“I am the best…” ImproPoe is highly unapologetic about blatantly stating that he has issued a stern warning out to all rappers/emcees out there! His signal of intent is that he has set the bar high and everyone else must just catch up to it, since he released his tape Body of Proof.
On his debut offering, the man born as Moeketsi Shaun Motlhakoana has “embodied” his “proof” lyrically. ImproPoe has put himself on the line, by encompassing his ability to solely carry an album/mixtape in a way that is reminiscent of Redman! Must be the light skinned/high yellow skin tone for one, but also that ability to just rap about anything (randomly) and innately make it sound dope!
While on the subject of light skinned rappers, Ludacris once declared on his hit song “Number One Spot” that “Nobody light-skinded reppin’ harder since Ice-T!” ImproPoe has put himself in that conversation as going for that very spot.
In this feature with Lavatory Records, ImproPoe talks about his style of rap, the Revivolution clique and more.
Lavatory Records: For those who don’t know you, who is “ImproPoe” and how did that name come about?
ImproPoe: I was blessed with the name ImproPoe by my friend and colleague FuS back in high school, after I asked him what he thought a good alias would be for me. It’s a combination of the words Improper and Poet. I like that I have various aliases and each have a different personality. For instance “White Shadow” was mostly used in Cyphers. ImproPoe is probably my strongest character lyrically because he’s a writer and song maker. Coming for that swag tho is the nxgger Shaun Collin$ aka James Caviar. #illest
LR: We know you as part of Revivolution, can you tell us how you guys came together and formed the crew?
ImproProe: A common question and one that will be asked a lot still. Illy, FuS and I went to high school together and they had a crew at the time. We were always together rapping, went from duet to a trio. In our first year of varsity I started rapping and we met Fudge now known as Tony Dangler. Litha (One L) officially joined us later that year and introduced us to the n***** Williams (Inferno).
LR: We have seen your crew members – One L, Inferno, Illite MC and FuSion delve into battle rap. How come we haven’t seen you step in the ring (unless we’re mistaken)?
ImproProe: You’re not mistaken! My man’s Tony Dangler also rocked that scene making me the only rapper in Revivo that hasn’t battled, I like that though! There are many reasons I haven’t battled, some of which may not be agreeable with battle rappers themselves. I guess I just decided there must be another way for people to see and hear me can rap, e.g. rapping over beats – battle rhyming and making sense logically with well thought out patterns of thought and flow! Anybody who can do that inspires me and unknowingly challenges me to either join them or see how I can make theirs better…
LR: Which artists or producers do you listen to or influence your style of music and rap?
ImproProe: Honestly I’m not good with names… and with producers too! A trap beat can get me feeling it too depending on what it is. If its ill I fxcks widdit I dont like putting myself in a single stream of anything.
LR: On Body of Proof, you pretty much carried that whole album and straight up got busy with hitting the bars. Did you feel you had something to prove to peers and fans, just by the title of the project?
ImproPoe: There is no fashionable gimmick in Body of Proof and anyone listening to it will forever rank me in their top 10 rappers now! If it’s later then they’ll have this tape as evidence to say “this is where it all started, I should have known…!”
LR: Do you feel lyricism is a lost art within hip-hop nowadays?
ImproPoe: Surprisingly no, I mean yeah there will be certain “rappers” who hardly line up words and make them rhyme. The rappers that people say are wack can actually rap. These guys are just past the point of lyricism, because the market does not demand nor understand what that person meant when she/ he wrote. What they did will not throw the same amount of money at them as the current market does. It’s a business now and the selling point is not lyricism even though the rappers are capable of it!
LR: Outside of Revivo, which artists or producers have you worked with or shared a stage with?
ImproPoe: Ah! I love that question! In terms of rappers NONE! There was a brief period in 2008-10 where I used to belong to a locally based crew called Unfamiliar Systems, where I did a few features that were lost to computer viruses. Other than that really, I only rap with Revivo. I just feel like there’s a certain level of skill that has to be maintained and I cannot be asked to feature on a track, with a guy who knows that he pales in comparison to my skill. This is hip hop… I can’t work with you if I don’t feel you (or in some cases know you personally), because I’ll hate the music we made and that is not my objective!
Producers it’s different but the same. They’re in the mainstream and they do what is usually a carbon copy of what’s being done abroad, with a little vernacular so it sounds different. However I don’t feel it! The mainstream producers we got here are still dope nonetheless!
LR: What projects or events should we look out for from you in the future?
ImproPoe: Revivo is dropping a tape soon as a crew! Within the crew we also pair or use a different combination of numbers (as a coalition) for different projects, all of which will be announced when they have titles and dates. I will have much more time from June so I will be dropping more material with my Revivo n****s.
LR: Any special mentions you want to shout out?
ImproPoe: Nah! I will leave someone out then people will start b****ing! Shout out to la familia… That’s a safe shout out!
We thank ImproProe for coming through and talking to us. To keep up with him follow him on Facebook, Twitter @impropoe and Instagram @impropoe. To follow his Revivolution crew, check out their Facebook Page and the Revivolution Twitter Account @Revivolution365.
Also download or stream ImproPoe’s latest project entitled Body of Proof.