Large Professor (born William Paul Mitchell) is a New York City native best known for his work as a legendary producer to many of rap’s greats. In 1989, he joined the group Main Source, along with Toronto’s K-Cut and Sir Scratch. While they only recorded one album with Large Pro titled Breaking Atoms in 1991, it was met with critical acclaim, with many praising the album for its use of heavy jazz and soul music samples. Notably, the project also doubles as the debut of Nas, who appeared on the track “Live at the Barbeque.” Nas’s contribution to the song also was given new life, appearing on the intro track to his 1994 debut solo album, Illmatic. Following the release of Breaking Atoms due to business differences, Large Pro split from the group Main Source and went on to sign with Geffen/MCA Records. This move allowed him to begin securing major production credits, working with artists including Nas again (he produced the classic track “It Ain’t Hard to Tell” and “One Time 4 Your Mind” among others), Eric B & Rakim, Busta Rhymes, Masta Ace, Tragedy Khadafi, Pete Rock & CL Smooth, Big Daddy Kane, Mobb Deep, Common, The X-Ecutioners, and A Tribe Called Quest, to name a humble few. Although his official debut, 1996’s The LP, was shelved and later self-released, his 2002 debut release 1st Class featured sole production from himself, as well as guest appearances by Nas, Busta Rhymes, Akinyele, and Q-Tip. With five solo albums to his name, Large Professor has also lent his talents to a handful of collaborative albums, including ones with Cormega, Neek the Exotic, and Akinyele.

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