Large Professor And Neek The Exotic Talk Nas, "Still On The Hustle"
Exclusive: The "Fakin' The Funk" collaborators discuss their first full-length project together, and Extra P clarifies his recent revelation regarding work with Nas.
The man who discovered Nas set tongues wagging recently when he told Forbez DVD that he had “mad joints in the can” with Esco.
But there now appears to have been some misinterpretation of the number and status of said joints.
“I laid a few joints on [Nas] last time we got up,” Large Professor clarified to HipHopDX earlier this month. “It was maybe last year sometime. … I just threw him the tracks … but no vocals done or nothin’.”
The veteran producer/rapper last laid down tracks for an official product from God’s Son almost exactly a decade ago with “You’re Da Man” and “Rewind,” included on 2001’s Stillmatic.
And as Hip Hop heads have patiently waited for a reunion of the “It Ain’t Hard to Tell” collaborators, it seems that boom bap aficionados will also have to wait on formal product from the recently announced formation of Extra P, Lord Finesse and O.C. into a seasoned supergroup.
“I gotta see where [Lord] Finesse is at wit’ that; if Finesse is gon’ make that happen or not,” Large Pro replied when asked about The Alumni. “But I’m definitely in support of that. I put some tracks up for that. So, we’ll see how it builds, and when it builds and everything like that.”
One Extra P produced project that heads need not wait on is the collaborative release between L.P. and his childhood friend, Neek the Exotic, Still on The Hustle (due May 17th from Fat Beats Records). Familiar fans should know Neek from the first time he was heard rockin’ atop a Large Pro production 19 years ago on the timeless indictment of frontin’ rappers, “Fakin’ The Funk.”
“It still sounds fresh,” said Neek to DX of his introduction to the world via the 1992 soundtrack for the film White Men Can’t Jump. “And it’s still relevant; the saying is still relevant, ‘cause it’s a lot of fakin’ the funk still going on now. So that’s something that’s not gon’ ever change; we just have to stay in our lane and do what we do.”
A few Extra P produced 12” singles in the late ‘90’s, (leading up to the 2003 release of his sole full-length, Exotic’s Raw), were all that was heard by the public from Neek after his debut on Main Source’s soundtrack smash.
“I had gotten into a lot of trouble with the law,” he explained of the reason behind his M.I.A. status following “Fakin’.” “I went away for almost four years. … Once I got out [of prison] in ’97, everything was full steam [ahead]. I kept goin’ with the music, and goin’ on tour a little bit with the Lost Boyz, ‘cause Mr. Cheeks is a friend of mine. We both been doin’ the music for years. I was their opening act for awhile. … And me and Large got back in touch; we started creating music again, and we went from there.”
The new music Large Pro and Neek are creating (with a little help from Lord Finesse and Marco Polo) is an ode to the old music they created, as exemplified by the throwback title-track to their joint long-player.
But it should be noted that with Extra P rhyming on only three of the album’s eleven tracks (and save for a Joell Ortiz guest spot on “Street Rebel”), Still on The Hustle is less a duo album and more of a solo showcase for Neek.
“It’s time to show people who Neek the Exotic really is, and what I’m really about,” said Neek. “‘Cause people never really heard me to really actually judge me. They just heard pieces here, pieces there.”
“Neek always had like a crazy style to me that people never really got to get used to,” added Large Pro.
Supporters of the rugged sounds that made Large Professor’s name synonymous with “raw Hip Hop” will soon get used to Neek’s style and judge for themselves what the Exotic emcee is all about.
“Still on The Hustle is just a real street album,” replied Extra P when asked for his sales pitch to the DX readership to cop his homie’s reintroduction to the game. “[It’s a] real Hip Hop [project] talking about real street shit, Hip Hop shit. We got the ill beats, as usual. We got the ill rhymes, as usual. And, fuck where everybody else is at in the game, this is where they need to be.”