Large Professor’s discography ain’t no joke. The innovative and intelligent Flushing, Queens–bred producer/MC, who started his career as Main Source’s front man and a ghost producer for Eric B. & Rakim, has amassed a catalog of timeless, sample-based classics, collaborating with a lengthy list of legendary artists from his borough and beyond. As we celebrate Nas week, it seemed only right to get with Large Pro, the producer who introduced Nasty Nas to the game.

Let’s take a sec to think back. There are his Main Source hits (“Looking at the Front Door,” “Fakin’ The Funk,”), his work with Nas on Illmatic (“Halftime,” “One Time 4 Your Mind,” “It Ain’t Hard To Tell,”) and Stillmatic (“You're Da Man,” “Rewind”), not to mention his unforgettable appearance with A Tribe Called Quest on Midnight Marauders’ “Keep It Rollin’.”

Add on solo joints like “The Mad Scientist,” poisonous production for Kool G Rap and Big L, and hard-hitting remixes for Beastie Boys, Common, Mobb Deep, and Gang Starr, plus guest spots with Lord Finesse and The Beatnuts, and you’ve got a hip-hop resume jam-packed with rawness.

With his fourth solo album, Professor @ Large, dropping June 26th, we met up with Large Pro at Fat Beats Headquarters in Brooklyn to break down the stories behind his classic records. In Part One, Extra P gives us the extra details about Big Daddy Kane’s deadpan reaction to him showing up late for a session, hanging out with Q-Tip during the making of The Low End Theory and Midnight Marauders (he also shares which of the two albums is his favorite), and creating “Live at the Barbeque,” tracks for Illmatic, and the unreleased gem “Understanding” with Nas.

LP also speaks on MCA’s passing, shares his earliest Beastie Boys memory, and tells us how proud his father was when he heard Main Source songs playing during Boyz n the Hood and White Men Can’t Jump. Plus so much more—check the method.

As told to Daniel Isenberg (@StanIpcus)

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