“Chicago continues to show the talent pool is growing with ProbCause… Prob will have you locked in.” – XXL
“ProbCause’s future brightens with every new release…. It’s a fitting addition to a solid catalogue that ProbCause has been developing since stepping foot in the game.” – Hot New Hip-Hop
“It’s relatively refreshing to hear a Windy City rapper who, lyrically, seems more or less bent on carrying on tradition.” – Potholes In My Blog
Home for groundbreaking rappers like Kanye West and Chance the Rapper, Chicago has been pushing music out of its comfort zone for decades. The city’s music scene is wild and unpredictable, and right now it’s hotter than ever. And with equally strong ties to established Chicago underground rappers like Psalm One, upstart crews like Save Money, and the electronic music scene, North Side rapper ProbCause is at the heart of it, the unique, experimental product of a broad-minded city with a collaboration-friendly rap community. Making music he describes as “an all-encompassing experience” while also earning his MFA for painting and animation, ProbCause is an artist whose skill crosses genres and sensory experiences – appropriate for a guy whose breakout song was about the mind-expanding properties of LSD.
In July 2013, after years of building local recognition and developing a more nuanced lyrical perspective, ProbCause released The Recipe, Vol. 2, a rich, genre-spanning offering that stands as his most accomplished project to date. With features from a diverse array of talents, including Chance the Rapper, Action Bronson, ShowYouSuck, and Psalm One, as well as the poet Kevin Coval, it was lauded as “a fantastic snapshot of Chicago’s hip-hop community” by the Chicago Reader, and it placed at No. 9 on the Chicago Tribune‘s list of the Top Chicago Indie Albums of 2013. Since then, ProbCause’s career has taken off, and he’s found himself touring nonstop, playing festivals while still finding time to fly home every week to complete his final year of grad school.
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Influenced in equal parts by punk groups like Chicago’s Screeching Weasel and jazz greats like Charlie Mingus, ProbCause gravitated toward hip-hop as a teenager by hanging around North Side studio run by his older brother, a DJ and audio engineer. He liked classic ’90s hip-hop groups like A Tribe Called Quest and The Roots, but he was especially inspired by the rappers he saw participating in open mics and other events as part of the active Chicago underground. “It was close enough to home that I could meet them,” he remembers. “I could talk to them and see that they were real people.” A former drummer, he switched to the mic and began rapping, putting out his first project as ProbCause when he was 18.
His involvement in the local hip-hop scene wasn’t just musical, though. He also was busy tagging buildings from the age of 14 on. After what threatened to be one too many scrapes with the law for writing graffiti, he looked for ways to pursue his passion legally and ended up enrolling in art school for drawing and painting. These days, one side of his art reflects the other: Not only does ProbCause see colors when he makes music, he designs mind-bending album covers and show fliers, often at the request of promoters or other artists on the bill, for his equally mind-bending show.
“We get fucking hype, man,” ProbCause says. “If you come up in the Chicago hip-hop scene you need to have a fucking live show or people don’t fuck with you.” The explosive two-man act incorporates live drumming and sampling from drummer Cofresi, as well as on-the-fly vocal modulation and impromptu pop song remixes that guarantee no two shows are ever the same. With performances on festival stages, in sold-out rooms on tour with synth-pop act Cherub, and in new countries like Costa Rica, the buzz has only intensified, and ProbCause’s sound has only gotten more eclectic.
His next project, Waves, promises to be more diverse and ambitious than anything he’s done yet, building on the success of popular genre-spanning remixes like his take on Lorde’s “Biting Down,” as well as reflecting a range of trying personal experiences from the past year and giving of a more general vibe of positivity. After years of perseverance and grinding on the local scene, it’s the album ProbCause has been waiting to make.
“It’s kind of at a point where it’s a need for me to write, and that’s why I’m making these songs: Because I have to make them,” ProbCause says. “I think that comes through in the music. I think you can feel it in a different way.”[/wpex]
Bill Murray & Wu-Tang Unite To Take Down Martin Shkreli In ProbCause Animation
Graffiti Artist-Turned-Graphic Designer Rapper ProbCause Shares Animated Video for “Same Thing,” Debuted by Mass Appeal
Premiered by Yahoo! Music, the Chicago Rapper Channels His Inner Al Capone For a Visual Following His Drifters EP
Lil Dicky Joins Chicago Rapper ProbCause For Remix From Drifters Album, Debuted by HipHopDX
The Chicago Rapper Brings Together Live Music and a Plethora of Talent for His Drifters Album
With His Drifters Project Releasing Friday, the Chicago Rapper Shares an Energetic Teaser, Debuted by Complex
With His Drifters EP Releasing Next Week, the Chicago Rapper Connects with the Low Temp Label Head/Producer for Energetic Lead Single, Debuted by ThisSongIsSick
The Chicago Rapper Enlists Brooklyn-based Producers For a Remix From His Forthcoming Drifters EP
Live Horns Guide the First Single From the Chicago Rapper’s Forthcoming Drifters EP, Premiered by Consequence of Sound
ProbCause to Join Lil Dicky On Prelude To Summer Tour With Support From DJ/Drummer Cofresi
The Chicago Rapper and Electronic-Soul Producer Flip a Funky Remix, Premiered By ThisSongIsSick
Chicago Rappers ProbCause and Hologram Kizzie Join Forces as ZRO FOX, Share Self-Titled EP via Consequence of Sound
Three of Chicago’s Finest Team-Up for a Hard-Hitting New Track, Premiered by GoodMusicAllDay
Three of Chicago’s Finest Team-Up for a Hard-Hitting New Track, Premiered by Complex
Melancholy, Jazz-Infused Second Single Shows Versatility of Chicago Rapper’s WAVES EP
Chance the Rapper, The Hood Internet, Twista, Exmag Feature on Chicago MC’s New Release, Available for Free Download
Chicago Rapper ProbCause Releases Charismatic, Blissful WAVES EP, Debuting via SPIN
Rapper Pays Homage to Hometown in First Visual from Forthcoming WAVES EP
Noisey Premieres First Official Single from Chicago Rapper/Visual Artist’s Forthcoming WAVES EP
Chicago MC’s Join Forces, As SPIN Premieres Lead Single From ProbCause’s Forthcoming WAVES EP
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