Jul 3, 2015

Review: Re: Living - Large Professor (@PLargePro); A Niles P. Joint

Old Man Strength is one of the most enduring principles in the modern world. For those unaware, it’s the idea that old men have reserves of deceptive strength, somehow linked to their experience and seasoning in their respective discipline. In hip hop, Large Professor definitely has Old Man Strength, not to mention longevity. He came on the scene with Main Source in ’91 and parlayed that into a great production career which most notably included producing three songs on NasIllmatic. He also had some solo success as a rapper/producer, which most recently manifests itself in his new album Re: Living.

The title track gets us warmed up and works as a great intro. Extra P discusses his M.O. for the album over snapping snares and understated keys. Dreams Don’t Die sees Large Pro reminiscing about past events using a Notorious B.I.G. sample/interpolation. Opulence is easily my favorite song on the album. It’s also fittingly titled because the beat is lusciously layered. It makes for a pensive aura that lasts virtually the entire album. Earn is one of two instrumentals on the album and features a mellow organ punctuated by handclaps. Large Pro goes into dad mode on the next song when he tells everyone to get Off Yo Azz on Yo Feet. It’s good advice from an elder statesman that thankfully doesn't come off as preachy. In The Scrolls tells the story of working with Nas and serves as an ode to arguably the best rapper in history. For more insight it features Nas affiliate G-Wiz giving more insight and props.

Own World features Fortune on the hook and serves as a grown ass love song. Not too sappy like some Canadians would do it, but very sincere. Sophia Yo is a funny cautionary tale about a dude that gets caught up dancing with the wrong chick in the club. Extra P reflects on his time in the rap game on New Train Ole Route which is my second favorite track on the album and the most upbeat. This is also Large Pro’s last vocal appearance on his own album, oddly enough. Industry Remix 2 has him behind the boards of course but is a large posse cut which features Inspectah Deck, Cormega, Roc Marciano, Sadat X, & Lord Jamar dropping knowledge about the industry. It’s a good song but it would have been cool to see P make an appearance on his own song. The album ends with NDN, an instrumental which makes great use of a Smokey Robinson sample.

Large Professor did himself a favor by staying true to his style and not hopping on trends. Using his own quality beats and keeping the guest artists on the same wavelength, he put together a solid album that I didn’t even have on my radar a month ago or so. It’s probably going to wind up on my year end top ten list. I wish it was longer though. It has 11 tracks, two of which are instrumentals that would have sounded dope with somebody’s vocals on there. Also in bizarre fashion, there’s an ode to Nas on track six (which works well) but the Queensbridge luminary doesn’t actually make an appearance on the album at all. This might come off as greedy/nitpicky to some, but I’m hella conscious of the magic that Nasty Nas and Extra P can create when they collaborate and would have loved to see them link up on this venture. Still, even with these minor grievances, Re: Living is still satisfying. I’m glad Large Professor has been able to stay consistently adept throughout the years. He’s a producer first and rapper second but he makes it work for him as he always has. This record will be enjoyable for old heads who want to check out new music from Large Pro and young bloods who are interested in learning about the legends of yesteryear. Re: Living proves that Old Man Strength even extends to the world of hip hop as Large Professor still has the goods after all these years. Stream Re: Living by Large Pro below.

Rating: 4.25 out of 5.


Multimedia Journalist, Founder and Chief Editor of WTM Host of A-Side B-Side Podcast and more. I like to talk about stuff and write it down. Sometimes to a microphone. Either way, I need you to feel this.

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