proGrammar Unabridged Press Blurbs
Kid Lucky, The Hip-Hop Subway Series, 5/25/2008 [back to About]
Kid Lucky is the Organizer of The Subway Series.
Kid Lucky: You know what's a really, like... I gotta say. Out of every - Yknow, I don't care if emcees get mad, or whatever. Out of all the emcees that have come onto - have come onto The Hip-Hop Subway Series, I have a real affinity for proGrammar. Because proGrammar comes out with stuff that you just, y'know? - You're hearing what he says is nothing like the standard hip-hop flow, yknowImsaying? It don't always rhyme, yknowImean? but it makes sense!
Someone Off Camera: Avant-garde hip-hop.
Someone Else Off Camera: Abstract hip-hop!
Kid Lucky: YknowImean? It's like - it - it is real gully and, like, y'know? - I've never seen anything like that before... y'know? And, somewhere along the line, people gotta recognize - (pretending to be someone who needs to recognize) "What?" Yeah, man. Like, hip-hop don't have to rhyme neither, yknowImsayin? You can actually, like - yknow? - be real gully about it and never rhyme a bit, y'know? And, so... Yo, I - I be really impressed with Grammar. Yknow? 'Cause I riiber proGrammar came up on, and he would rhyme... No, he - No, I'm sorry. He would emcee, cause he a emcee. He ain't a rhymer, he a emcee! YknowImsayin? Like, he's a emcee, y'know? And, so, like, He got up there and he rocked, and I was like... (confused look on face) And I know everybody was just sitting there, looking... (confused look on face) And - You know what's funny? - We had to - I know, a couple of us, we sat back there - We actually analyzed it. We was like, "What is it about proGrammar?... - " YknowImsayin? "- that what he does. Because... It ain't like it's wack!" YknowImsayin? It's like - I never - But, like, he's got his heart in it. And, like, it made me, like, really, like - proGrammar opened me up... to, like, new possibilities in hip-hop. YknowImean? If, like, emcees would just, like, get off the rhyme flow for a second. YknowImean? And, actually, just, like, yknow, go from the heart or whatever, where - 'Cause, you don't have to rhyme everything. It might actually be something, yknow? It - it will develop even more past that. It's like jazz, yknow? Jazz was in this, like - yknow? - time to this whole, like, avant-garde explosion. You had, like, Sun-Ra and, like, yknow? Coltrane, and - Yknow, you gotta - You had all these avant-garde jazz cats who were, like, breaking the timing. YouknowImean? Like, became real intellectual about it. YknowImean? And I think that, like, with, yknow, emceeing, that is actually like how, yknow?, you could develop as an artist. Will it be - Will it - Will you get on the radio? I dunno, it might get on college radio. It might break mainstream. It might take everybody by storm. Because, I tell you this right now: There be some, like, real emcees who come on here, and they hear this avant-garde emceeing that proGrammar does, and be sitting there, like... (chin in hand, confused look on face, long pause) But they not - But they - They understandin it, yknowImean? They really - yknowImsayin? He got, same kind of, like, yknow? the - the double-time flow?... Yknow? He got the double time flow, but it won't rhyme! YknowImsayin? And that's some real raw shit! That's like "next level" right there. So, yknow, like, as a emcee, like - Yknow, as - as - Looking at, like, emcees who are doing stuff, he's really, like - He taking a step!... that a lot of cats - Most cats is not willing to take that step. And, to do it live?... eyebrows raised, smiling)... In front of people? (shakes his head) YknowwhatImean? That's - that's real heart right there, so...
proGrammar: (Comes in for a pound.) That's what's up, man. Thank you so much.
Kid Lucky: Yes... Y'know... People gotta recognize.
proGrammar: (smiling) I love - I love that one of the best compliments I've ever heard in my life is based on the fact that I can't rhyme! (everyone laughs)
Kid Lucky: Obviously, and you think about it... You like - Try to duplicate it. Try to duplicate what he does!... yknowImean? Think about going off, like- (starts rapping) "I bust rhymes every day, but fuck you. I do what I want to. And everything that I gotta say is how I feel, so you can't stop it - " (laughs) YknowImean? It - it's a whole - You got - Your mind's gotta be like, "Okay, wait a minute, now. I can't rhyme." YknowwhatImsaying? And -
(AJ interjects a point about how emcees are trained to rhyme.)
Kid Lucky: Listen. This - This - This right here (pointing bottle at proGrammar) is The Sun-Ra of emceeing. I'm telling you. He's like a -
Someone Off-Camera: Yo. You gonna compare him to Sun-Ra, man? That's a big -
Someone Else Off-Camera: That is a big - That is a huge comparison.
Kid Lucky: Dude! Do - do you see anybody else breaking rhyme flows, and just going off straight -
Someone Off-Camera: Ok.
Kid Lucky: And, just being, like - You see anybody doing that?
Someone Else Now On Camera: (long pause) Nope.
Someone Else Still Off Camera: I mean, It is - It is visual. I will say that.
Larry Mizell, Jr., The Stranger, Oct. 20, 2005 [back to About]"If you're among the more adventurous hiphop listeners, then have I got one for you - Somaphone 2 by Seattle native (and NYC resident) proGrammar. On it, Grammar sings and beatboxes bugged takes on classics like Stevie Wonder's "Hey Love" and Hall & Oates's "I Can't Go For That" - and goddammit, it works. Grammar's web site www.programmar.net is full to bursting with his quirky, self-produced tunes, all downloadable for free, with the exception of the aforementioned LP."
Dante, GigaTracks.com, January 2005 [back to About]"It gets no realer than this home brewed hip-hop. If you can't handle the boom-bap, cup your hands over your ears.
Ahhhh.....Imagination! Do you remember Imagination? It's that thing you used to have when you were just a baby and you could entertain yourself for hours with a plain cardboard box. As you grew to a pre-teen adolescent you needed a little more to stimulate yourself yet you could still take something as simple as a plastic action figure and create an entire cinematic adventure every afternoon in your backyard. Now you've become an adult and your Imagination is all but gone. The most you can do to entertain yourself is take your fat ass to the nearest multiplex and watch the latest Hollywood trifle; And if there is any part of the movie that requires any extra thought, you can't muster the effort to get into it so you decide that the movie is crap! (I didn't even get that Matrix CRAP!... KIDDING...stop the hate mail!)
If you can relate, then you are Hip-Hop. Hip-Hop used to have gobs of Imagination when it first burst on the scene and started growing in fits and spurts. Alas, now that Hip-Hop has matured into an adult, it seems as if all of the creative juices that used to fuel its imagination have been sapped. The tripe that passes as mainstream rap today sounds like it was all produced by Debbie Gibson (We love you Debbie!) Today's materialistic rap trash should be burned in a big pile just like how evangelists used to burn copies of Hustler Magazine (What a waste...I could really use those mags now...)
Now that I've finished depressing myself (and you) here is the upshot: proGrammar is the Internet's answer to the Hip-Hop creativity drought. I can't explain what he's doing but if you're a little bit crazy you'll catch a vibe like I did. The only comparison I can make is to say that his flow and delivery remind me of Sondoobie from Funkdoobiest. Other than that, you're on your own: I can't compare his music to anything! Now I've gotta warn you, before you go downloading this song or trolling around proGrammar's website, his tracks are not for the weakhearted or neat freaks. He has almost perfected the art of controlled noise and to anyone who knows, that is the essence of Hip-Hop (or any music for that matter)! He's got something going for himself; It's hard to put a finger on what it is but if you're willing to tap into that old Imagination that you had as a kid, you just might enjoy it!"
Charles Mudede, The Stranger, Oct. 3, 2002 [back to About]"Local rapper proGrammar has what I call a hiphop heart; most rappers are about the biceps or the penis, but there are a golden few - the sensitive descendants of Q-Tip ("I want to kiss where some brothers won't"[sic]) - who prefer to deal with matters of the heart. ProGrammar will never be famous (he is too soft and intimate for a market that thrives on hyper-macho energy), but he is worth watching."