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Prolyphic & Sage interview in The Providence Phoenix
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Prolyphic & Sage interview in The Providence Phoenix  Reply with quote  

A great interview and pre-show story in the Providence Phoenix:

http://providence.thephoenix.com/music/154018-blue-collar-blues/

Cranston native and Strange Famous Records rhyme rep Prolyphic digs even deeper into his personal journals on his new album Working Man, the long-awaited follow-up to his 2008 SFR debut The Ugly Truth. Add SFR in-house beat conductor Buddy Peace into the mix and the result is a booming platter of introspective anthems for us blue-collar brethren. To celebrate, some major players from the Strange Famous stable will be corralled under one roof next Saturday (the 25th) when Pro will be joined by Metermaids, B. Dolan (with new live band in tow!), "surprise special guests," and, of course, SFR bossman Sage Francis. Visit strangefamousrecords.com and scoop Working Man on disc or download ($9.99) right now or snag a copy at Fête.

"This album is not so much political, but personal," Prolyphic noted when I caught up with him earlier this week following a show in Duluth, Minnesota. The subject matter delivered by the Cranston West High grad hits home on many levels as he peels back the scabs of numerous life-altering moments across Working Man, including our state's (ongoing) recession, the nightmarish flood of 2010, and his mother's battle with leukemia.

"I didn't set out to make a blue-collar concept album, but that's eventually what it turned into," Pro acknowledged. My wife and I both experienced job losses during the recession — my wife was laid off twice in one year by two different companies," he said.

"It was fucking crazy.We couldn't find full-time work and we were both college grads, so the feelings of failure, anger, and hopelessness started to set in for me and began to shape the overall theme of the album," he continued. "All of these socio-economic issues started to make their way into my writing — how could it not?

"I couldn't write happy songs when all of this shit was going on."
A few days following the hometown show at Fête, Prolyphic and his wife will officially relocate to Washington, DC, where he landed a full-time video production job at Georgetown University.

"In a lot of ways this new album is a dedication to Rhode Island, and now I'm leaving — it's crazy," Prolyphic said.

"This show is going to be an emotional one for me," he noted. "It's like my going away party."

Prolyphic has been in the public eye for nearly a decade. His demo hustle eventually landed him a deal with SFR in 2005.
"Prolyphic and his friends would visit my radio show at 90.3 WRIU back in the day," Sage Francis recalled. "They were just kids at the time, 14 or 15 years old, and they wanted to freestyle on the radio.

"He was so shy and unassuming so I didn't take note right away, but when I heard his demo tape I was pleasantly surprised by his skill and wit," he continued. "It was interesting to discover he had so much going on in his big ol' alien head."
Francis also noted Pro's continual development in "shaping songs. He is speaking about a lot of difficult things that he's been dealing with, but he does it in a way that includes the listener rather than it just being all about him.

"That's really important and not many songwriters can freak that angle."
Francis paired Pro with SFR house producer The Reanimator for the acclaimed The Ugly Truth; this time around UK-based producer Buddy Peace gets the call from the SFR bullpen. Prolyphic's personal journals are custom-fitted with Buddy's lively woofer-shredders (he also crafted beats for B. Dolan's House of Bees mixtape series), and the result is nothing short of must-hear material.

Working Man is bookended with "Stale Bread Winner" parts 1 and 2, but the somber subject matter in between is complemented by a barrage of unique beats, as Pro comes out swinging in double time on the bouncy leadoff single "Business As Usual." Prolyphic documents his mother's battle with leukemia and her pill-pushing doctors on "Drug Dealer" (the video features Storm Davis as a street corner pharmaceutical rep): "My mother said 'fuck you,' honest how it happened/Walked out his office, hasn't been back since/Took her life back in her hands and turned, said she gonna live and die on her own terms."
"Six Feet High" will resonate with all of us locals, as Pro recalls the horrific flood of 2010 and how it nearly crippled the family business built by his great-grandfather more than 60 years ago. His father persevered and rebuilt with the help of friends, family, and his employees.

"I hope this song inspires people — we're in this shit together and if we work together we can accomplish a lot as a community," he said.
White-collar thieves who charge overdraft fees while "holding paychecks ransom" face Pro's wrath on "Fuck Banks," while the fickle rap game is served notice on "UnPopular Demand" and the killer "Death of the Boombox," with guests Francis and Metermaids.

"Sage is one of the best hip-hop performers I've ever seen, so being able to learn from him has made me a better all-around artist," Pro said.
Francis offered valuable advice awhile back regarding Pro's onstage nervousness and anxiety and "transforming it into something I can use in a positive way to give back to the crowd.

"No gimmicks, just me rapping my ass off," Prolyphic declared. "That's a guarantee."
Post Wed May 15, 2013 10:32 pm
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