Pro Status, the former basketball player, now rapper, has three projects under his belt. Pro-Status is exactly as his name states, Pro Status. Not one to bend and fall into the mainstream trap, Pro Status keeps it real all the time and not just on the mic. He is truly an authentic artist, cut from a different cloth than most of the artists today. He’s one of a few Indie artists who cares for his fans and takes time to create a memorable and quality project that fans can enjoy for years to come. I had the the chance of sitting down with Mr Pro Status and here is what he had to say.
KELZ: Last we talked you were releasing the first INNOVATION. Since then you have released two other albums and your are now on your fourth project, INNOVATION II. How would you say that you have grown since the first INNOVATION? What can the fans expect from INNOVATION II?
PRO STATUS: I’m not one to care about popularity. More people and artists care more about popularity, they disregard the lyrics and it’s the same tactics, same gimmicks over and over.
As for what to expect from INNOVATION II, it is my perspective on what the country and society has been going through as of late. It’s more of a story, a soundtrack, like my EP Hoop Dreams. As the host of my own poetry event I have to watch what I say and when to say it to the people who need to hear it. I will never convert to what the mainstream is doing.
INNOVATION II will feature clips from Malcolm X and President Obama as well. Solidarity is the deepest track on this project. It has a power to the people type beat and its theme falls along the lines of recent events such as, the Black Lives Matter movements.
KELZ: Any singles dropping? A video being released?
PRO STATUS: Yes, I Don’t Care, has a middle finger type vibe and it will have a video. I am currently scouting locations.
KELZ: Who are some of the producers you are working with?
PRO STATUS: Curtessy (Yung Man and I Am), Joey Cutless (I Don’t Care), Tom Davids (I Am), Jakk Wonders (The Turnover), Chris P. Rhythm (Solidarity), and (Longevity) with Caleb Sarikey.
PRO STATUS: Yes, this album will feature, Mel Wellman, Foci, Curtessy, and Toia Jones x Mo the General.
KELZ: What were some of the influences behind creating this project?
PRO STATUS: This project goes beyond hip hop. My biggest influence was history. Being a part of the Selma festivities was a blessing and a humbling experience. When I am writing, I could be listening to a Sade album or jazz album. Every track has a different message. Artists have the power to shape how society is viewed.
KELZ: Where will INNOVATION II be available? And when?
PRO STATUS: There will be two different versions of INNOVATION II, one with nine tracks and there will be the deluxe version with eleven tracks. The deluxe version will have I Can’t Tell You Why and Elite. June 30, 2015, the album will be released, and the date does have significance.
I wanted to keep the tracks under ten and create a project where people wouldn’t want to skip a track. INNOVATIONS II has a 99 percent chance of being available in all major outlets.
KELZ: Who are three artists you would love to collaborate with and why?
PRO STATUS: Jay-Z, his Reasonable Doubt album had a 360-degree effect on me such as Black Thought. Lyrically no one touches him and last but not least, Sade, she is proof that creativity has no limit.
KELZ: What are you listening to right now?
PRO STATUS: De La Soul, Jay Electronica, Curtessy, Lupe Fiasco, J. Cole, Kendrick Lamar, Big Pooh, and Wale.
KELZ: Why do you stay an independent artist?
PRO STATUS: Creativity is important to me. I don’t like anyone telling me what to do. They should just enhance what I’m doing. I can do what I want, and collaborate with who I want.
KELZ: Any facts about Pro Status to share with your fans?
PRO STATUS: That’s a tough one. I tell on myself a lot in my records. I hold two bachelor degrees. I use to actively play basketball, and I grew up with a very privileged life.
KELZ: You have talked about eating healthy and staying fit. You plan on doing something with fitness in the future?
PRO STATUS: I haven’t, but won’t say I won’t.
KELZ: Where do you see yourself in five to ten years?
PRO STATUS: Musically? Perhaps with an award for Best Rap Album or something of that nature so I can gain international recognition. Acting wise? I would like to receive an Oscar for acting or for a song in a movie.
KELZ: For those that don’t know, tell the people about your poetry event in Alabama?
PRO STATUS: It’s called the Power Of Words, and it’s more than poetry it is the spoken word. It’s a town hall conversation style setting and it’s held every Wednesday in Montgomery, Alabama at the Village Art Gallery. It is open to all aspiring artists to come and share their work. If you don’t like an artist’s work then you don’t like their work. No one is forcing you to like everything you hear.
I enjoy rooting things from the ground up. The poetry we can build on and it’s not going anywhere.
KELZ: Are there any last words for the people?
PRO STATUS: Be careful who you associate with because you can’t take everyone with you, and those that are really for you will understand. There is no more room for hatred.