Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Extra Prolific's Master Piece

After his second, indie album, Texas-born Duane "Snupe" Lee, better known as Extra Prolific, was promptly kicked out of Hieroglyphics. The crew put out a release stating, "the crew decided that Snupe would be better off on his own, pursuing his own solo career... His last, and sophomore album, "2 For 15" will no longer be sold online, and is the last piece of work fans will here[sic.] of Snupe's material, while he was a part of Hieroglyphics." They even held up release of their 3rd Eye Vision album to remove all his verses and solo cut (all of which they later featured on hieroglyphics.com).

During our interview (you can read the whole thing here), I asked Casual - who started freestyling with Snupe back in high school and first brought him into Heiro - if they were still down and he said, "Nah. I mean, we might see him every once in a while, say 'What's up,' or whatever, but we don't get down like that." And when I asked him what he's up to now (at the time, which was 1999), he said, "I don't know. He released a few independent tapes in the Bay, but I guess he wasn't really pursuin' it like that."

Well, he did actually come out with a third album: Master Piece on his own label, Snuper Records, in 1998. This flew under the radar of pretty much everybody who wasn't from the Bay except the most die-hard Heiro fans; but those in the know were able to order this tape straight of his Iuma page (remember those?).

Extra Pro sounds as smooth, with a flow as hypnotically engrossing as ever.he was back in the "First Sermon" days - in fact, there's a "Second Sermon" on this album. Snupe handles all his own production here, which is cool, since he's been producing all his own material since his debut (Mike G is often credited with the production on the first album, and being the other half of Extra Prolific, but he actually only produced the 41 second intro to that LP). I don't know if this is quite as good as Like It Should Be... there area few corny hooks ("Call Me" or songs with an over-reliance on off-putting R&B singers like "I Don't Know Why" "When You Hoes... (Remix)" or the aforementioned "Second Sermon"), and in general, the absence of his Heiro mates is felt. But Snupe can definitely hold his own - perhaps more than most of the others could. And songs like "That's a Shame, "Can't Reap Til You Sow a Seed" or "Action Set In Flight" bump as much as anything he's ever done.

Lyrically, he flips between freestyle rhymes and kicking game ("'why can't we keep the room?' Because I'm done fucking you!"). His delivery is as relaxed as ever, though sometimes he kicks it pretty wickedly fast. The fact that he manages to be both relaxed and fast at the same time is a testament to his talents.

There're also some skits we could really do without. What's the point of the one where his girlfriend leaves him a message saying she missed his page, but she call him back? I guess it was just the times... when rappers would just put anything off their answering machine on their albums.

After this album, Extra Pro dropped off the radar for a bit, but he didn't actually disappear. He changed his name to Lee Majors and formed the Christian rap duo White Majors with partner J-White. You bet they have a myspace! It's myspace.com/whitemajors - check it out and listen to the songs they have up: not bad (if a bit corny), though Snupe is a way better MC than J-White. For some reason they don't link to it off their myspace, but you can order their album Iron Sharpens Iron (on CD) from chillmarkproductions.com.