AND THEN THERE WERE TWO

Hip Hop make way, because Prophet & Razer have entered the ring.  Go figure, from the Alumni Elites to the point I’m at now, the two people who can’t afford to fail  the most have decided to risk their entire savings and current lifestyle on one crazy ass dream…To become hip hop stars. Worse yet, we are going after this dream at a time when artists are hating labels, labels are battling consumers, and the whole industry seems to be imploding.

Oh well, we always loved a challenge.

Yet, between Razer’s former days in Detroit’s underground hip hop and my history living in the Cleveland hip hop scene, we are starting off with a pretty decent-sized following of people who are anxious to see how this whole music project will pan out.  This is good and bad–It’s good because we have the support of many, but it’s bad because those people already have an idea of what we should sound like.

Thing is, Razer doesn’t sound like his old pissed off Detroit self (well it’s still kind of there, but much more controlled now), and I know that I can do more then mid-90s classic hip hop.   Times change and people need to adapt and evolve which is clearly what has happened to Razer’s hip hop style.  I popped in one of his older CDs last night for the hell of it, and I really don’t know what to say…Except he is, without a doubt, at an entirely higher level now.  And although I love his new stuff, (it definitely isn’t standard angry or ghetto fab Detroit Rap), it will be interesting to see how his old fans will react.

I guess I would describe his style as some twisted fusion of Detroit anger, toned down with a Reggaeton-like rhythm that rides the beat, and finished off with an intense delivery that is second to none.  I’ll tell you one thing…Since we’ve been working together, he has been challenging me to write and spit in ways I never thought I could.  What’s coming out is, well, uhhh, not your typical hip hop.  I thought all I had in me was that Common/real hip hop flow, but I am quickly learning how dynamic I can be.  Razer keeps pushing me to ride the beat, change things up and incorporate more musical elements.

He’ll say “Let the music move you and tell you how to spit on it.”

Listening to some of the preliminary work we’ve done just messing around on the mic sounds like nothing on the radio or in the underground hip hop scene, which makes me wonder a bit–Which side will love or hate us more, the mainstream or the underground?  This thing we have going is fresh, and takes the best of the underground and mainstream and then blends them all into one new hip hop chapter.

I swear, no one’s ever heard this kind of thing before. They’re gonna be blow away.  Imagine for a sec an artist that could make music that sounds good, and if you take the time to listen to the words, it actually says something.  I’m talking about a union of popular good music and conscious hip hop–Beats that make you wanna bob your head, combined with lyrics that make you wanna nod  your head.

And with that, I’m off to the radio to announce this to the world. Peace.

Oh how rude of me, I neglected the biggest announcment of the day, our name.

Prophet and Razer will now be known as…

P.U.N.K.

New site, info, myspace, videos etc are under construction as we speak.

TUNE IN NOW!

Hip Hop ain’t seen nothing like this!  2009 is the year of P.U.N.K.

P.U.N.K.

P.U.N.K.

Proph’s Midwest Hip Hop Super Group

As you know, I have have been working my ass off to form a Midwest hip hop super group.  Originally this group was going to be Dwayne, Chemist, Mooch and myself, Prophet The Rebel.  Then I had this brilliant idea when I met a hip hop emcee from Detroit by the name of Razer The RZR that I would add him to my super group…An idea I hope will still come true.  Well, let’s take a second to look back on how this whole process has gone so far and what lessons I have learned.  (If you are reading this and are an aspiring artist, I recommend you read the whole post, you can learn from our mistakes, trust me!)

My first idea, Alumni Elites,  flopped on its ass.  Too many ideas, too many opinions and none of them in the same direction.  One person wanted pop rap, another conscious rap, another gangsta rap and no one would listen to each other.  This VERY short lived group fell apart and dissolved into a solo hip hop album for me, Prophet The Rebel, half produced by Chemist & half by Dwayne.  This new hip hop super group idea (of Chemist, Dwayne and me) was just gonna release a short EP.  Together, we figured that the super group would be a launching platform for me and other artists, and Mooch was even down to help manage the whole process.  Then Razer The RZR stepped in to help, and he started giving us pointers on how to make things legit.  Ironically, that’s when things fell apart. And to be honest…I am glad!

See…When we started going full force with the business aspects of becoming hip hop artists (lawyers, contracts, radio shows, promotions, etc.), Dwayne started getting scared shitless.  That’s when we found out how full of shit he really was…Turns out all of “his” beats weren’t really his at all. He actually stole them from someone else, and all the work I had done to write on those tracks went straight into the can.

Razer kept me focused and on we went…Traveling to different cities, meeting with hip hop’s finest, all of whom started to push Razer and I to become an official group instead of just featuring him on a track or two.  One guy went so far as to say he expects to hear this duo of Prophet and Razer by the end of the year or else!  (I’ll give you a hint, he is part of a hip hop super group that rhymes with Who-Bang!)

All this is especially important because I have realized something lately, the industry is hard.  Gotta be honest here when I say that balancing life, acting and music is  difficult, and that’s why I want to form a hip hop super group.  See when you have a job, when you go to school, when you act and have lines to memorize, when you have to walk everywhere because you have no ride,  when you’ve got a new girl, and when you have family issues to attend to at night; time in a day is not on your side.  So a hip hop super group became my focus for two reasons:

1.) We could learn from each other as a hip hop collective and push each other to greater heights

2.) I realized that  I do not have enough hours in a day to do all the above and sit down to write a full album on my own….Well at least not one that is at my level of perfection. (I’m a premadonna, and rewrite until every word is perfect, which may make for the best hip hop the Midwest has ever heard, but also takes a long ass time.)

    Now with Dwayne out of the picture and a loose hip hop partnership compiled of Chemist, Mooch, Razer and myself, I was able to come to a large realization about being in a group and working with others.  This big lesson I learned, and a lesson anyone trying to make it in the music industry should know going into the game, is that saying you want to make music and doing it are two entirely different things.  Chemist, although I love the guy, just isn’t producing.  He is stuck in his world of playing video games and computers so much that his beats seem to always be in the “in the works” stage. And he may love freestyling with the crew, but when we mention stage performance, the man turns white as a ghost, which is a pretty amazing feat, considering he is black.  So in all honesty, the Prophet’s hip hop super group may be losing another artist if Chemist keep refusing to step up.  I’m not hating…I’m just being real.

    This leaves Mooch, Razer and me.  But to be honest, Mooch, like Razer, was just going to jump in here and there, not really be a full member.  He has acting gigs and a radio show of his own and honestly, his expertise is really best as a manager and business man.  Let’s be real, you got to play to your strengths, and that is his.  Mooch’s role is to be the group member behind the scenes.

    But this leaves me back at square one…Alone behind the mic.  So like I alluded to earlier, the main advice I encourage all of you reading this to take is that, whether it is music or some other dream, it’s easy for people to say they want something. And it seems like it’s even easier to duck out when the real work starts.  I don’t think any of these guys are trying to hurt me…I’m just saying, I don’t  think they have that drive, that calling to succeed like I do.  Well, I’m also convinced that I can’t let their inability to step up stop me from pursuing my hip hop dreams. I’m gonna keep pushing forward…And I’m never gonna give up.

    So when all is said and done, it looks like Mooch and Razer are the only ones standing at the end of the day, and I am grateful for that, even if they’re not behind the mic where I am.  And mark my words, this is the beginning of something great.

    So where do I go now?  Simple, it’s time to get Razer the RZR back behind the mic with me.  Everyone is right.  When we are just screwing around in the studio, the track is ten times better then the competition.  It’s unique, different and a cut above the rest, and that’s just being real.  I’ll keep Mooch behind the scenes, but the real hip hop super group has got to be a duo–Prophet and Razer. It’s time to enact plan B.  It’s time to show Razer that people flooded the email box requesting his return, and it’s time to drag his ass on a stage.

    Cleveland Hip Hop prepare.  B-Sides, next week on Tuesday May 12th.  Be there!

    Midwest Hip Hop Unite

    Prophet The Rebel here with an update on the best in the Midwest hip hop scene.  First off, I have a question: Who is killing it these days behind the boards and making killer beats?  With Dilla gone, and Kanye not returning my nor Razer’s calls, and Dwayne being a blatant, lying S.O.B., it seemed as though we had our backs against the wall this weekend when Razer and I met up to discuss some things.  It all changed when Razer’s HDTV had issues.  What does Razer’s HDTV have to do with hip hop, you ask?

    Here’s the story.  Razer was talking to this guy he sees everyday at his day job.  Usually they talk about xbox 360 or something else meaningless, but this HDTV issue caused their conversation to change direction a bit.

    Razer: Ya well it sucks.  I won’t be seeing you on xbox live for awhile.  But on the bright side, at least I can focus on my hip hop now.

    New Guy: Uhhh hip hop?  What you mean?

    Razer:  Oh I recently got dragged out of retirement and have decided to help out this guy, Prophet The Rebel, put together the best Midwest Hip Hop CD the world has ever seen.  Now that my HDTV’s dead, I can really focus on making this Cleveland hip hop CD. There’s just one problem…Now that I’m ready to devote all of my extra time into this hip hop project, we’ve had to scrap all of the work we’ve done so far because as luck would have it, we don’t have any beats. I got to start from scratch, and now I’ve got all the free time in the world!

    New Guy: Wait…What do you mean you are out of retirement? What’s your name?

    Razer: Well, I was once known as a lil underground Detroit rapper by the name of Razer.

    New Guy: No! You’re  him?  Wait a minute…If you guys need beats, I make beats, man, and I’d love to help you guys out.

    Cue the sound of angels from upon high complete with their cliché white spotlight.

    Razer: You what!? We need to talk son!

    And that is how we met The Katalyst!  Note: He’s a  great up-and-coming Cleveland producer.

    Just when life could not get any better I get a surprise ring on my cell.

    It was my boy Mooch: Remember the radio show in January?

    Proph: Yes, sir.

    Mooch:  Well The Kameleon wants to help and produce music for you.

    I’ll tell you…Life has a funny way of making things happen right when you need them, huh? Right after that, I made plans to go off to church and Razer headed off to synagogue because we both had some major thanking to do.

    It looks as though my Cleveland Hip hop dreams will be coming true after all. Now with beats in place, it’s time to focus on enacting hip hop plan B!  Razer will join a small super group with Chemist, Mooch and myself! (Insert evil laugh).

    Prophet The Rebel, Razer, Mooch, The Katalyst, Chemist and Kameleon will make hip hop history.  Chicago, Cleveland and Detroit have united.

    Detroit Hip Hop Meets Cleveland Hip Hop, Razer – Part 1

    Man, do I have a killer midwest hip hop story for you!  Acting in this play has been eating up most of my time, so I’m gonna have to break this story into parts.

    The day after my last post,  Razer was working again.  I walked right into the store and called out, “What’s up Razer”? Right when he turned around, my boy snapped a pic.  I think that this time he knew the gig was up, and I think he was possibly a bit embarrassed as the other guys at work were like “uhhhh wtf?!”

    I started into to him with the questions immediately. “What the hell!?”  I said.  “What happened to you?  Where have you been, and why didn’t you say anything when I told you what I was doing?  Come on, Detroit Hip Hop at it’s finest is here in Cleveland, and you’re not going to say a word when I tell you about my hip hop dreams?

    “I’m retired from hip hop,” He said. “Rapping is in my past.”

    “Your past my ass! Why were you with Matisyahu at HOB?  Hmmmm?” I challenged him. “Plus it’s in you, you can’t just walk away from your calling. Hip hop is who you are, and you just can’t change who you are, especially when you just started picking up steam.”

    He avoided my prying with “I wasn’t hanging out with Matisyahu, I was just there that night.” (Right, that’s why you came from back stage); and “I’m really not interested in picking up the mic again.”

    Why not?”  I asked.

    He then turns to the boss and asks to take a break so we can walk around and discuss this whole thing.  He lit up a cigar as we walked out. “I don’t usually smoke but a few times a year a really nice cigar crosses my path and, well, I indulge.  You don’t mind do you?”

    “Of course not. You don’t mind if my boy nabs a few pics do you…for my blog, do you?”     “Uhhh, I guess not as long as I see what you’re doing with them first.”

    And that was that, we ended up talking for about 15 minutes, most of it him saying that he really isn’t into that whole scene these days and trying to avoid my questions.  But I was persistent and refused to take no for an answer.  I’m going to find out the truth behind this Detroit Hip Hop emcee one way or another.  Then I’m going to do anything in my power to un-retire (Is that a word?) this supposedly retired underground rapper.  Cleveland and Detroit hip hop will unite damnit!

    I got him to the point where he sighed and said, “Look, meet me after I get off work, and we can talk some more.”

    And that my friends is where this hip hop story gets interesting.

    So, you wanna do me a big favor? I’m leaking Razer’s Twitter account he gave me the other day. It’s @Razer_theRZR. Go bug the hell out of him to start rapping again…Just don’t tell him I sent you.

    Unfortunately for now I really got to run. I’m exhausted from this weekend’s round of performances. (Side note: Isn’t it weird how once you’re name starts appearing in the papers as an up-and-coming actor, all the people you never got along with in the past decides to suddenly pick up the phone and want to talk to you? My uncle literally called looking for me…Apparently, he saw one of my acting reviews in the paper, and he wants to be my manager now. I guess this fakeness just goes with the territory, huh? Everyone wants a piece of the pie when someone’s onto something big.)

    So without further adieu, here’s a shot Razer and me to prove that I am not a total moron, and he really does look different that how I remembered him.  If you still don’t believe me, then compare it to Razer’s MySpace pic. After you see that one, you really can’t blame me for not putting two and two together.

    Prophet and Razer

    Prophet and Razer

    Oh yeah, and remember how I said I was working on getting some of my free styling stuff up on my MySpace page? Well, it’s finally up! I put a couple of my free styling sessions from when I was on the Rusty Munchyz Show awhile back.

    Check them out here: http://www.myspace.com/prophettherebelofficial. Let me know what you think about them too! I need some comment love on the blog!

    NUTHIN BUT THE TRUTH: The Road to Hip Hop No Where

    I failed to mention this before, but at school I forged a really great friendship with this guy, Randy aka Mooch.  Aside from my boy, Perry, who is in the Navy, Mooch is the closest thing I have to a brother these days.

    Mooch pulled me aside today for a heart-to-heart with me.  I was kind of shocked and not exactly sure where this was coming from, but what he said needed to be said.

    “Proph, you’ve got serious talent–rapping and acting.  I see a star in you every time you take that stage.  You’re outshining the veterans around here.  And your freestyles, are not just unique, they are absolutely killing anything I’ve heard lately.  Hell, the hip hop freestyling you did on the radio show caused my cell to blow up with calls from people asking about you.  You are probably one of the best emcees in Cleveland, no in the Midwest, and yet you still haven’t done a thing, not even a single song. It’s been just talk.  Your life is stagnant and last semester you were failing classes too.  I could understand if you were working more or if you were in the booth recording more, but you aren’t doing any of that!  What’s your excuse?  Why are you failing school?  Where the hell is this album?  We are all getting older man and if you don’t take advantage of life now, it will pass you by.  I have connections. I can manage you, get you gigs. I can help, but you have to get things rolling.  I don’t want to see you waste your life and talent.  Hip Hop needs someone like you right now.  More importantly, you need you right now, or at least the you that’s ready to step up.”

    He was right…No, he is right!  I walked home last night motivated, but depressed.  I gave up so much to be where I am right now, and here is still nowhere.  My career is dependent on others, who have yet to step up to the plate.  I can see what I want. I just don’t know how to get it.  I’m getting to the age where I don’t have the time to figure this all out. Will I be Isaiah Isaac,the aspiring hip hop artist for the rest of my life? Or will I be the hip hop artist, Prophet The Rebel?  (Is this what they call a quarter life crisis? If it is, this sucks!)

    I walked around town for an extra hour tonight (in the rain) instead of going into my place.  I needed time to think, and I couldn’t take another night of useless freestyles and battles that move us nowhere closer to an album. Let alone, thinking about my recent girl problems. After all that thinking, this is where I stand…I need to find something to light a fire under my boys’ asses.  I need us all moving in the same direction and to strive to be Cleveland’s best hip hop group–to producing the best music the Midwest rap scene has ever scene,to being the very best in this game.  I know it’s in us but I have no idea how to inspire others.  I thought my recent sacrifices would do that, but so far, they haven’t. I can’t force people to make something. My hands are tied.  I need them to succeed. I need a partner who will work as hard as me, and instead I have a bunch of people more interested in playing video games and chilling than making music.  I’m starting to feel a bit screwed. I guess you could say that I’m a Prophet who’s looking for a savior.

    P.S.- I have to admit though, Sarcastica’s faith and comments do go a long way in keeping my head above water, so she deserves a big thank you and shout out.  Now go read Sarcastica’s blog people!  (It’s less chaotic then mine, only slightly, but it’s much more interesting.)

    Prophet on the Radio

    I don’t get it, tomorrow’s show will be just like last week, except I know well in advance this time.  Yet, for some reason, I am more nervous.  Why? I’m not sure.  Maybe it’s kind of finally sinking in that I made a decision to change my life this year, and it’s getting off on the right foot.  Maybe it’s because the girl I have been seeing planted a bit of doubt in my mind.

    “Don’t get too excited, it’s just a radio show, and I doubt anyone important will be listening.” She told me. “And if they are listening, well, you’re good, but I’m not sure if you’re that good to get signed off a little radio stint.”

    Great, thanks!

    Or maybe I’m more nervous because I’m starting to sense that some of my crew is giving me the cold shoulder.  It’s like whatever I do, it’s not good enough for them, and if I switch it up and do EXACTLY as they ask, I still get negative feedback.

    – We should make music; I can’t believe you’re spending all your time making music and being on the radio. You need to just chill.

    – We should be original; your writing style seems a bit different.  I’m not into it that much.

    – We should be Mid West Hip Hop; that track sounds like its been done before.

    – We need to make it no matter what; you’re a sell out with all your connections and catchy hooks.

    I’m rambling, I know, and maybe not even making sense, but I had to vent for a second.  Peoples love-hate relationship with me gets me a little twisted sometimes, but I have 24 hours to get my head on right.  I’m sure tomorrow will be fine.

    Hopefully some of you out there will listen and maybe even call in.

    WCSB 89.3 11am-12:30pm Rusty Munchyz Show

    Feel free to boost my confidence and tell me how great the show is going or see if you can give me an on air complex by telling me how much I suck on the air.  Either way, it should be a good time.

    2009 Off With a Bang

    So  my boy Mooch asked me to come onto his Rusty Munchyz radio show Friday as a guest speaker. It sounded kinda cool, so I went. Little did I know that Lucid (Chris and Rob) was also going to be on the show. They’ve been making waves recently on the Cleveland music scene, and it was cool talking with them and listening to their stuff. They pretty much did an acoustic performance throughout the entire piece.

    Then they asked me to freestyle while they were playing on air. I agreed, and the next thing I know, 15 minutes has gone by, and they’re lovin my flow.  It was real cool. Then after the show, Rob and Chris asked me to come this week and record a couple of feature spots for Lucid.

    I know I made that prior post announcing that 2009 was gonna be different for me, but I wasn’t expecting things to change THIS fast. Damn. It’s cool though. I’m ready for it.

    Oh yeah, and if you want to know more about Prophet (aka The Rebel), then check me out next Friday on WCSB 89.3 FM from 11am-12:30pm cos I’ve got an in-studio interview scheduled then.