Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Freestyle Professors

Diggin’ in tha Indie-Cratez is mad proud to present you this post here bout the Freestyle Professors and if you don’t know them catz by now, man it’s about time you get to know them!

Branesparker and his homie Don-Q grew up in Forrest Projects – South Bronx and were livin’close to acts like Diamond D, Showbiz, Lord Finesse and Fat Joe. Soon the 2 unknown guys had crazy sessions with those DITC-members and it was also Lord Finesse who showed Spark how to work with the SP-12 etc. In 1992 Spark got to know DJ G.W. Foxx and soon the three artists formed the crew Freestyle Professors. Due to the fact that Spark already had some bad experience with record-labels they decided to establish their own label, Freestyle Records. Two years later they finally managed to release their 8-track EP “Your Pockets Been P:cked” that is still a milestone in the random rap-scene! Although the feedback to this EP was great the work on an album soon came to an end. Spark says that that time they had to pay bills, feed their kids and so all this struggle led them lose their enthusiasm for the game. Also he says that the general development in Hip Hop, when popular emcees would rather rap bout negative and senseless things (and the labels supported this behaviour as it would sell very well) left him thinking “man, I don’t feel this rap-shit anymore”! Still the group didn’t split although each of three artists then began to walk their own ways. Nevertheless they still met to work on some songs…

Then, about 3-4 years ago, Spark started to work seriously on new projects. Thanks to the great feedbacks of collectors, DJs etc. from worldwide he decided to come back with his crew and hit the scene hard! Because their 94-EP, which reached prices of about 500 bucks in ebay etc., had been bootlegged twice (and of course they didn’t see any money from that!) they decided to release a strictly limited double-wax edition of their classic “Your Pockets Been P:cked” including 4 unreleased tracks. 500 copies were made of these and only few are left, waiting to be played on your turntables! Now in 2007 the FPs dropped another bomb that is called “Vintage – the EP” – an awesome EP that contains 10 tracks that were all produced in the summer 2006 and also feature productions from Show and havin’ DJ Chris Love on the sets! Nowadays the FPs are mainly repped by Branesparker and GIFF (from the duo “Geo & Ricochet”) but as Spark says, the “old” members Don-Q and DJ G.W. Foxx are still in there, doing their thing in the background.

At the same time Freestyle Records decided also to put out old and mad-sought after material from “Geo & Ricochet”. The result of this decision is their “A lil sum ‘em sum ‘em” EP that contains two tracks that were originally released in 94 and another 5 that are unreleased material from 94-95. Besides that you even get a new track called “Corporate America”.

What the future will bring: the FPs are back and bring us the grimey sound from the Bronx, no doubt! Branesparker is in the studio and working on the new “Gryme Tyme” album that (hopefully) will be released this October and other projects are in the line as well so keep your eyez op’n & regularly visit their homepage to be updated!

For sound-snippets of their whole work and orders click here.

Wanna see their great “Hear what I hear” video then go here.

To see a video with the FPs in an interview (also with Branesparker and Giff freestylin’!) with DJ Eclipse on WNYU-radio, click here.

Thanks to a well-known collector from NYC (thanks Ed for the opportunity!) I was able to do a small interview with Branesparker of the FPs, so here we go:
Freestyle Professors – the Bronx grimey sound is back!
An interview with Branesparker from the Freestyle Professors: July 2007

Well, I personally stumbled over the FPs in the late 90s when I heard the track “down with the Freestyle Professors” on a mixtape. Then it took my years til I finally managed to get hold of a “your pockets been p:cked ep”. That time for me it was quite clear that the FPs are helladope but also that I’d most probably would never hear anything new from them (as many other acts who dropped their stuff independently during the 90s). All the more I was surprised when I read in a forum for “vinyl addicts” that they gonna release first this limited edition 2LP and then the “Vintage EP”. Thanks to a well known collector from NYC I was able to ask some questions to Branesparker from the FPs,

Indie-Cratez: Branesparker, I read in an article from the German magazine Juice that one of the reasons to do this awesome comeback was the big support and interest you got from many collectors, DJs etc. all around the globe, showing you that your 94-release is still some kinda milestone in the random rap scene. Was this the only reason or what else let you do this step?

This was the main reason. DJ Timbalan and numerous reporters for years have been telling me my material was still in great demand. But, until I seen the Japan cats repress my EP twice and the money Sound Library and others were getting on Ebay with my own two eyes, then I was like, alright the collectors and die hard fans really want my sound back. Also I missed REAL hiphop and wanted to come back and drop that shit the only way I know: The Bronx Grimey Way.

Indie-Cratez: As you worked in a “regular” job since years, was it difficult to get back to the mic (confidence that you can keep up with the present acts)?

Well if you listen to the newer songs on "VINTAGE" "Corporate America" and "Dear HipHop" with me spitting you would have to agree I sound better now then I did in 94 (alot of people tells me this)and what’s ironic is in 94 I wrote on paper since coming back I dont use nothing but memory. Plus, we not trying to keep up with anybody. My sound is real grimey, hard drums, conscience rap. These new acts dont know the history like us. We grew up since 7 or 8 on this shit watching the pioneers Flash, Mean Gene, Theodore, Coldcrush, etc. craft this into an artform. That’s why when your hear us, our music touches your soul instantly cause your know we bringing back that raw sound that just cannot be duplicated. I don’t care how much your sampler cost!

Indie-Cratez: Since you guys are back in the scene you dropped “Your Pockets been p:cked” lim. 2LP, “Best of Freestyle Professors”-CD and the EPs from you “Vintage” and Geo & Ricochets “A lil’ sum ‘em sum ‘em” plus there’s more to come as I read. How could you manage to realize all those projects since this requires quite some investments I guess?

Well we been blessed to have collectors and fans all over the world support us, so all these projects are possible. Their efforts are priceless. Thanks for the support of the Your Pockets Been P:cked album (about 180 left) we was able to finance alot of projects (independently). Who else do you know from 94 era with an 8track EP not even a album (stamped by Show of course), no video, no record deal, no touring, no shows, no face to match the music and come back 12years later? We are the first group to sell a $100 album in 2006 ,plus our shit is still harder than ever. That's why I love our collectors and fans to death. They are Freestyle Professors not us, without them I wouldn't have a second breath at this shit and believe me in 2years I’m taking this shit over and gonna rep real hiphop for them. WE AINT GOING NOWHERE!

Indie-Cratez: Let’s come back quickly to your 94-EP. When did you first take notice of that crazy hype for that vinyl? What did you think when you heard that people paid up to 500 bucks for the wax?

When my partner Ed Catto kept buying my shit from Amed (DJ Timbalan) ha ha. Seriously, a deal fell threw to reissue the album and when I went online and typed the groups name in I was astonished at the impact we had on the other side of the world. Where over hear, alot of people didn't even know who the fuck we were. When I heard the price and saw the shit worth more than the bigger names we still trying to become.I knew the creator gave me a gift I could'nt run away from no more and it was time to get back to doing one of the most important things in my life -- making crazy ass tracks.

Indie-Cratez: In your “up and coming” section in your homepage you describe some projects that shall see the daylight soon. Can you tell us lil’ bit more about that “Bronx grimiest mixtape”, “the soul clowns album” and the “branesparker meets show”?

These projects have been push back in order to drop the full length new GRYME TYME album we are currently working on which should be released by the end of October (hopefully). This album is gonna be like the original 94 ep, but 20 times crazier (I'm not exaggerating either). Everyone who ever loved the FP'S sound is gonna kill for this one. I’m giving a more diverse production range on this one (me and G.W.FOXX went heavy in the crates for this project) and I’m completely back in the booth fulltime with partner Giff. I didn’t even mention other treats on this (including crazy Don Q Vocals). Our first single called "TESTIFY” will be leaked to all our fans and collectors exclusively in about 2 weeks and when we update our website www.freestyleprofessors.com well have more snippets on there every month leading to the release.

Indie-Cratez: A thing that especially heads in Europe would be interested in. Any plans of making a tour in the “olde continent” or elsewhere in this world?

Absolutely. Any promoters who want to help us out please send my partner Ed Catto a email. We get emails all over the world asking for this, but we got to make sure we’re ready and the demand is there because once we start touring there is no turning back. Mutherfuckers gonna start catching seizures and shit when we bring the Bronx Grimey Sound FULL BLAST.

Indie-Cratez: Alright! Many thanks for this exclusive opportunity to converse with you! Do you have any words you wanna spread to the audience?

To everyone, all the collectors, DJ"s,Fans, Websites, Blogs and Distributors who have helped and supported Freestyle Professors by either buying our products or helping spread the word. We are deeply grateful for your help and support. We might also be the only Rap group in history where the fans financed and bought us back from the grave, literally. Much Love
Well guys, hope you enjoyed this review. Visit the FPs-page and support their stuff…support real Hip Hop!!!
Review’s been brought II u by: ral278


Anonymous said...

Big Up to my Man Ralf 4 doing this shit!

Keep it Real!

Mr Deep

s'n's said...

word up! thats the shit..

c ya soon fellaz..


Jaz said...

wow, first of all big props for the dope new look and secondly much appreciation for this Freestyle Professors interview and write up, these kids are one of the groups that are keeping real Hip Hop alive.

Anonymous said...

excellent review fellas! reminds me that i got that 94 ep which i haven't listened to for years! didn't know they're still alive but their snippets sound great!

Anonymous said...

Freestyle Professors are Dope.This interview is crazy.There sound is straight up gutter.Branesparker production is incredible.

Anonymous said...

Hey! Danke vielmals für diesen Bericht über FP und weiter so!
Grüsse aus Heilbronn



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for all you freestyle professors lovers the grime time album is going to be crazy

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