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Prof goes “Gampo”

Prof is bringing the ruckus to First Ave tomorrow for his “King Gampo” release show
Prof goes Gampo
Image by Satchell Mische-Richter

What: âÄúKing GampoâÄù CD release show

When: Friday, Sept. 9

Where: First Ave

Cost: $12

Minneapolis hip-hop isnâÄôt typically known for getting the party jumping. Honestly, who wants to listen to Slug rap about domestic violence on a Friday night? This is where Jake Anderson comes in to save the party with his new album âÄúKing Gampo.âÄù

Better known by his stage name, Prof, the 27-year-old has been wrecking mics and tapping kegs in the Twin Cities and the greater Midwest for the past decade. This homegrown emcee is known for his rowdy live shows and his outlandish personality, but his rambunctious persona isnâÄôt the least bit forced. In fact, it stretches all the way back to his childhood.

When Anderson was in grade school he knew a Tibetan kid named Gampo. He, Gampo and their unsupervised neighborhood clan would run around the south side and wreak youthful havoc just to make each other laugh and kill time. They were the type of snot-nosed shenanigans that escalate as each kid tries to outdo his buddies. Gampo was always the craziest.

âÄúGampo would do really incredible [expletive] just to impress us, or maybe not. He would do it when we werenâÄôt even watching, which was hilarious,âÄù Anderson said, laughing. âÄúHe would just pump us up to do stupid [expletive] and weâÄôd get in trouble for it. Ya know, robbing and stealing from Super Americas and Holidays, kicking peoplesâÄô doors down.âÄù

Then out of nowhere, Gampo left. But his legacy didnâÄôt. Anderson kept his spirit alive by turning his name into a versatile noun/verb used to characterize the ridiculous and the outrageous. ItâÄôs one of those almost indefinable terms that captures the energy and hype of youthful rebellion.

 âÄúAfter he left we just started calling each other Gampo. Like, âÄòOh man you crazy Gampo!âÄô or âÄòDamn, that was Gampo!âÄôâÄù Anderson said.

ItâÄôs exactly this raw, unfiltered energy of his schoolyard friend that will be in full effect at the nearly-sold-out âÄúKing GampoâÄù release show tomorrow at First Ave.

âÄúI had a dream last night that there were just fights breaking out everywhere and people got too crazy so they had to evacuate everybody. And honestly, that dream probably has something to do with what IâÄôm thinking for the show,âÄù he said. âÄúItâÄôs gonna be so [expletive] wild.âÄù

The new album will be the perfect foundation for the ruckus. âÄúKing GampoâÄù is teeming with big bass, sing-along choruses and rowdy build-ups. It sounds more like it came from the hot streets of the dirty South than the frigid winters of Minneapolis. The album clearly distinguishes Prof as a rarity within a hip-hop community as over-saturated as this. His sound is a refreshing break from the redundant underbellyof Rhymesayers, and itâÄôs starting to pay off.

âÄúIn the past coming up in Minnesota a lot of people were like âÄòWho the [expletive] is this kid? WhatâÄôs he doing?âÄô But I think now being different is helping me because it separates me within this market,âÄù he said.

But AndersonâÄôs new album doesnâÄôt just stand out because itâÄôs different for the sake of being different. He knows how to throw rhymes together.

Intricate schemes accented by his flamboyant delivery allow him to pull off that âÄòIâÄôm better than youâÄô swagger better than most.

In the opening lines of the song âÄúGampo,âÄù he spits, âÄúIâÄôm stiff like a samurai, on a llama ride, down a waterslide, getting sodomized / IâÄôm a wallaby, IâÄôm a king of a colony, by the way IâÄôm wilâÄôn out you would think I just won the lotteryâÄù

ItâÄôs an album thatâÄôs better when listened to after six beers and a bowl or two, but thatâÄôs not to say itâÄôs mindless. ThereâÄôs an intriguing nihilistic recklessness to the party poppinâÄô hoopla and even the more nonsensical lyrics. ItâÄôs like theyâÄôre saying, âÄúOur lives are tiny anyway. LetâÄôs not stress. LetâÄôs get drunk and have some fun. LetâÄôs get Gampo.âÄù

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