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Large Professor's distinct soundscapes build hip-hop legacy


In the second episode of Let Me Tell You About It, legendary hip-hop producer Large Professor pulls the curtain back on his signature instrumentals.

Producer and emcee Large Professor embodies the culture of true hip-hop. His head-nodding instrumentals rely on a precise sampling technique. This method flips excerpts from classic jazz, reggae, rock and soul songs into original, memorable instrumentals that stand on their own and have provided the perfect soundscapes for an amazing arsenal of lyricists.

In his early '90s album Breaking Atoms, Large Professor was the featured member of the group Main Source. This recording set the template for his work that continues into the present day, with a list of icons that include Nas, A Tribe Called Quest, Slick Rick, Public Enemy, and Rakim. Large Professor's pursuit of hip-hop has created an evolving legacy that extends far beyond the five boroughs that first championed his sound.

In the Vinyl Word segment, we examine the work of pianist Gene Harris and organist Reuben Wilson as two instrumentalists whose recorded works of the late 1960s became cornerstones for the new grooves of hip-hop.

Let Me Tell You About It is produced for WBGO Studios by Billy Robinson and Greg Bryant.

Greg Bryant has been a longtime curator of improvisational music. At the age of 3 in his hometown of Nashville, Tennessee, he was borrowing his father’s records and spinning them on his Fisher Price turntable. Taking in diverse sounds of artistry from Miles Davis, Les McCann, James Brown, Weather Report and Jimi Hendrix gave shape to Greg's musical foundation and started him on a path of nonstop exploration.