The Story Behind Large Professor’s The LP

You might recall this from my interview with the artist once known as Paul Juice recently:

Robbie: Is ‘Queens Lounge’ from The LP ever going to see a proper release?

Large Professor: I’ll go back through the archives and try to dig that up and dust that off and get it right, man. I wanna finally put that stuff out there the right way – how it was supposed to originally be put out there. I might have to dust some of them tracks off, man, and get ‘em right. That album, The LP, was so muddy and dirty. The people [at Geffen] they wanted to pull outta the deal and everything, it was like, ‘Yo, I gotta go back to the drawing board and get something fresh and new to work with, so I’m not just sittin’ here with the 12-bit sampler – about to go to the grave with a SP-1200 and some floppy discs!’.

Turns out he was good to his word, with both CD and double vinyl versions of The LP shipping at the end of this month. This is good news for fans of Flushing’s Finest, for although this album isn’t Breaking Atoms 2, it doesn’t need to be. This is the musical document of a troubled man trying to make sense of the music industry, a solo career and growing-up, and as such presents a stripped-down, back-to-the-basics sound while still mining previously unheard samples. His DJ at the time, Dr. Butcher, explains in more detail last year:

Robbie: What was your involvement in that project like?

Dr. Butcher: In the studio it would just be me and him, solely. And the engineer. He would have nobody in the sessions. It was a lot of things on his mind at the time. He knew the world was waiting to hear what he was gonna put out, and the music was changing so he was wondering, ‘Are they gonna understand what I’m doin’? Because everything is going so commercial and poppy and dancey, with the silver suits and fancy videos.’ He wanted to be total opposite – that’s why he was in his video with a turntable on his back! He wanted nothing to do with that pop world. That’s P, that’s what Large is – straight-up, raw hip-hop. He would do so many versions of some of them songs. You have no idea how many times he would go in the studio, change the beats. Some of the stuff he would do I would bug him like, ‘P, come on man! Please put that back. That’s crazy!’ And he wouldn’t! He’s like, ‘Nah, Butch. Nah, nah, nah. Trust me, I got this!’ He had his own vision of what he was tryin’ to do, so at some point you had to just let it go. Tracks he would do and he would just move on. He would do so much stuff he would just wanna keep changing and changing. I can understand that – it was so much time goin’ on from the release. The release just kept getting pushed back, things had changed and he’s trying to keep the sound fresh and new. He would do so much record shopping that if he would find a new groove or new loop, he’s like, ‘Nah, I’m a change it to this.’ He would wanna use something new. Even when he did his solo album, although that kinda have more a gloomy tone, ‘cos there were things goin’ on in his personal life that he was trying to fight – finding God in his life and a lot of different things. Everybody grows up going through that type of thing, but with him you can hear it within his music. You could definitely hear the topics and where his mind is – the transitions and stuff – through his music.

Large Professor: When I was puffin’ that weed, man, that shit just had me in the zone and I would zone out on the beat for a fuckin’ month and shit. Sittin’ there, stuck on a beat like, ‘Oh, shit!’ [During the making of The LP] ‘Cos that’s when I was puffin’ that crazy skunk and allathat shit. I’d just be sitting there looking at the SP-1200, just sitting there staring at that shit, ‘Oh shit! That shit sound ill!’

Dr. Butcher: I think he recorded that album [Breaking Atoms] in two or three weeks – he recorded that album really, really fast. It wasn’t a long project, it was like a daily thing. That’s why there’s not that many songs on there. He just wanted to do a classic. He just wanted hot joints, and he was happy when he got his amount of songs and the songs he had – he was like, ‘I’m cool’. He just wanted it to go, he wanted to get it out there. He didn’t sit around, studying the records – he believed in what he was doing. Whereas later on I think he was more critical of himself, because during the first album he didn’t have anything on his shoulders – he was a new producer coming out – so he was just being Large, doin’ his stuff. But then, once you reach this plateau, everybody’s expecting a lot from you. So now you’ve got the weight of the world on your shoulders, so with his own album he was being very critical of himself. Doin’ his beats over and over and over, changing snares, changing vocals, changing kicks…every little sound. He was just over-analyzing everything, but that’s because he knew what was on the plate at the time and what was expected of him. I wish it woulda come out the right way, but it didn’t. It is what it is. It’s a piece of history.

Those of you who grabbed the hissy bootlegs or bonus CD version that come out online with the release of 1st Class will notice new interludes and skits, as well as never before heard material – some of which sounds like it was remastered off a cassette – but for the most part the sound quality is on point. The whole vibe of this record sounds even better now than it did at the time – an essential piece of the puzzle for any rap traditionalists.

Cop it digitally here if you can’t wait for the wax.

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8 Comments so far
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Nicely put together Robbie, looking forward to finally hearing “The LP” as it was meant to be.

Comment by CrateDigga78 07.10.09 @

Such great stuff and memories. I used to be a delivery boy and would rewind mad scientist over and over in my walkman, recorded from a westwood show. Nearly wore out my megabass!

Comment by farns 07.10.09 @

Did ‘For My People Part 2’ ever get a cd quality release?

Comment by don king 07.10.09 @

Forget Detox. This is what I’ve been waiting to hear!

Comment by Frost Gamble 07.10.09 @

Gonna check it out. Good article.

Comment by LP: Music Producer 07.10.09 @

thank you for this…just scooped the LP on itunes. XP is the greatest.

Comment by SUPERBADEMCEESOLACE 07.11.09 @

Im With Frost Gamble On This One.

Comment by Fresh 10.16.09 @

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