebration at Lindenwood Park in Fargo. It is free and open to the…