interview THE PROPHET - Block Venom | Review By: Nima

A few months ago, I received an email by some guy who introduced himself as "The Prophet." As an underground rapper from San Francisco, he was trying to get heard and after Zigidy had told him about us he decided to holla. Now I wasn't expecting much from The Prophet, as I had no idea who he was and what his music sounded like, but I decided to give it a shot. So a couple weeks later I receive the CD and put it in my player. A few moments later I knew that there was still hope for Westcoast hiphop.

Since The Prophet was from the bay area, I was kinda expecting the "ghetto platinum" sound, but I was wrong. Proph's album, called "Block-Venom" is packed with a bit of it all. He will satisfy the people lookin' for party tracks, chillout tracks and deep, meaningful tracks. Equitted with a top notch flow and a lot of hunger, The Prophet rips the 15 tracks. Production wise, we have CI-Cuts, R. Cannon, D-Real and D. Gullat bringing' us some of the most original beats I've heard. Proph, who visited Cuba in 99-2000, raps over some hard drums with an exotic melody. These elements give the songs a nice and fresh flavor.

Proph handles most of the choruses by himself too, rapping or singing. He covers a lot of different subject matters, such as the situation of Cuba, his Ex-Wifey, smoking and partying but also a lot of real shit in the songs Sacrifice I and II where he spits :

"You can leave your wife, but never leave your daughter, never ever leave the slaughter if your brothers still be behind you, its not the guilt but the courage that defines you."

Although he handles most songs solo, he still got some of his homies on his CD such as Profound on a few cuts, Rass ("Get Tha Dow") and Key-Man & BJ who have an appearance on "Remember Me". Nevertheless, the highlights of the record or set by Big Proph himself. A reason I liked his CD so much was his good voice which make the songs easy to listen to and enjoyable. He seems to have a lot to say about his Ex, since he dedicated a whole song to her, where he spits some hard shit such as :

"The county charge you wit a 51 50, but you're the type to lose yourself and say that he did me. And my pops told me about you broads actin' phony, if this is what love is, I'd rather be lonely, in the cabinet, nuthin but the alcohol im grabbin' it, stabbin' it, any broad relations I ain't havin' it!"

On this track, Cl-Cuts used a nice electric guitar which gives the beat more energy and force.

Any weak spots? Maybe some of the choruses where the singing' can sound weird, like on Ex-Wifey where it sounds very forced. But I know people who were feelin' that. Other than that there isn't much I could criticize, we have 15 hard hitting tracks with original production and hot raps. I couldn't name on song where Proph is slippin' and I've been bumpin' this album for nearly two months. Daily.

My favorite song? This is hard to say, it depends on the mood I'm in. If I'm in a good mood and wanna bump some good shit I'll probably listen to "Smoke One", track number 2, equipped with some hard drums and a dope melody with an exotic feel to it. On top of that, The Prophet spits a couple verses. At first it may sound like he's spitting too fast for that beat, but after a couple seconds he stops the beat and starts again, sounding' a lot better this time.

Now my all-time favorite song of the album is "Dirty Bird". Another Cl-Cuts production with hard drums and a nice guitar that carries the whole song. Proph sounds awesome on this one, his flow is flawless and his delivery is hard. He handles the chorus by himself and does a good job. He has a couple memorable bars like : "Good little catholic girl but screams like she atheist" - which get stuck in your head.

But the songs Prophet deserves the most respect for are probably Sacrifice I & II and Cuba-Libre. For Sacrifice I, the last song of the record, Prophet got Jessie to help him out for the chorus, and he does a great job. The beat, laced by D. Gullat & R. Cannon, has the perfect feeling for the record, with a very deep bass and a slow feeling. But the highlight is The Prophets performance. He shows us that he is more than a simple rapper trying to get big, he actually got something to back it up, kinda like Mista Cane from Annihilation Ent. On his Sacrifice songs, Proph spits :

"The poverty, and all these devilish games, hope that God show me something more than weapons and pain. I ain't never been the type, to ever complain, but its hard to see the sun when all you feel is the rain" or "I need something just for me and my blood type, fuck the Benz, fuck the drugs and the thug life."

This song is as real as it gets. No disrespect to all the gangstas and killas out there, but rapping about what you do is easier than saying that what you do is WRONG. That's why I gained a lot of respect for The Prophet.


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