Pras

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Pras
Birth name Praskazrel Samuel Michel
Born (1972-10-19) October 19, 1972 (age 41)
Brooklyn, New York, United States
Genres Hip hop, soul, reggae,
Occupations Rapper, multi-instrumentalist, singer, songwriter, record producer, arranger
Instruments keyboards, sampler
Years active 1992–present
Labels Columbia, Ruffhouse, Guerrilla Entertainment
Associated acts Fugees, Refugee Camp All-Stars

Praskazrel Samuel Michel, known as Pras, (/ˈprɑːz/; born October 19, 1972) is a two-time Grammy-winning American rapper, best known as one of the founding members of the critically acclaimed hip hop group, the Fugees, which included his cousin Wyclef Jean and recording artist Lauryn Hill.

Biography[edit]

Early life[edit]

Born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, Pras cultivated an early interest in music. When he was 15, Pras met Lauryn Hill. In 1988, Pras introduced Lauryn to Wyclef Jean. Pras Michel, Wyclef Jean and Lauryn Hill began to rehearse under the guidance of Kool and the Gang's producer, Ronald Khalis Bell, and subsequently they formed a musical group called The Rap Translators in 1989 (also known as Tranzlator Crew.)

Music career[edit]

In 1994, before and during the time that The Fugees were recording their first album Blunted on Reality, under the supervision of Ronald Khalis Bell, Pras attended Rutgers College and Yale University, pursuing a double major in Philosophy and Psychology.[1] In 1996, The Fugees achieved historic crossover success with The Score, which went multi-platinum. Pras has also forged a successful solo career, beginning with an international hit single from his first full-length solo LP, "Ghetto Supastar (That Is What You Are)", featuring Mýa and Ol' Dirty Bastard. "Ghetto Superstar" became a top ten single in 1999, and the eighth most played single; it was received with critical acclaim and earned Pras a performance at the World Music Awards. The hit single was included in the soundtrack for the film Bulworth. "Ghetto Supastar" spent eight weeks in the UK Top 5, peaking at No. 2 in July 1998,[2] and reached US No. 15 a month later. "Blue Angels", from the same album, was a UK Top 10 hit, reaching No. 6 in November.[2] Pras also featured on the track "Turn You On" by Swedish artist DeDe[3] which was released in 2007. "Turn You On" was also written and produced by Pras Michel. After nine weeks on Sweden's single chart, it peaked at No. 2. He also featured "Pushin'" from the album Equalize by Swami, which was released in 2007.

Film career[edit]

After his cameo debut in the 1999 film, Mystery Men, Pras gained an interest in Hollywood. In 2000, Pras starred in the New Line film, Turn It Up. In early 2002, he appeared in the Sony and Urban World release Higher Ed, and Go for Broke in which he starred and produced. He also co-starred in three 20th Century Fox films in 2007. These included The Mutant Chronicles.

In 2006, Pras created Skid Row, Los Angeles, a documentary account of his nine-day experience posing as a homeless person living in downtown Los Angeles. Using a hidden camera, Pras captured the reality of homelessness. The film was produced by Teryn Fogel.[4] Skid Row was released on August 24, 2007 to widespread critical acclaim.[5]

In 2009, Pras travelled to Somalia to film a documentary entitled Paper Dreams to highlight piracy off the African coast. During filming pirates invaded the ship he was on, the MV Maersk Alabama and took the Captain of the ship hostage. Due to be released in 2014, the documentary remains unfinished due to a legal dispute.[6]

In 2010, Pras created a documentary entitled Sweet Mickey For Prezidan. The documentary chronicled the rise of Haitian musician Michel Martelly, through his election to fight corruption as President of Haiti, an election campaign that was strongly endorsed by Pras.[7]

Discography[edit]

Albums[edit]

Title Album details Peak chart positions
US
[8]
US
R&B

[9]
GER
[10]
NOR
[11]
NZ
[12]
SWE
[13]
SWI
[14]
UK
[15]
Ghetto Supastar 55 35 68 9 34 19 47 44
Win Lose or Draw
  • Released: August 16, 2005
  • Label: Universal
  • Format: CD, digital download
"—" denotes album that did not chart or was not released.

Singles[edit]

As lead artist[edit]

Year Title Peak chart positions Album
AUS
[16]
AUT
[17]
BEL
[18]
FIN
[19]
GER
[10]
NOR
[11]
NZ
[12]
SWE
[13]
SWI
[14]
UK
[20]
1997 "Avenues"
(featuring the Refugee Camp All-Stars)
[a] 12 51 2 4 7 Ghetto Supastar
1998 "Ghetto Supastar (That Is What You Are)"
(featuring ODB and Mýa)
2 1 1 4 1 1 1 2 1 2
"Blue Angels"
(featuring The Product G&B)
[b] 75 10 10 50 6
"What'cha Wanna Do"
(featuring The Product G&B and Free)
"Another One Bites the Dust"
(Wyclef Jean and Queen featuring Pras and Free)
23 13 7 46 20 9 50 35 5
2005 "Haven't Found"
(featuring Sharli McQueen)
17 Win Lose or Draw
"—" denotes single that did not chart or was not released.

As featured artist[edit]

Year Title Peak chart positions Album
AUS
[16]
AUT
[17]
BEL
[18]
FIN
[19]
GER
[10]
NOR
[11]
NZ
[12]
SWE
[13]
SWI
[14]
UK
[20]
2001 "Miss California"
(Dante Thomas featuring Pras)
5 4 13 1 13 5 6 2 25 Fly
2007 "Turn You On"
(Dede featuring Pras)
11 2 N/A
"Pushin'"
(Swami featuring Pras and Ishmael)
Equalize
2008 "Le Blues"
(Melissa M featuring Pras)
N/A
"My Man"
(Anggun featuring Pras)
Elevation
2010 "Watch Out"
(Jennifer Milan featuring Pras)
22
2012 "Untried"
(Linda Kiraly featuring Pras and Rh3)
N/A
"—" denotes single that did not chart or was not released.

Acting and producing career[edit]

  • Mystery Men (1999) – Tony C (credited as Prakazrel Michel)
  • Turn It Up (2000) - Denzel/Diamond (credited as Pras Michel) (co-producer)
  • Higher Ed (2001) - Ed Green (credited as Pras Michel) (executive producer)
  • Go For Broke (2002) - Jackson/Jackie (credited as Pras Michel) (producer)
  • Nora's Hair Salon (2004)
  • Careful What You Wish For (2004) – Zen Salesman (credited as Pras Michel)
  • Feel The Noise (2007) – Electric
  • First Night (2007) – himself (producer)
  • Skid Row (2007) – himself (producer)
  • The Mutant Chronicles (2007) - Captain Michaels (producer)
  • Paper Dreams (2010) - himself (producer)
  • Sweet Mickey for Prezidan (2012) - himself (producer)

References[edit]

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ "Avenues" did not enter the Ultratop 50, but peaked at number 7 on the Flemish Ultratip chart
  2. ^ "Blue Angels" did not enter the Ultratop 50, but peaked at number 9 on the Flemish Ultratip chart

Sources[edit]

  1. ^ Rahul (May 17, 2012). "Pras Talks 2Pac, Suge Knight, Wyclef, Lauryn Hill & Beef on the Champs Podcast". Dajaz1.com. Retrieved May 19, 2012. 
  2. ^ a b Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 362. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 
  3. ^ http://www.dede.se
  4. ^ "IMDB "Skid Row"". IMDB. Retrieved 2010-12-04. 
  5. ^ "Skid Row 83% Rotten Tomatoes". Retrieved 2013-06-13. 
  6. ^ "TMZ Pras Michel Lawsuit". Retrieved 2013-06-13. 
  7. ^ "IMDB "Sweet Mickey for Prezidan"". Retrieved 2013-06-13. 
  8. ^ "Pras Album & Song Chart History: Billboard 200". Billboard. 
  9. ^ "Pras Album & Song Chart History: R&B/Hip-Hop Albums". Billboard. 
  10. ^ a b c Hung, Steffen. "Discographie Pras Michel". German Charts Portal. Hung Medien (Steffen Hung). 
  11. ^ a b c Hung, Steffen. "Discography Pras Michel". Norwegian Charts Portal. Hung Medien (Steffen Hung). 
  12. ^ a b c Hung, Steffen. "Discography Pras Michel". New Zealand Charts Portal. Hung Medien (Steffen Hung). 
  13. ^ a b c Hung, Steffen. "Discography Pras Michel". Swedish Charts Portal. Hung Medien (Steffen Hung). 
  14. ^ a b c Hung, Steffen. "Discographie Pras Michel". Swiss Charts Portal. Hung Medien (Steffen Hung). 
  15. ^ "Pras Michel > UK charts". Official Charts Company. 
  16. ^ a b Hung, Steffen. "Discography Pras Michel". Australian Charts Portal. Hung Medien (Steffen Hung). 
  17. ^ a b Hung, Steffen. "Discographie Pras Michel". Austrian Charts Portal. Hung Medien (Steffen Hung). 
  18. ^ a b Hung, Steffen. "Discografie Pras Michel". Belgium (Flanders) Charts Portal. Hung Medien (Steffen Hung). 
  19. ^ a b Hung, Steffen. "Discography Pras Michel". Finnish Charts Portal. Hung Medien (Steffen Hung). 
  20. ^ a b "Pras Michel > UK Charts". Official Charts Company. 

External links[edit]