Prof on the Cabooze Plaza - A music festival

Forged from a history of hardship and partying, Prof's music and career reflect the dichotomy that his life has been. His music chronicles everything he has experienced; from adversities as a child, like his father setting fire to their home or sleeping on a bean bag growing up, to his adult diversions, like his love affair with whiskey and women (in that order). Much the same, his career has also seen this duality. After grinding on the Minneapolis hip-hop scene for over ten years with little to show besides a ravenous fan base, Prof has recently begun to make serious national traction on the back of his unique recordings, video content and must see live shows.

Frequently billed with rap mainstays like Atmosphere, Yelawolf, Tech N9ne, POS, Brother Ali, Doomtree and Killer Mike, Prof has shown his talent can hang with the best. This talent has been well documented by his critically acclaimed Kaiser Von Powderhorn mixtape series, three full length albums, recordings with Brother Ali, Slug and Yelawolf, and a guest appearance on the Atmosphere track "Minnesota Nice".

Prof's most 2011 LP King Gampo is proof that he's only getting better. Thanks to help from friends like Brother Ali, Ant of Atmosphere, and MTV Riff Raff (SODMG), King Gampo expands upon Prof's previous works detailing his worst memories and best parties, making sure the listener bobs their head and shakes their ass the entire time. To support the record, Prof joined Atmosphere and Grieves on national tours in fall of 2011, headlined sold-out King Gampo Tour dates in February 2012, and was Andre Nickatina's direct supporting artist during his national tour in the Spring of 2012.

Currently, Prof is set to release new Kaiser Von Powderhorn 3, the third volume of his widely popular, Kaiser Von Powderhorn mixtape series with features by Yelawolf, Slug and guest production from Doomtree's, Lazerbeak out September 25, 2012.

It doesn't take much to be a meteorologist in Los Angeles (usually just a short skirt and the ability to utter "77 degrees and sunny"), so maybe that's why the city's most famous weatherman is a rapper. Evidence is that rapper and also a producer. But for many, the Venice-native will always be known by the title of his critically-lauded 2007 solo debut, The Weatherman.

"When some people freestyle, they say 'I'll be on the mic' or 'When I flow like this'—everyone has a crutch—and I guess that the easiest thing for me to incorporate was some kind of tornado or hurricane. Or maybe it's just all the syllables and the titles with weather," Evidence says, laughing. "I can't even stay away from it."

In a world with escalating weather, Evidence's output is likewise getting stronger. While he's released an EP (The Layover on Decon Records), two online mixtapes (DJ Skee-hosted The Layover Mixtape and The Beatles-sampling I Don't Need Love), and toured almost without stop, Evidence is ready to unleash weather at its most violent with the long-awaited full-length follow-up, Cats and Dogs. His first record to be released on indie heavyweight Rhymesayers Entertainment, Cats and Dogs pours sharp-witted lyricism from boom-bap storm clouds.

Featuring production from Evidence himself, as well as Alchemist, DJ Babu(?), DJ Khalil(?), and the legendary DJ Premier, Evidence's sophomore output showcases an artist at the peak of his craft. From the very first track, "The Liner Notes" featuring Los Angeles crooner/rapper Aloe Blacc, Evidence makes it very clear that he's not just coasting on previous accolades and he brought along some of hip-hop's most talented artists to keep pushing the envelope. "The Red Carpet" is a beat made for Wu-Tang, which makes it the perfect slot for guest star Raekwon, and then there's the added bonus of Ras Kass. Elsewhere, MOP's Lil Fame, Termanology, Krondon, Prodigy and Roc Marciano step up to the mic. But perhaps the greatest stand out from Cats & Dogs matches a Jackson Browne sample to the impressive rap stylings of Aesop Rock and Rhymesayers head honcho Slug. The latter cameo is fitting, as it was Atmosphere's staying power that initially drew Evidence to the Minneapolis-based label.

"Leadership, personality and lifestyle are selling more music than the actual music," Evidence says. "It's a person who has talent, the willingness to work at it, the social skills, the accessibility to their fans and the understanding of the bigger picture that makes it...and a lot of artists on Rhymesayers have cracked that code."

As has Evidence. He doesn't like to use to the word "fan," but he has plenty of them after four revered records with Dilated Peoples and his subsequent solo career. Starting with The Platform in 2000, Dilated Peoples (rounded out by DJ Babu and Rakaa Iriscience) defined underground hip-hop while crossing over with smash hits such as the Kanye West assisted "This Way." Evidence received a GRAMMY nomination for co-production on Kanye's College Dropout and two JUNO's for his work with Swollen Members, but it wasn't until The Weatherman that he was able to connect with fans on a more intimate basis. With a foundation of sample-based hip-hop classicism (something still prevalent on Cats & Dogs), his debut wove together towering bangers and uplifting anthems with dedications to both his mother and all the haters. But Evidence is hardly resting on his laurels, something that Cats & Dogs will prove in spades.

"I've been doing different pockets and cadences—not rhyming in double-time or anything like that—but just showing that I can earn the accolade of a spitter," he says from his Venice home. "I think people are going to be surprised by my improvement level over the last couple years. I've shown that I can write a heartfelt song, that I can rock a crowd, that I have a serious work ethic, but if there's one thing I want to show is that you can put me on a track with someone you consider a real emcee."

And now the man is making it rain truths.

What did you do the year you turned 21? Hip-hop prodigy Fashawn earned a spot on the cover of XXL magazine, toured the world and built a rep as one of rap's new rising stars. Fashawn's debut album, "Boys Meets World," was heralded by critics and fans alike as one of the best albums of 2009 for its gritty, street-wise and intelligent rhymes. Some even compared his introductory opus to Nas' brilliant "Illmatic." It was enough for XXL to name Fashawn to its list of hip-hop's best freshman.

Fast forward to 2012 and over 200 shows and 2 mixtapes later Fashawn is back in full effect with his latest release "Champagne and Styrofoam Cups." Featuring Taylor Gangs Wiz Khalifa, MFN MR. eXquire, Kobe, K Young, Chevy Woods and more Champagne and Styrofoam Cups is considered a top release in 2012. Working with Boy Meets World producer Exile, Fashawn also called upon hip hops next generation of producers in DJ Dahi (Kendrick Lamar, Dom Kennedy), Rahki (Eminem, 50 Cent) and classic west coast producers Jake One and Hecktik.
In 2012 he also released an album with West Coast indie hip hop legend Murs from the legendary Living Legends group. "This Generation" was released in September 2012 and has climbed the indie hip hop charts as one of the best group albums of the year. 2013 looks as a very promising year as his follow up album to "Boy Meets World" titled "The Ecology" produced entirely by DJ Exile is scheduled to release.

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