After ProbCause's show in Nashville on June 7th, one of our journalists got to sit down and have a chat with the Chicago born rapper. Here's what we got out of him!
BFTS: I’m with Bass Feeds The Soul, my name is Rachel- Thank you for sitting down with me. Anyway, I was looking up your music and saw that on your tags for your new album you have “dubstep hip-hop/rap rap rock&roll and r&b” all as your tags, which I thought was awesome. Just from that range of music who are your inspirations?
ProbCause: I came up listening to a lot of punk rock, and a lot of jazz. So… Sex Pistols, Rancid, and NOFX- that was my shit. I think that’s where I get the stage show from kind of, like I love watching them live.
BFTS: Yea, you put on a great show. Especially for the small crowd you really got them dancing that was impressive. I was at a punk show two nights ago and they couldn’t even get a full crowd up! Nashville is never an easy crowd.
ProbCause: Whether it’s ten thousand or ten people I’m going balls to the wall.
BFTS: So you’ve been playing festivals with these ten thousand person crowds, how’s that been?
ProbCause: It’s cool. It’s crazy. We played Wakarusa last night, and then we came here and it’s just crazy. Going from one type of show to the next- every night is different. That’s the weirdest thing about it. You’re in front of tons and tons of people, and then you’re in front of a smaller crowd and you kind of have to configure yourself to that. So I think that’s the hardest part about it- learning how to do each type of crowd.
BFTS: Definitely, and so you opened for Cherub this past year right? Those are Nashville’s hometown heroes- I’ve seen them seven times myself here. How were the boys?
ProbCause: They have done… I will give them a lot of credit for putting me on the map. They took me on their national tour. Their music means a lot to me for personal reasons. When I got signed to my label they asked me who I wanted to go on tour with, and I said Cherub. They were like- why do you want to go on tour with Cherub, that doesn’t make any sense. But they sent my music to Jason and Jordan (Cherub), and they were like- Yes, that’s what we want. So I did five test shows with them and then they were like- we want you to do the whole national tour. So that’s how it all happened.
BFTS: My best friend saw you guys in Detroit with Cherub, and said you threw the f*ck down. She got a selfie with you too! I had a feeling this show would be a little smaller than that one, so I didn’t know what to expect, but you were awesome. Alright, so you’ve done a lot of collaborations. Who has been your favorite?
ProbCause: Wow, no one has ever asked me that. Hmm… Chance (the Rapper) of course is one of them.
BFTS: Do you guys go way back?
ProbCause: We go back. We go back before any of this shit happened.
BFTS: Even before he got big?
ProbCause: Even before he got big. We made the song LSD before mutha f*ckas even knew who he was- before Acid Rap. LSD was before Acid Rap. He didn’t even have the name Acid Rap yet.
BFTS: So back in the day when he got kicked out and made the 10 Days mixtape?
ProbCause: Yea, Yea. I’ve known him for about three or four years I guess. I’m really good friends with his manager too, we became homies. Chance is one of the most organic collaborations I’ve had. We were just chilling- smoking weed and eating Chinese food. My second (favorite collaboration) would probably be Exmag. He’s Gramatik’s homie.
BFTS: I noticed you used Gramatik, Flume, and Flux on a few of your songs. Who else do you pull from electronically?
ProbCause: We use this dude Savoy’s beat. He’s from France. We use a Mr. Carmack beat… Exmag, which was produced for us actually. Oh and there’s one other one I can’t remember.
BFTS: Who do you dream of working with?
ProbCause: Uhm.. there’s a lot of them, but right now Gramatik. Gramatik is my number one.
BFTS: I just missed Gramatik at Red Rocks in Colorado by a week! Heartbreaking.
ProbCause: Yea, that show was with Exmag actually!
BFTS: Well I was checking out your album cover. It’s pretty interesting- the triangle with the tropical pictures behind it. What inspired that?
ProbCause: I’m an artist as well so I design all my own sh*t. So, I made my own album cover. Basically I have a Synesthesia type thing where when I listen to music I see it, visually. There are colors that come from it. So as I was making the album I was thinking about what visual would make sense.
BFTS: So how has that influenced your music?
ProbCause: Well, because I paint- I paint big canvases, very abstract, all types of random sh*t- I’ve always done both (music and art) and gone back and forth between them. So I’ve always painted while making music, literally at the same time. I think of lyrics as I paint. So I think from that practice I started to see a visual correlation with the sounds- if that makes sense. Some people get it and some people don’t. So that album cover just happened organically through just being able to see the songs.
BFTS: Awesome, so just a few more questions. Pre- show rituals? Alcohol of choice?
ProbCause: I don’t really have too much of a pre- show ritual. I usually don’t drink before shows. I drink after shows, but I usually don’t drink before shows. I can’t smoke weed before shows. It bugs me out, but I smoke weed all the time just not before shows. I usually listen to “Killing in the Name Of” by Rage. I didn’t do it tonight, but I do most nights.
BFTS: Do you ever get nervous?
ProbCause: I get nervous, but I get more nervous for shows like this.
BFTS: Yea I noticed a lot of close friends and family in the crowd? That must be nerve racking.
ProbCause: Yea, when it’s a really small crowd especially in a market I’ve never been to before I get a little more nervous because I don’t know what it’s going to be like. With bigger crowds I don’t get as nervous. It’s just like you’re immediately in the pocket of it I feel like.
BFTS: Alright, last question. Festival of your dream?
ProbCause: Bonnaroo and Coachella
BFTS: Bonnaroo, music to my ears. I’m headed there next weekend!
ProbCause: Oh yea, it’s in Tennessee right? So everyone’s going.
BFTS: Absolutely, only about an hour away from here. Alright well thank you for sitting down with me, and I hope you have a good night on town. It’s CMA fest so enjoy the people watching.
Interview by: Rachel Oldham