The amount of buzz an artist has is often something that either crushes the hopes and dreams of people or it helps translate hard work into success. Those who have no buzz desire it. Those who have it exhaust ways to keep it. Some people will not be able to rise higher than they already are, others will quickly fizzle, and a small percentage of people will continue to grow. The music business is very fickle.
Milwaukee Hip-Hop artist Prophetic is one of those artists that is in the middle of being one of the most buzzed about artists in the scene. After only a couple of years he has been able to grow leaps and bounds, earning co-signs from many people in the know, including artist/producer/label owner Pharrell…which is on video for the non-believers.
There is no indication that Proph’s buzz will slow or fizzle, which is why so many are looking to him as the Milwaukee artist with the best chance to land a deal with a major record label, or even secure major distribution for his label Umbrella Music Group.
Prophetic has recently released a new song, produced by Cool and Dre, and is preparing to release a mixtape in advance of his new album.
It’s always interesting to know why musicians and artists began honing their craft. What was the driving force behind you picking up the pen to compose rhymes?
Well I’ve always been a pretty good writer. And I’ve always been involved in music. So it was real natural for me. I’ve been making music so long I really can’t remember when I initially started.
Your most recently released song was produced by Cool and Dre. One of my favorite beats they’ve done is for “Home of the Brave” by Killer Mike featuring Slimm Calhoun. Two questions here, what’s your favorite beat from them and how did you hook up with Cool and Dre to get some production?
My favorite Cool n Dre beat? That’s a tough one. I like when Ross records to their sounds. As far as the Cool n Dre song goes I gotta keep that classified. It’s just a promotional tool nothing too big. #wowyoustillsleepin coming soon!
You are one of a few artists in Milwaukee Hip-Hop that is looked upon as being somebody who will actually get to that next level. There are also people who have said that if it was going to happen, that it’d have happened by now. Regardless of those statements, it takes a journey of ups and down to get to one’s dream. Where are you, personally, on that road?
As far as making it or not making it, that’s all relative. I’m in a good position yet I’m definitely not satisfied. I talk to a lot of good people on a regular. But success is different depending on who you talk to. I definitely don’t need to be famous. I don’t need a record deal. I’d like one simply for the marketing budget, but I am a record label. I don’t need to outsource for anything whether it be graphics, music videos, studio, etc. I’m just working to put myself in a situation where my family and circle are taken care of. Anything other than that, is extra. And Rome wasn’t built in a day. I stepped on the scene two years ago. My progress has been pretty damn good, wouldn’t you agree?
I s Royal Fam, your group with Ka$h and Yo-Dot, on an indefinite hiatus or is there something new in the works?
Royal Fam is never on a hiatus. We actually plan on shooting a video for a RF song this month. Kash is still recording his project as is Yodot. You’ll see it come to fruition very soon trust me.
There are a few songs that have become anthems for the Milwaukee Hip-Hop scene. Dana Coppafeels’s “88” and your song “Entrepreneur” are two examples of that. Both songs were done a few years ago, yet people really have held on to them, giving them life beyond the typical cycle a single has. When you look back on that song, in your shoes today, what do you hear and think?
When I hear Entrepreneur I remember a time where I was first learning that everything is a business, even music. I began to treat my music like a product rather than a hobby. It was just a time where I was beginning to learn about myself as a person. Becoming more comfortable in my own skin. Swagger was evolving haha. I’m very happy to see people still enjoy that song.
Receiving an award can be an exciting thing. You recently won an award from the listener supported radio station 88Nine Radio Milwaukee for being the “Urban Artist of the Year” after a strong 2009. Do awards like that help you to justify your drive to do music professionally, personally?
I was very pleased to win that award. I already know I’m good so it was more for the public. To show them my resume and how wide my appeal is. 88nine is not the most urban station so to be recognized was proof my music touched beyond my neighborhood. I appreciate all support I get because there are lots of artists who don’t get that.
Are there are any draw backs to being a person of a certain status, or having the amount of buzz that you have as an artist? I know that you are a pretty cool customer, but do you feel any pressure at times to live up to other’s expectations?
There are a few drawbacks I guess. The more you become known, the more you are open to opinions from the public. Which can be good or bad I suppose. People may say “if it was supposed to happen, it would’ve.” If I was unknown that remark would have never been made. But I embrace all hurdles. It gives me another reason to get dressed in the morning. Knowing ppl expect a certain quality from me makes me analyze everything because I can’t afford unnecessary mishaps anymore.
When you take your Prophetic hat off and you are just David, what do you do to relax? Are you a fan of Russian literature or do you help to translate the Dead Sea Scrolls…anything crazy like that?
I wish I could take this hat off bro. My girl would too. But it’s impossible because I’m the same person wherever I am. There is no off switch. There is no punch out clock. Just a couple hours of sleep then it’s back to business. Makes for an interesting life. I’ll have some nice stories when I’m old. I like eating! I really should be fat. Thank god for my metabolism. I like to travel. Music has helped me see a lot of places. Traveling is probably my favorite thing to do.
A lot of people are loving Milwaukee Hip-Hop right now it seems. What are your feelings about the scene?
The scene is good I’m feelin it. And still getting better. Lot of good artists. But Milwaukee is one city. Don’t be king of Milwaukee, shoot for king of the world.
Any shout outs?
Shout out to Milwaukee and all my people. Shout out to the Umbrella Music Group, JC Poppe for the interview. My boy Mick, the hustlers, shakers and movers. The bosses, the dreamers, and the ppl who don’t concern themselves w/ outside opinions. Everything happens for a reason. The world is yours, just gotta take it.
To check out Proph’s new song “Hold On” (prod by Cool and Dre) follow the LINK.