by Clif Rhodes
If you are a hip hop head, you have no doubt heard of the rapper Prof. With high octane beats, witty lyrics, and sharp delivery, Prof has released seven studio albums and is constantly placing on the charts. His new album Horse has just been released and is currently doing big numbers. Hip hop’s mustachioed mad man made his first ever stop in Charleston and brought the party to the Music Farm.
It was a Monday night and the crowd looked to still be a bit foggy from their first day of the work week, but that fog quickly dissipated when Prof took the stage. The stage was lined with various plants giving a jungle vibe to the dj booth placed in the center of the stage. The Prof marquee on the dj booth lit up and the stage began to fill with thick smoke. The crowd erupted as a hooded Prof took center stage. The crowd quickly switched into party mode.
He kicked off the show with the track “Snake Skin Leather” from his new album Horse. He grabbed the mic stand and delivered the first line as the synth hit hard. This song is more of a showcase of Prof’s singing than it is of his flow. Not to worry though, he quickly switched it up with the next track “Pack a Lunch”.
Prof took his time between songs really getting to know the crowd. He played up the fact that he uses no backing track. He assured us what we were hearing was “all him”. I found it refreshing that it was just Prof and his DJ Willy Wonka on stage. At some hip hop shows the stage can be overcrowded with entourage and really distract from a performance. With Prof he was the focus, and his focus was to get the crowd hype. He did not disappoint.
He performed the song “Fire Lessons” and had the crowd shaking the barricades. When he performed the song “Animal Patrol” the crowd lost it. Twirling his white towel in the air Prof, had fully awoken the crowd. He also had a bit of fun with the crowd providing a visual aide. Two horse’s hung on a track and would move positions based on audience applause and energy.
It wasn’t all an endless party. Prof opened up to the crowd with the song “Eulogy”. It was clear that Prof dug deep for this one. The lyrics were deep, and personal. So much so that tears began to flow from his eyes. The crowd was captivated, completely silent, and soaking in every painful word. After a moment off stage to recover, Prof returned relaxed, and noted how strange it was to have so many people experience sadness at the same time. He thanked the crowd and flipped the party switch back on. After re-adjusting the crowd back into party mode with the song “He Yah”, Prof closed out the show with the song “Gasoline”. A crowd favorite for sure. A song about trying to stay on the straight and narrow, but instead adding gas to the so-called “fire” instead. This is a song that so many have connected with and that was apparent with the crowd as they lost complete control. The energy in the room was electric. At one point Prof even spotted a young fan and gave him a shout out as “his youngest fan on the tour so far”.
Prof delivered one of the most fun hip-hop shows I have attended in quite some time. It wasn’t about flash, it was about fun. Boundless, endless fun. Prof has a reputation for having an awesome live show and that reputation is absolutely deserved.