Repping Seattle and the hip-hop community, J-Pros brings it back old school for listeners with rap sounds from the 90s. Made up of two emcees and a DJ, the group has always made their music free to the public. Here’s a little bit more about our new competitor:
1. How did your band/group form?
R’SENULL: In 2004, Mercury and I were each working on solo rap projects at J-Studios when Joel Mallari (music producer) suggested we meet and make some tracks together. DJ Razs was also Joel Mallari’s friend and introduced him to the us too. Since then, we’ve been making music together.
2. If a band/group: How did your band/group come up with its name?
MERCURY: “J” is a homage to our producer and studio where we first formed, and “Pros” is simply the prefix that can mean anything: production, prolific, profound, professional, etc.
3. Who or what are your major influences and inspirations?
DJ RAZS: In the DJ world, my major influences are DJ Rectangle, DJ Premiere, DJ Q-Bert, DJ Roc Raida, DJ Rob Swift, DJ Jam Master Jay, & DJ B-Mello.
MERCURY: Many MCs from the Golden Age of hip-hop: Nas, AZ, Big L, OC, Andre 3000, Lord Finesse. I also draw inspiration from jazz greats like Miles Davis and Thelonious Monk.
R’SENULL: Eminem, Nas, Big Punisher, E-40, The Fugees, Slaughterhouse, RUN
4. How would you describe your musical style? What makes it special?
MERCURY: I describe our style as rooted in 90s hip-hop, but tailored to fit my modern experiences as a Filipino-American.
R’SENULL: We use our music to express our life experiences, ethics, and opinions with a little bit of a 90’s hip hop sound.
5. What does Kollaboration’s mission, “Empowerment through Entertainment” mean to you?
DJ RAZS: Sharing one’s creative talent to help influence and inspire a community.
6. Do you have any funny, inspiring, or interesting stories to share about your musical journey?
MERCURY: A friend of a friend’s 5-year-old son had listened to our song “The Grudge.” A few days later, he was taken to the barber shop and after his haircut, informed the barber that it was important to be able to do what you really wanted to do in life and to not let anyone choose it for you.
R’SENULL: In 2004, we released a song called “Mocha Brown” on the internet, which got a little popular with the filipino ladies on myspace at the time. A year later, a filipino girl at my work hospital recognized me from the music video. Since then, she has been unfortunately calling me “Mocha Brown” every time we see each other.
6. What’s your hidden talent(s)?
MERCURY: I can make whole plates of sushi mysteriously disappear.
DJ RAZS: I can talk like Bobby from the cartoon show “Bobby’s World”.
R’SENULL: I can sleep for extremely long hours. I once finished a 12 hour nightshift and slept for 18 hours. When I woke up and looked at my clock, I thought I only slept for 6 hours (because I didn’t check to see if it was AM or PM).
7. What is your goal as an artist?
R’SENULL: My goal is to have listeners relate to our lyrics in any way and also enjoy our music. I would also love to do a tour around Asia and take my friends & family with me.
MERCURY: I’d love to perform in other countries, especially back in the Philippines.
8. If you won the lottery, what would you do?
MERCURY: Make sure my family is comfortable, buy a nice house for my daughter and me, travel a little bit, then invest the rest of it.
DJ RAZS: Pay off all of my bills and my parents, brother, grandfather, fiance, and future mother in-law’s bills also. Buy a big house and take care of my family. I would also donate to charities for the people that are less fortunate.
R’SENULL: I would first pay off our house, then buy Seattle a NBA basketball team again. With the rest of the money, I would save it for my children’s college and my grandchildren’s college.
9. If you could perform with anyone, who would it be with?
MERCURY: AZ or Big L.
R’SENULL: Nas or Eminem.
10. Favorite hidden place to eat in the Pacific Northwest?
DJ RAZS: I’m not sure if it is hidden, but my favorite place to eat is Kona Kitchen.
R’SENULL: I love “Din Tai Fung” in Bellevue, WA. If you let me, I can maybe eat 20 of their dumplings in a row.
MERCURY: Sushi Maru in Bellevue has awesome sushi.
11. What’s your guilty pleasure when it comes to food, something you never deny passing when offered?
MERCURY: Coffee-flavored mochi ice cream.
R’SENULL: A “Cappuccino Blast” at Baskin Robbins.
DJ RAZS: A good burger, pizza, teriyaki, and katsu chicken.