In a just world, a review of this album would have been simply about the music. Instead, this is a story riddled with tales of record-label politics, high expectations, poorly pressed bootlegs, and careers put on hold. In 1993 Large Professor made an appearance as a guest MC on A Tribe Called Quest's "Keep It Rollin'," a track he produced for their Midnight Marauders album. The last line of his verse, "buy the album when I drop it," has since become a classic of golden-era New York rap. Unfortunately, it was for the wrong reasons. As it turns out, the world would have to wait another nine years for a proper full-length solo debut, 2002's 1st Class. It wasn't for a lack of effort, though. In 1996 Geffen released two Large Professor 12" singles ("IJUSWANNACHILL" and "The Mad Scientist") in anticipation of his then-forthcoming album. After a number of delays and disagreements about the album's "outdated" vibe, Geffen dropped the project, leaving it to collect dust in the label's vaults for seven years. Fortunately, Large Professor reacquired the rights to the recordings in 2002, resulting in a limited promo-only CD pressing. Fans familiar with the singles should already know what to expect here, especially since five of the album's 12 tracks were spread among the two 12"s. From a production standpoint, the sound is similar to that heard on Pro's previous full-length, Main Source's Breaking Atoms, though in a more stripped-down and mid-'90s manner. Among the highlights are the two singles, the hazy organ loop of "Hungry," and the flat-out stunning Nas collabo, "One on One." Remember, Nas was fresh from his classic debut, Illmatic, when he recorded this track, so fans that felt a little disillusioned by his later, ghetto-fabulous leanings owe it to themselves to check this track out. All said, Large Professor was never flooded with consistently interesting lyrics -- and there are some flat moments here -- but they never get in the way of the consistently high-quality production. A lost treasure.
AllMusic Review by Brandon Burke