By Jessica Glick
I looked down at the busy New York City street. The honking horns below and the chattering voices nearby faded as I focused on the endless road in front of me. Suddenly stranded in contemplation of circumstance and possibility, his presence redirected my thoughts. After a brief introduction, we walked to a quiet spot surrounded by trees and buildings under construction. As we sat down, he began to tell me about his path to success.
As a poet, music found him. Gaining notoriety in the early 90s through the national slam poetry circuit, he eventually performed on the MTV Spoken Word Tour, and in 1994, at Lollapalooza, alongside the Smashing Pumpkins, A Tribe Called Quest, and Beastie Boys. Realizing the limitations poetry had to offer, and as a product of the hip-hop generation, he invested the money he made from his performances on studio equipment. He went on to produce a variety of artists including Mos Def and Common.
Pursing his own career in music, he released an EP under his previous moniker, Mastermind, called “The Adventures of The Mastermind” in 1996 on his own label. Successfully packaging and marketing his music without the help of others made an impression on A&R exec Gordon “The Commissioner” Williams at Columbia Records. He was offered a position working at the esteemed label and has now progressed into a music consultant specializing in music licensing and brand development. Working behind the scenes, he discovered that he could satisfy his creativity by assisting artists develop their visions. After a decades long hiatus, he released #ATOM 12.12.12 as D Prosper.
His main focus now is working with Salaam Remi, who most notably produced Amy Winehouse and Nas, on a group he recently signed to Sony called Hiatus Kaiyote. As the band works on their second LP, he is marketing them as well as scheduling television appearances on the Arsenio Hall and Jimmy Fallon shows for late October. While keeping busy with this, he somehow finds the time to continue working on his own projects. He is currently working with VICE on a project called “Monsanity”. The parody piece on Monsanto, a publicly traded American multinational chemical and agricultural biotechnology corporation, will feature Monsanta Claus who will use imperialism and genetically modified food as his weapons. Along with this, he is releasing a 15 minute song with famed producer and rapper Flying Lotus called “#ATOM Echoes of Truth”. Terrance Nance will be directing a short film based on the song called “They’re gonna charge us for the sun” in which a corporation charges for minutes of sun usage and how the majority of society operates at night. Another project includes an animated video for the Lotus produced song off #ATOM 12.12.12 called “Elephant Ride”. Presently in production of this video, his animation team was waiting for him as we finished talking.
As I packed my things and left him to his meeting, I attempted to digest all of his accomplishments. Consuming the chronicles of his traveling down a unique road, it was difficult to not reflect on my own route. Walking to the subway, I found my thoughts searching my memory for an appropriate summation of my thinking:
“Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail…” -Ralph Waldo Emerson
Jessica Glick is a photographer, writer, and music lover. She developed an interest in photography while working at various Lower East Side music venues. Jessica started photographing local musician and has now expanded her work to include fine art and fashion. In addition to photography, Jessica has been writing since she was a child. Attempting to combine her writings with her photo work, she created an ongoing portrait/story series called VAGABOND.