Sean Price & Small Professor Collaborated Before P’s Passing. Stream Their Album
Since Sean Price’s sudden passing in August of 2015, a lot of the music he was working on at the time of his death has released. There are his solo offerings Songs In The Key of Price from 2015 and the proper album Imperius Rex from 2017, which Ambrosia For Heads named as one of that year’s best bodies of work. Additionally, there was Sean’s joint EP with his longtime affiliate, Illa Ghee, Metal Detectors, which dropped in mid-2018. Now comes 86 Witness, the newly released effort wholly produced by Small Professor.
For any Heads not familiar with Small Pro’, he is a Philadelphia, Pennsylvania-based sound designer. Small previously gave fans an album with Sean P’s Random Axe partner Guilty Simpson in 2013 titled Highway Robbery.
Coalmine Records, the label behind this collaboration (in conjunction with Sean’s Ruck Down imprint and Duck Down Music), issued a Sean Price & Small Professor “Refrigerator P” 10″ record on Record Store Day in 2017. The vinyl single was limited to 1,000 copies, and it features the title track, the “Peaky Blinders (Remix),” and the instrumental interlude “P’s Theme.” All three appear on the full album as well.
86 Witness is actually only six original Ruck songs fortified with an intro, an interlude, and two remixes. Pro’ likes to include DJ’ing on tracks whenever it fits, and he taps an O.G. of the wheels of steel, DJ Revolution, to cut on the intro and four of the original tunes. There is also plenty of vocal cameos. Most of them break down into two groupings: Sean’s homies, and Small Pro’s guys.
Rockness Monstah (fka Rock), Illa Ghee, and Guilty Simpson are all Price’s people, while Elucid, Castle, Curly Castro, Zilla Rocca, and Reef The Lost Cauze are known associates of Professor. Names like Quelle Chris, Your Old Droog, and AG Da Coroner have just been invited to get down because they are nice on the mic.
Over beats that homage 1980s rap, Sean does what Sean does best — he spits witty bars dripping with street cred. On the original version of “John Gotti” he illustrates his lyrical fitness with incredible runs like, “Half God-body / Other half Rob Zombie / Lift chrome, get snitched on like I’m John Gotti / Invested in chrome / Sylvester Stallone / First Blood, the first slug rest in ya dome / The man stunt with the God step / I’m old school like manhunt in the projects.” In life and in death, Sean’s pop culture and gun raps are second-to-none.
Honored guest Reef The Lost Cauze has the best P! tribute bars on this project. On “John Gotti (Philly Blunts Remix)” he states, “When you died, the whole corner wept / Love to your kids, strength and respect to Bernadette / I thank-you for your earned respect / And every time you rhyme, it’s like you return from death.” True that.
Photograph by Sun Bronx provided by Coalmine Records.