Large Professor performing at the Rahzel & Friends - Brooklyn Bowl in 2016.
|Birth name||William Paul Mitchell|
|Also known as||Large Pro, Extra P.|
|Born||March 21, 1973|
Harlem, New York City, New York, US
|Origin||Queens, New York City, United States, US|
|Occupation(s)||MC, producer, DJ, musician|
|Labels||Wild Pitch//EMI Records|
Matador Records, Gold Dust Media, Red Line Music Distribution Inc., Fat Beats
|Associated acts||Main Source, Skillz, Akinyele, Eric B. & Rakim, Kool G Rap & DJ Polo, Intelligent Hoodlum, A Tribe Called Quest, Pete Rock, Nas, Common, Cormega, DJ Premier, AZ, Jeru The Damaja|
Large Professor is the stage name of William Paul Mitchell (born March 21, 1973), an American hip hop rapper and record producer also known as Large Pro and Extra P. Based in New York City, he is known as a founding member of the underground hip hop group Main Source and as mentor and frequent collaborator of Nas. About.com ranked Large Professor #13 on its Top 25 Hip-Hop Producers list.
Large Professor started making his earliest beats with two turntables, a Casio SK-1 sampler, and pause-tape cassettes before his mentor Paul C taught him how to use an SP-1200. In 1989 he joined the group Main Source, which also included K-Cut and Sir Scratch from Toronto, Ontario, Canada. In 1990 Large produced several tracks for Eric B & Rakim's Let The Rhythm Hit 'Em, including "In The Ghetto". To make "In The Ghetto", he sampled directly off of a cassette tape of sample ideas Paul C had made for Rakim.
Main Source recorded one album with Large called Breaking Atoms, which was released in 1991. It included hits such as "Just Hangin' Out", "Looking at the Front Door," and featured Nas' first public appearance on a track called "Live at the Barbeque", along with Akinyele and Joe Fatal. Large Professor now considers "Looking at the Front Door" one of the most emotional records of his career, later saying "That's a deep record. At that time in life, I was eighteen years old. It was a kid with a pure heart, just writing, and putting his soul out there for the world."
In 1992, their success allowed them to record "Fakin' the Funk", a track on the White Men Can't Jump motion-picture soundtrack. Because of business differences, Large and Main Source quietly parted ways and Large went on to sign with Geffen/MCA Records.
During and after his tenure with Main Source, he worked with Pete Rock & CL Smooth, and he produced a number of tracks for Nas, Busta Rhymes, Masta Ace, The X-Ecutioners, Tragedy Khadafi, Big Daddy Kane, Mobb Deep, A Tribe Called Quest, and others during the 1990s. During this time he handled a significant amount of production on several projects for other artists. In 1993 he produced Akinyele's entire Vagina Diner album, which experienced some modest commercial success at the time of its release. Though the album did well at first, The Source later wrote an article criticizing the song "I Luh Huh", in which Akinyele considers pushing his pregnant girlfriend down the stairs as a form of abortion. The ensuing backlash for the controversial lyrics hurt the album's performance. Akinyele wrote a response in the next issue defending the song and pointing out that the violent ideas in the songs are just thoughts, and he ends the song by saying "Just cause I talk this shit don't get me wrong, Yo, I still luh hur."
Large Professor also produced "Keep It Rollin'" on A Tribe Called Quest's Midnight Marauders not long after he left Main Source. This was a major moment in his career that helped him reach a new level of credibility and exposure as a solo artist.
In 1994 Large Professor produced three of the ten songs on Nas's Illmatic ("Halftime", "One Time 4 Your Mind", and "It Ain't Hard To Tell"), the most of any producer involved with the album. According to an interview with Busta Rhymes, the "Halftime" beat was originally intended for him. Thought he liked the beat, he didn't end up using it and later regretted it after hearing "Halftime". While describing the making of the song in an interview Large Pro said, "I mean, we just wanted to put something gritty out there to the world, and those drums—that's what it was at that time. It was that gritty, muffled out, because the Hip Hop that we grew up with… We grew up with park jam tapes and things like the fidelity of these tapes." He was so instrumental in the making of Illmatic that Nas wanted to give him an executive producer credit, but he refused.
In 1996 Large Professor completed his debut solo album The LP for Geffen Records. After several delays, the album was shelved and later released as a bootleg version in 2002. An official release of the album finally came out in 2009, thirteen years after its original intended release date.
In 2001 Large Pro produced "You're Da Man" and "Rewind" for Nas's Stillmatic album. He first played Nas the beat for "You're Da Man" while Nas was working on Nastradamus a few years prior. Nas chose the beat but decided to save it for a later project. Large Professor also used the same vocal sample from the chorus on the song "The Man" from his 1st Class album.
- With Main Source
- 1991: Breaking Atoms
- Solo albums
- 1996: The LP (shelved, self-released in 2002, officially released in 2009)
- 2002: 1st Class
- 2008: Main Source
- 2012: Professor @ Large
- 2015: RE: Living
- Collaboration albums
- 1993: Vagina Diner (With Akinyele)
- 2003: Exotic's Raw (With Neek the Exotic) "Album majority, minus 6 tracks"
- 2008: Spiritual Intelligence (With L.E.O)
- 2010: Exotic Species (album)|Exotic Species (With Neek the Exotic) "Album majority, minus 4 tracks"
- 2011: Still On The Hustle (With Neek the Exotic) "Album majority, minus 5 tracks"
- 2014: Mega Philosophy (With Cormega)
- Instrumental albums
- 2006: Beatz Volume 1
- 2007: Beatz Volume 2
- 1990: "Let the Rhythm Hit 'Em" (Various uncredited songs on album by Eric B. & Rakim)
- 1990: "Wanted: Dead or Alive" (Various songs on album by Kool G Rap & DJ Polo)
- 1990: "Trag Invasion", "Game Type" (from the Tragedy Khadafi album Intelligent Hoodlum)
- 1992: "Halftime" (Nas song from the soundtrack Zebrahead and Illmatic)
- 1992: "Freestyle (Yo, That's That Shit)" (from the Diamond D album Stunts, Blunts and Hip Hop)
- 1992: "Act Like You Know" (from the Pete Rock & CL Smooth album Mecca and the Soul Brother)
- 1992: "Gotta Get Over (Taking Loot) Remix" (from the Gang Starr "12 Gotta Get Over (Taking Loot))
- 1992: "Deadly Rhymes", "Brothers Ain't Shit" (from the Roxanne Shanté album The Bitch Is Back)
- 1993: "Hey Girl" (from the Apache album Apache Ain't Shit)
- 1993: "Keep It Rollin' " (from the A Tribe Called Quest album Midnight Marauders)
- 1993: "Niggaz Never Learn" (from the Big Daddy Kane album Looks Like a Job For...)
- 1993: "What's Next (Large Professor Remix)" (from the Leaders of the New School "12 What's Next)
- 1993: "Peer Pressure (The Large Professor Remix)" (from the Mobb Deep album Juvenile Hell)
- 1994: "Stress (Remix)" (from the Organized Konfusion "12 Stress)
- 1994: "One Time 4 Your Mind", "It Ain't Hard To Tell" (from the Nas album Illmatic)
- 1994: "Sure Shot (Large Professor Remix)" (from the Beastie Boys "12 Sure Shot)
- 1994: "It's a Boy (Remix)" (from the Slick Rick album Behind Bars)
- 1995: "Skillz In '95" (from the Mad Skillz "12 The Nod Factor)
- 1995: "Resurrection (Extra P. Remix) (from the Common "12 Resurrection)
- 1995: "Resurrection (Large Professor Remix) (from the Common "12 Resurrection)
- 1996: "Extra Abstract Skillz" (from the Mad Skillz album From Where???)
- 1999: "I Sparkle" (Slick Rick song from the soundtrack Wild Wild West)
- 1999: "Coochie", "Rather Fuck You" (from the Akinyele album Aktapuss)
- 2000: "The Heist" (from the Busta Rhymes album Anarchy)
- 2000: "The Last Shall Be First" (from the Cella Dwellas album The Last Shall Be First)
- 2001: "You're Da Man", "Rewind" (from the Nas album Stillmatic)
- 2002: "Originate" (from The Beatnuts album The Originators)
- 2002: "The Come Up" (from the Cormega album The True Meaning)
- 2002: "We Are the Future", "It's Us" and "Drug Music" (from the Non Phixion album The Future Is Now)
- 2003: "Love Is Love" (from the Craig G album This Is Now!!!)
- 2003: "Up Now" (from the Mic Geronimo album Long Road Back)
- 2004: "What They Want" (from The UN album UN Or U Out)
- 2006: "World Wide" (from the Boot Camp Clik album The Last Stand)
- 2006: "Right 2 Know" (from the Prince Po album Prettyblack)
- 2006: "Disco Club (Large Pro Peas Remix)" (from the Black Eyed Peas EP Renegotiations: The Remixes)
- 2007: "I'm Up Now", "Nic Nac" (from the Mic Geronimo album Alive)
- 2007: "Mack of the Year" (from the Grand Daddy I.U. album Stick to the Script)
- 2008: "Conquer Mentally" (Large Professor Remix) (from the Presto album State of the Art)
- 2008: "The Hardest" (from the AZ album Undeniable)
- 2008: "Stages" (from the Reks album Grey Hairs)
- 2008: "Sorry I Lied To You" (from the Termanology album Politics as Usual)
- 2009: "No Problems" (from the Earatik Statik album The Good, the Bad & the Ugly)
- 2009: "New Classic" (from the U-God album Dopium)
- 2009: "Same Old Drama" (from the Grand Puba album Retroactive)
- 2009: "Journey" (from the Cormega album Born and Raised)
- 2010: "Unexpected Flava" (from the Big L album Return of the Devil's Son)
- 2011: "Oh!" (from the Joell Ortiz album Free Agent)
- 2011: "Do The Math" (from the Torae album For The Record)
- 2011: "The Quickening" (from the Funkoars album The Quickening)
- 2012: "Catch The Thrown" (from the Public Enemy album Most of My Heroes Still Don't Appear on No Stamp)
- 2013: "Built Pyramids" (from the N.O.R.E album Student Of The Game)
- 2013: "Acid Reflux", "Canarsie High" (from the Ill Bill album The Grimy Awards)
- 2014: "Solar Flares" (from the Jeru the Damaja EP The Hammer)
- 2015: "Pizza" (from the Capone-N-Noreaga album Lessons)
- 2016: "Wavelength" (from the Timeless Truth album Cold Wave)
- 2016: "Not Guilty" (from the Meyhem Lauren album Piatto D'oro)
- 2016: "It's Cold" (from the Homeboy Sandman album Kindness for Weakness)
- 2016: "Here We Go (Large Professor Remix)" (from the Southpaw Chop single "Here We Go")
- 2016: "Gone Baby Gone" (from the Reks album The Greatest X)
- 2017: "The Empathy" (from the M-Dot album Ego And The Enemy)
- 1990: "Money In The Bank" (Kool G Rap & DJ Polo album Wanted: Dead or Alive)
- 1993: "Keep It Rollin'" (A Tribe Called Quest album Midnight Marauders)
- 1994: "Stress (Remix)" (Organized Konfusion "Stress" 12")
- 1995: "Extra Abtract Skillz" (Mad Skillz album From Where???)
- 1996: "To Each His Own (Feat. Pete Rock Grap Luva, Q-Tip, Rob-O)" album Lost & Found: Hip Hop Underground Soul Classics
- 2000: "The Last Shall Be First" (Cella Dwellas album The Last Shall Be First)
- 2002: "XL" (The X-Ecutioners album Built from Scratch)
- 2002: "Hip Hop On Wax" (Rob Swift album Sound Event)
- 2002: "The Come Up" (Cormega album The True Meaning)
- 2004: "Sugar Ray and Hearns" (Cormega album Legal Hustle)
- 2004: "Out Da Box" (Tony Touch album The Piece Maker 2)
- 2006: "United" (MF Grimm album American Hunger)
- 2007: "The Radar" (Marco Polo album Port Authority)
- 2007: "The Purist" (Polyrhythm Addicts album Break Glass)
- 2008: "Conquer Mentally" (Presto album State of the Art)
- 2008: "Chill" (Changes of Atmosphere Album)
- 2009: "Fans" (Masta Ace & Edo G album Arts & Entertainment)
- 2009: "Sweet 16s" (Satchel Page album Young Patriarch)
- 2009: "Like This" (No Sellout: Ground Original 2(album))
- 2011: "Beats By The Pound" (Soulbrotha The Connexion EP)
- 2011: "The Quickening" (Funkoars)
- 2011: "Through Good & Bad" (The Funk League album Funky As Usual)
- 2012: "Forever" (Gensu Dean album Lo-Fi Fingahz)
- 2012: "Loco-Motive" (Nas album Life Is Good)
- 2012: "Catch the Thrown" (Public Enemy album Most of My Heroes Still Don't Appear on No Stamp)
- 2012: "Back & 4th Scrambler" (Yu Mamiya)
- 2013: "Built Pyramids" (N.O.R.E. album Student of the Game)
- 2013: "Astonishing" (Marco Polo album PA2: The Director's Cut)
- 2014: "Naturally Born" (with Big Noyd & Kool G Rap)
- 2015: "World Premier" (Czarface album Every Hero Needs a Villain)
- 2016: "Glorify N Praise" (Powerule)
- 2016: "Everybody Everywhere" (Mighty Mi)
- 2016: "Here We Go" (Southpaw Chop)
- Large Professor Biography at Allmusic.com
- "Large Professor". Matador Records. Archived from the original on 2013-07-23.
- Henry Adaso; Ivan Rott; Renato P.; Bhaskar S.; Henry A. "Top 50 Hip-Hop Producers". About.com.
- "Large Professor Tells All: The Stories Behind His Classic Records (Part 1) Eric B. & Rakim "In The Ghetto" (1990)". Complex.com. Retrieved 2017-09-01.
- Dining out. Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. 1993-09-04.
- Mofokeng, Thabiso (2009-03-30). "Dear Ak, Editorial in The Source + Answer letter (1993-94)". Press Rewind If I Haven't... Retrieved 2017-09-01.
- "Large Professor Tells All: The Stories Behind His Classic Records (Part 1) Akinyele "The Bomb" (1993)". Complex.com. Retrieved 2017-09-01.
- "Large Professor Tells All: The Stories Behind His Classic Records (Part 1) A Tribe Called Quest f/ Large Professor "Keep It Rollin'" (1993)". Complex.com. Retrieved 2017-09-01.
- Powers, Ann; Carr, Daphne (2010-11-09). Best Music Writing 2010. Da Capo Press. ISBN 9780306819254.
- Grant, Andre. "Large Professor Confirms Refusing 'Illmatic' Executive Producer Credit". HipHopDX.com. Retrieved 2018-02-15.
- Bogazianos, Dimitri A. (2011-12-01). 5 Grams: Crack Cocaine, Rap Music, and the War on Drugs. NYU Press. ISBN 9780814723067.
- "Large Professor Tells All: The Stories Behind His Classic Records (Part 2) Nas "You're Da Man" (2001)". Complex.com. Retrieved 2017-09-01.
- Frydenlund, Zach (September 14, 2014). "Premiere: Listen to Large Professor's "In the Scrolls" f/ G Wiz". Complex.com. Retrieved February 15, 2018.
- "L.E.O. – Spiritual Intelligence". Discogs.com. Retrieved 2018-02-15.
- "New Music: Cormega 'Industry'". Vibe.com. 2014-05-19. Retrieved 2014-05-19.