2 Time Grammy Nominated Rapper R Prophet (Former Member of Nappy Roots)
InDaHouseMedia Correspondent Brianna Graham
Former member of Nappy Roots, R Prophet, is no stranger to the spotlight. At a very young age, his mother placed him in a youth performing arts school. From there, his talents progressed. Years later he would become a member of the number one rap group in 2002, known as Nappy Roots. Since then, to the world he became R Prophet. His music has left a stamp on southern rap.
“I think it is important to get to know the artist behind their music. A lot of times the media and fans forget that you are an actual human being. You experience life just as they do.”
Where did the name R Prophet derive from?
In college, when I hooked up with the group they said I needed a name. I started looking through books [and found], “A man with a voice who has a message for the people.” My mother’s first child died. She said I was the first to come back. She felt like I had a deeper purpose to help others for a higher purpose.
What aspect of making music excites you most? Knowing the challenge of liking a beat and seeing a song come to completion the way you envisioned it in your head. It starts as a thought. I like being able to hear it and get videos and being able to see it. Second, [I like] the effect that it has on people, when you’re able to perform and see how people react to it. It feels good to hear people say, “Your music kept me going and motivated me.”
How tough was it to transition to a “high profile” status? You were in college when this all started, did it change you as a person?
I was coming out of high school, I was a very popular guy. The transition of having a higher status wasn’t hard for me at all. It was tough adjusting to the newfound attention when you’re on tv, especially when you come from doing things in the streets. You have to figure out why are they’re [people] staring, but you’re famous. They’re surprised at actually seeing you. You have to reshape how you see things.
Were you and Nappy Roots friends before the group started?
In a sense yes, in college everybody hang around people for different reasons. If you play sports you hang with athletes. You gravitate to each other. All us were from Louisville, Kentucky, and we all made it to Bowling Green for school. Ultimately, we came together. It was something I wanted to be a part of, knowing
they were rappers. I went to high school with the producer of the group. He introduced me. We were all solo, but everybody rapped, so we all came together to make the type of stamp we wanted to represent each other.
You left Nappy Roots and went solo in 2007. Was it a way to reinvent yourself?
Yes, to brand my name as R Prophet and branch out to do thing as I saw fit. I was experimenting with different types of music. I met some guys from a rock group and I wanted to mix it up and see what it do.
What was yours and Nappy Roots reaction to having your own annual “Nappy Roots” day in your home state?
It was real exciting. People receive city holiday’s or something like that, but to actually have a state holiday was big. We realized the music we were making. We were the number one group in 2002. We were ambassadors to the state. A lot of celebrities became aware. It was a highlight of making music you probably would’ve never thought about.
Were you going through anything at the time when you wrote the song Po Folks?
In college, we were poor. We didn’t come out until 2002. After our last recording session, the producer picked us up in two different trucks. I’m thinking, “Damn this a nice truck.” We didn’t have all that. They said, “Ya’ll don’t have these back at the crib?”, and we were like, “Nah”.
“All my life I been po’, but it really don’t matter no mo”. Money don’t make a person, we have other things that make us rich. I didn’t realize how big it [the song] was going to be. We were one of the first rap groups to come out and say, “We poor”. Instead of glorifying, being rappers on tv, we had a little budget. We ain’t have money. We got signed in 98’, but after I made that song they put us out.
Facebook: @R Prophet Twitter: @RProphet Instagram: @RProphet_pof