Published on June 15th, 2020 | by MuzikScribe0
Extra Prolific: Soul Food
Now initially Extra Prolific was you, “Snupe,” alongside producer / DJ, “Mike G,” correct?
Yes, Mike G was my closest friend at the time, so I kind of involved him in the optics, but I was the only one on the album. All of the musical creativity was me. Peace to Mike G; he does comedy now. [Michael Getmore]
Speaking of early EP, what ever became of your shelved sophomore record, ‘2 For 15?’
‘2 for 15’ was an album I put out with my own money. To me it was actually better than my first project, but it wasn’t mixed well so it’s just kind of out there floating around ‘cause I never re-pressed it.
“What’s Going On” is obviously a play on the classic from Marvin Gaye. When Pete Spray and O- Love let me hear the track, I felt it needed lyrics that would cause us to look within as opposed to lyrics that would make us point the finger at someone else. I reached out to Myka 9 and thought it would be dope to have him on it, and it came out beautifully.
Of course “What’s Going On” comes courtesy of your semi-recently unleashed solo outing, ‘Like It’s Supposed To Be’ — First things first, why such a lengthy delay between projects?
The long delay is because I’ve been rapping under a different name, Lee Majors. I’ve been in the high schools, juvenile halls, prisons, block parties and churches, rapping the good news of Christ for the past 20 years. I released several albums, and a few with my brother, J White. I decided to use the Extra Pro name again and do an album for the listeners who bought ‘Like It Should Be,’ and that’s why the delay seemed so long. It’s like I was overseas, still balling, but because I wasn’t in the NBA people may have not follow my game.
‘Like It’s Supposed To Be’ is different because I’ve grown lyrically and, more importantly, I’ve grown as a person. The album is weighty; not only does it sound dope, but the content itself has healing properties…it’s infused with wisdom.
All of that being said, what all else had / have you been up to, both personally and professionally speaking, over the course of the past twenty five plus years?
I’ve been married almost 15 years. I have three sons. I have my own telecommunications business, and I’ve been doing music for the people around me. I’m a teacher and a student of the Word.
To me the industry has gotten darker. The mainstream is now more about murder, drug abuse and strippers.I miss the days when we had songs like “Self Destruction,” “Why Is That?” and” Be a Father to your Child.” As for me, I’ve been a follower of Christ for 20 years now so just about all of my principles have changed…but I still love hard music; dope is dope.
Longevity, what do you attribute yours to?
I attribute my longevity to me coming out in the Golden Era. WE had more quality, and so the fans are usually unhappy with the current state of Hip-Hop, so they’d rather support people from that era…that, along with not paying attention to the trends. Authenticity is the key to longevity.
What do you want people to get from your music?
I want people to get inspiration, and something that will help them in this journey of life. I want them to enjoy the sounds of course, but I also want them to feed their souls.
Is there a hidden meaning / message in any of your music?
Yes, there are all kinds of hidden messages and some more blatant. “Under Water” is about living under God’s protection, but you have to listen to get it closely. “Game Room” is not just about the arcade, but it’s also about learning The Game of Life from someone who’s been there! “Let’s Ride” is not just about driving, but it’s about going in the right direction and not giving up.
I draw my lyrical inspiration from the greats! When I was a kid, I was amazed at how great these guys were; LL, Kool Moe Dee, Kane, Rakim, Special Ed, Heavy D, (The) Fat Boys ,Slick Rick Dana Dane and so on. I always aspired to make quality rhymes like they did. I don’t really pay attention to most of the guys out now. My inspiration comes through nostalgia, with the attempt to make something that will hold up through generations.
Please explain your overall creative process…
I hear a beat, then I usually hear the hook. I used to write songs alongside of a platinum R&B producer Narada Michael Walden. I hear it first. I love R&B, Soul, Jazz, Rock and, of course, Hip-Hop…so I usually hear the hook, and then I write bars around the hooks.
Do you have any other outside / additional aspirations, maybe even completely away from entertainment?
I want to raise my sons to be honorable men who fear God and respect women. I want to be a great husband. I’m writing a book, and I’d like to set up a foundation to help the inner city youth in Oakland and make music that doesn’t contradict my helping them.
What has been your greatest career achievement(s), at least thus far anyway?
Some would say my greatest achievement was being on the movie soundtrack A Low Down Dirty Shame or the movie soundtrack Die Hard with a Vengeance or signing a six-figure deal with Jive…but for me, my greatest achievement is this new album ‘Like It’s Supposed To Be’ because It has eternal value, and that outweighs any earthly success, which is only temporary. True riches.
What’s an average day like for you?
Average day; I get my sons ready, hug my wife, go to work, workout, study and stay “hands on” in my home.
Please discuss how you interact with and respond to fans…
The fans, I respect what they listen to. I’m always curious to know what songs mean the most to them. And, I’m always gracious because I’m a fan, too. I know what it feels like to meet somebody whose music is valuable to you.
What is your favorite part about this line of work? Your least favorite? Why?
My favorite part is an idea coming from my head, and ultimately it being enjoyed by music lovers. My least favorite is seeing weak rappers pollute the water, simply because they have a following. I just wish good music would win without the politics, and ultimately it will.
What advice would you have for someone wanting to follow in your footsteps?
My advice would be to be authentic. Don’t sound like the guy who has a hit out now. Have enough confidence to be dope without mimicking. And, make music that will age well…avoid gimmicks and trends, and have artistic integrity.
Ultimately, what was it exactly that caused the whole dissolution between you all and Hieroglyphics? And, any chance of a future reunion either on stage and / or wax?
I betrayed my best friend…and I’m remorseful that I did. We’ve all regretted certain moves that we’ve made, usually that we did when we were younger, but the only thing we can do is learn from our sins and change. Reconciliation is always the highest goal to aim towards, although it’s not always possible. But I’m never too proud to ask anyone that I’ve hurt for forgiveness. With God anything is possible.
Is there anything I left out, or just plain forgot to mention?
I just wanted to mention the people involved with the album. Masta Ace, Myka9, Swell, Pete Spray, O Love, Scott Thrill, Joe Gamble, DJFresh and my wife, Regina Chavon.
Any “closing” thought(s) for our readers?
If you’re often frustrated with the state of Hip-Hop then ‘Like It’s Supposed To Be’ is for you. It’s Boom Bap, lyrics and conviction. When I made ‘Like It Should Be,’ I had talent but I didn’t have character. ‘Like It’s Supposed To Be’ is about a standard of Excellence and Perfection…not mine, but HIS Perfection. To God be the glory for He’s the one who changes a man for the better. Make sure you cop that! We have vinyl, CDs, and even cassettes at: https://ninetynow.bigcartel.com. Music has a definite influence on the many who are impressionable, so let’s make and support music that pushes people in the right direction. ONE LOVE.
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