New Orleans producer Prospek has become one of the go to producers in the N.O. underground scene. Working with talented emcees like Truth Universal, Impulss, A.Levy, Caligula, Slangston Hughes & more, Prospek has his stamp on a wide range of artists. His most notable input at this point was his work on Lyrikill’s Heart & Sole [see Top 10 Smaller Releases], which he produced in its entirety. Here’s your chance to get to know the talented beatsmith as he speaks on his work with Lyrikill, how he prefers classic Jazz & Soul over hip hop and his opinion on the “New Orleans Sound.’
My name is Jonathan Bailey a.k.a. Prospek
Where You Reppin:
Oh you know I’m reppin that NOLA uptown ya herd me!
Why the name Prospek?
Well this is a name that I started out with about 9 years ago and before I thought about it again 9 years had past. At that time the word prospect seemed like what I was going for…you know something great to happen in the future… kids remember “Try to pick a name you want to have forever because once people know you by that name then its hard to change.”
Who are your musical inspirations?
I am really inspired by old jazz players because they were basically doing what we are doing today. They worked the underground for along time before jazz hit big… They were broke, smoked bud, and everyone worked with everyone else…. cats were grimey… they were gonna do it either way. I listen to a lot less hip hop than I do classic soul and jazz. I like to check out all the new albums, but my regular play is definitely old vinyl.
What’s your equipment setup?
I use an MPC1000, Digi002 rack, assorted midi controllers, Mbox, a whole slew of rack equipment and whatever else I can plug in, beat on or play vinyl through. I either run FL Studio or ProTools depending on the application. I also play guitar, bass, and drums, so I have a whole other room full of that stuff.
Past works readers should know about:
Elespee & Prospek– the Blues, Soul and Jazz Revue; G.P.C.– 83′ EP.; Heaters for Haters Mixtape; Caligula–Devine Madness; Caliobzvr–Catcher in the Rhyme; Elespee–25 Years Later; Elespee–Outlaw EP; and there are many others but that should be enough.
Current projects you’re working on:
Lately I’ve been working on new albums and other stuff with Lyrikill, Juskwam, Truth Universal, Jon Mercure, Dain, A. Levy, Slangston Hughes, Caligula, Suave as well as the usual GPC stuff.
You produced Lyrikill’s Heart & Sole in its entirety. How did you first link up with him?
Kill first came to my house with a mutual friend of ours, Jon Mercure. We started working on some tracks and about a month and a half later there was Heart & Sole. Kill works very quickly and consistently, and it is not uncommon for us to knock out 3 or 4 tracks from scratch in one sitting. Since Heart & Sole, we have probably done 2 or 3 more albums worth of stuff so hopefully you will see some more of that soon.
Some people only know the New Orleans sound as Bounce or the Mannie Fresh/Beats By The Pound style. Do you feel like you’re providing an alternative sound just as groups like The Pharcyde & Hiero brought to the West Coast during the G-Funk era in the 90’s?
In the technological age of today, quality underground hip hop is so much more available to heads, so I don’t necessarily look at it as providing different sound to the area. Now your always gonna have emcees, DJ’s and beatmakers of all styles in every area. They just have to find the other cats that feel the same way and “get it in”. In the end its all about how hard you hustle your style. But this is New Orleans so you know we got a little bit of everything in the music world.
If you had to pick one song that defined your career up to this date (one of yours or another artist’s), what would it be?
I’m not sure if I can answer this question right now. I would need to sit and think of what all the songs really meant to me. And I don’t know if my career has a definition just yet. Let me get back to you.
If you were stranded on a desert island and could only have one album to listen to, what would it be?
Again this one is hard to answer, being a collector of all types music. Hopefully in this situation I at least could get some Coltrane or something. Maybe some Parliment or something.
Any shout outs or last words?
Shout outs to all my NOLA people, my GPC fam, and basically anybody who is doing their thing right now…. Get at me for that heat…. we got it dime a dozen…… Peace to KevinNottingham.com
Lyrikill – I’m That Dude [prod by Prospek]
Impulss – No Disguise Notice [prod by Prospek]
6th Strict – Huston Beat [prod by Prospek]