Small Professormakes albums for the lovers of hip-hop instrumentals (and the lover in you). That’s a niche audience. It’s so much of a niche audience you might ask “Why isn’t he putting those production skills to use making a hot emcee that much hotter?” The answer is on occasion he DOES just that, but it has to be the right rapper under the right circumstances. If you’re not that hot, Small Pro has no problem with saving what he’s got, and releasing it as his own album under his own name. He’s good enough to know his own worth (as evidenced by the fact he sets a price on all of his Bandcamp releases), and dope enough that he can rock your ears with or without a lyricist to kick the verbals to his herbals.
It may be ballsy to release a sequel to an album you put out just under a year ago, but Small Pro has the big cajones to spare. In fact song titles like “Has was gonna use this jawn, don’t know what happened” reflect his chutzpah. He may be speaking about Has-Lo he may not, but whoever he’s talking about has just been called out on a track that doesn’t even feature any words – consider yourself put on notice. The songs themselves make statements, but the hilariously descriptive titles are the icing on the cake. It’s like the often recycled AMV staple “Crayons Can Melt on Us for All I Care” by Relient K – a title that aptly summed up the 10 seconds of your life the song “wastes.” In that same respect “My momma prolly hear that and be mortified” is a send-up of televangelism, with an unnamed preacher blathering on and on about how sinful “The Wizard of Oz” is for God knows what reason.
One of these days I’ll have to sit down with Small Professor and get the stories behind song titles like “He stole his name from me, they used to call me cliff the glide back in the day.” It seems self-explanatory at first glance and then makes you stop and ask more questions: “Who is HE and why did HE steal your name?” Either way the song is a nice bit of chiptune inspired retro instrumentalism. “When i walk thru these halls, man this beat should (be) playin” is apt too – it’s a track designed for the pimp strut a beat maestro of pro’s caliber should be doing in his daily life. The curious songs are the ones that actually DON’T have verbose titles. “Gene hackman” offers virtually no explanation, but it’s one of the best tracks of “Mixed Jawns II.”
I’m at a point in my music reviewing career where more things land in my inbox than I have either the time or inclination to listen to, but Small Professor has earned the distinction of “I always fuck with this dude” because he never fails to entertain me and make my head nod. It probably doesn’t hurt that he puts nice looking women on the covers either, but SP is good enough that if he put a steaming pile of poo on one of his “Mixed Jawns” you’d still want to listen. “Lazarus got ran over by a camel and now he’s dead again” is too long of a title to scroll comfortably on your MP3 player or heads up display of your car’s stereo system, but so what? Just roll with it, laugh about it, and enjoy the audio treats (no tricks) Small Pro provides.