That live guy with the glasses from Flushing, Queens has had his fair share of up's and down's in the record industry to say the least. From ghost-producing the majority of the classics that are Eric B. & Rakim's "Let The Rhythm Hit 'Em", Kool G Rap & DJ Polo's "Wanted: Dead or Alive" to Intelligent Hoodlum's self-titled debut. But that's part of paying dues, is it not? However, it didn't take long until he formed his own crew Main Source together with the two Toronto deejays Sir Scratch and K-Kut. In 1991 this trio, where Large provided all beats and rhymes, released their debut album "Breaking Atoms" that over the years has grown into one of the most respectable underground LPs of all time. Large's rhymes were just as fresh as the music he created and his beats could hang with the best of producers with those signature hard drums, perfectly weaved together jazz and funk samples, even drawing from obscure records including samba and reagge, The album also introduced a young Nas to the world - a Queensbridge protogé Large Pro took under his wing and a few years later helped create "Illmatic", often considered the best rap album ever.
At this point everybody and their mother wanted a beat or a remix from the glassrocking homie but once he signed to Geffen in '95 things started going wrong. Pro locked himself in the studio with his crates, his weed and his sampler to start work on "The LP". What was to be Large's first official solo album kept getting pushed back and it seemed no matter how dope material he turned in, Geffen felt it to be dated. Eventually the album got shelved altogether and left Large's hard work unheard by the word until last year when the artist finally got his masters back, enabling him to release his hard mid-'90s work to rave reviews.
By 2002, Large Pro released his first "official" solo album via Matador Records. "First Class" featured a few guest spots from usual suspects like Q-Tip, Busta Rhymes, Nas and Akinyele but the majority was strictly Large Pro solo. His rhyming on here were not what it used to be and the production was less sample-based and more keyboard heavy which dissatisfied many. Not to say that it didn't featre some great songs on there, but as a body-of-work, it's not a stretch to call "First Class" the rhyming producers weakest effort. Probably the best thing about the album was that Matador Records gave away alot of bonus goodies if you were quick to order the album from Sandbox. Besides a T-shirt with that infamous "Midnight Mauraders" quote (haha), buyers got a good sounding copy of the by-then unreleased "The LP", a promo 12" of "Stay Chizzel" and the beautiful mix CD that this post mainly focuses on.The fantastic Mista Sinista of The X-Ecutioners (who laid down some absolutely superior turntable work on Common's second and third album) together with DJ Crossphada put together an almost 80 minutes long mix of Extra-P classics spanning more than a decade. There's just one track on the CD (which the download provided below is ripped from) but it's a great front-to-back listen so who needs a skip button anyways, right? There's some choice cuts from "1st Class" included but there's plenty of other classic Large Pro productions for the likes of Nas, A Tribe Called Quest, Common and many others. And of course a bunch of crazy turntable work from the two DJ's, check it out heads!
MISTA SINISTA / DJ CROSSPHADA - LARGE PRO MIX CD