New York has a certain appeal that never falters. The fast pace of life, the flamboyant sense of style the city exudes leaves a lasting impression. So when it comes to those nurtured within the confines of the five boroughs, they too are intent on making their mark.
Born Obress Guy, Brooklyn MC, Livin Proof is no stranger to the spotlight. He came up in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn inspired by his piano playing Grandfather, and his Grandmother, an advocate for family values. While a strong family influence was prevalent, his progression into music came after a spell of ‘street life.’ Here, he was ‘taught good at being bad’ by his friend Bingo and quickly adhered to the fundamentals of street life. Like anything he turns his hand too, this New Yorker was determined to be the best but succumbing to the streets and what they had on offer wasn’t going to be Livin Proof’s final destination.
With Rap and Hip-Hop, being the soundtrack to his life, music was more of a necessity to Obress than an additional extra. He paid close attention to the skills displayed by local rappers such as Slim and his associate Jo Da Bully. This led to him experimenting himself, putting pen to paper and letting his own personal stories manifest into music that others could relate to. It wasn’t long before he was the talk of his neighborhood; his rhymes pointing him in the direction of a legitimate career.
An encounter with Rocafella Records MC, Memphis Bleek was a defining moment for Livin Proof. Bleek was impressed by his skills and it wasn’t long before the Cooper Projects star was making his way over to the notorious Marcy Projects to rhyme for Bleek and his crew. This association led to him being signed to Bleek’s Get Lo imprint along with Geda K, H Money Bags, No Luv and Calico. This affiliation led tofive Rocafella tours, where he was personally called out on stage by Jay Z to a crowd of 30,000, and an abundance of hands on experience at what the music industry truly entailed.
Eager to be seen as a notable force in Hip-Hop while being recognized and respected as an artist, Livin Proof set about achieving his goals. Teaming up with contemporaries such as Memphis Bleek, Joell Ortiz, Chi Ali, Young Chris, Torae and Maffew Ragazino in the studio widened his audience. Unions such as these and the respect of his peers was of course instrumental but having the media on side was something else he was eager to procure.
It was the release of his Die for a Deal mixtape in late 2012 that saw fans and media relish everything this rap connoisseur had on offer. With production on a couple of tracks handled by Fantom of the Beat (‘Magic Stick’ – 50 Cent, ‘Apollo Kids’ – Ghostface) and with appearances by his former Get Lo label mates and Jo Da Bully, the tape fared well. Amassing over 12,000 downloads while the single ‘Krak a Ki’ was being spun on Hot97 by DJ Camilo it was apparent that all eyes were watching.
Livin Proof recently released his debut album Die for a Deal 5.0, and it’s nothing short of classic hip hop — joints that resonate with all the true heads out there.
We caught up with Livin Proof to see what’s next for the Brooklyn bred MC….
You were signed to Memphis Bleek’ Get Lo Imprint How did that relationship come about?
Well I’m from Cooper projects, which is not to far from Marcy projects. So I kind of grew up in both places, I knew Bleek all my life.
You were a part of five Rocafella tours, Any stories or memories that stick out from that?
Yea, when Jay called me out on stage at Jones beach to rock with Bleek and Geda in front of 30 thousand people. That was huge.
So are you are originally from Brooklyn, NY? What was it like growing up there? Any crazy stories that stick in your mind?
Yes, it was very dangerous and fun at the same time. I can remember a Lady named Mrs Johnson walking around with a bull horn everyday, warning the community about a shoot out that was going to happen every day (crazy!).
What inspired you to rap?
An O.G. Named Slim used to kick raps to me and my man Joe Joe, and one day we decided to try it…
At what point did you know that you wanted to do this for a living? (No pun intended).
When I knew it’s what I loved to do. Then when I learned how to make an income from it, sky was the limit.
You recently just dropped your LP “DIE FOR A DEAL 5.0″.. You got some gems on there, and some nice collabs.. What all went into it? Any favorite joints on this?
Yea, long hours in the studio, great in-house production, and one of my favorites would be “keep living” — that video got me my own Vevo page and 40 thousand views in one day.
You got a nice buzz going right now, How has the process been so far developing and building outside of your area?
Thank you, it’s been good. I think they really starting to like Livin Proof out there.
What’s the driving force behind you and your music?
It’s just something I always loved to do, and I know I’m just as good as any artist out there.
So are you exclusively signed to anyone specific? Is the LoyaltyDigitalCorp gig your permanent home, or was this just for the DIE FOR A DEAL 5.O project?
As of right now, I have a partner ship with loyaltydigitalcorp and the way it’s set up, it looks like me and Fokis will continue doing business no matter what happens.
You got company called Heavy Promotion Entertainment? What’s it all about?
Well it’s a company started by myself, Hustle Hard Milk and my other partner Gill. We started this to get involved with the music business and the first artist out is Livin Proof.
What artist(s) do you want to work with? What artists are you listening to right now?
I would love to work with Trey Songs to create a dope R & B joint, and I’m listening to French Montana/J cole and Wale right now.
You like how hip hop has evolved?
In a way yes, and in a way no.
What do you think is missing from the game? What would you like to see improved?, etc..
Substance is missing from the game (real shit). I would like to see artists be themselves and stop wearing them costumes. That shit is weak! I’m from Brooklyn New York– we don’t play that. #ThatsASnappleFact.
What are your aspirations outside of hip hop?
Friends and family time, and I’m almost set on opening up a night spot.
What else you got on deck?
As of right now, my heavy promotion/loyaltydigitalcorp team/family.
Any last words?
Yes, Download my album #Dieforadeal5.0 off iTunes/Amazon/loyaltydigitalcorp.com right now! That shit is FIRE!!!…