C.Shreve the Professor

MC, artist, and Free The Optimus founder


Chris Shreve (aka C.Shreve the Professor) is a North Carolina MC and founder of the award winning hip hop collective Free The Optimus (FTO). After a 12 year career as a university professor, Shreve decided to leave the stability of his career in 2020 and follow his passion, by fully pursuing opportunities on the stage and in the recording studio. This veteran emcee brings unique and dynamic perspective every time he steps to a microphone or into a a cypher. C.Shreve defines Free The Optimus as “a call to action—to set free our optimal ability & our optimistic perspective, and to transform the world around us.”

Shreve’s commitment to the indie music underground is evidenced best through the 60 shows per year he’s done since 2013 and the 16 albums he’s churned out the last decade. He’s a founding member of Cypher Univercity and a Journeyman of the Society of Spoken Art. Shreve’s most recent album “ILE.Pro” has been well received by both fans and critics, and is clearly some of the best work of his career. 

The Professor was slated to play in 2020 at SXSW, Brooklyn Wildlife Festival, West Coast Function Fest, Boone in Blossom, Indiestarr Fest, and at venues throughout the US  as he expanded to a national touring schedule. However, we all know how 2020 went—instead he ended up recording a new collaborative album with UK beatmaker ILe Flottante and started the Who Needs A Classroom Podcast.

As described by the writers at Earmilk, “FTO is known for bringing positive and poetic lyrics that flow over jazz influenced hip hop beats that bring in a hint of soul. Their lyrical talent goes above and beyond of what is expected in rap music these days.” 

C.Shreve & FTO have spent the last few years touring relentlessly, developing a signature sound & message from both the road and their home base in Asheville, North Carolina. Free The Optimus takes great pride in redefining audiences’ expectation of what a show can be with a theatrical storyline & a focus on knowledge, culture, & respect. FTO sets are a raw demonstration of explosive improvisational hip hop, and revolve around vinyl turntablism, beatboxing, storytelling, and lyrical MCing. Free The Optimus was named Best Hip Hop Group in the Carolinas in both 2016 & 2015 by the Carolina Music Awards.

Photos: C.Shreve the Professor          Twitter @seeshreve                Soundcloud: FreeTheOptimus     

Instagram: @seeshreve              Facebook: CShreveTheProfessor            Youtube: ShreveRaps

 Spotify: C.Shreve the Professor   Apple Music: C.Shreve the Professor    Tidal: C.Shreve the Professor

C.Shreve the Professor has performed at the Hopscotch Music Festival, LAAF, Hillmatic, Beats and Bars Festival, Blue Plum Festival, Harvest Boone, DURM Hip Hop Summit, Boone in Blossom,  Hidden In The Hollow, Spring In The City, Village Vision, GURP Fest, and at venues from New Orleans to Denver. He has toured and shared stages with Big Boi, The Hieroglyphics, Raekwon, Talib Kweli, Lupe Fiasco, Nappy Roots, Guilty Simpson, Slum Village, Cannibal Ox, DJ Enuff, Blackalicious, Camp Lo, Topaz Jones, Clear Soul Forces, Big K.R.I.T., Oddisee, Three 6 Mafia, Planet Asia, Rapper Big Pooh, Zion-I, Blueprint, Lock Smith, The Palmer Squares, BJ the Chicago Kid, Tanya Morgan, Illogic, and many more.

“As a lyricist, he manages to pull off the difficult task of presenting some really personal moments with enough detail and passion to paint a vivid picture, while still remaining objective enough to not just give one side of the story where he’s always the hero. Life and love have a lot of ups and downs, and it’s the sign of a mature emcee who’s able to not just always see it through their own eyes, but to see other perspectives as well. The result is an album that takes you through moments of joy and pain and everything in between…”
— Scratched Vinyl 

“North Carolina artist and educator Chris Shreve proves his love for Hip Hop throughout Twenty Sixteens, a 48 minute solo project showcasing the Professor’s unapologetic lyricism and commitment to freeing his Optimus.”  — Hip Hop DX

Interview with Real Raps Only: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IjO-0kIFL58

Grown review from Scratched Vinyl:  http://scratchedvinyl.com/reviews/c-shreve-the-professor-grown/

Grown review via Mountain Xpress:    http://mountainx.com/arts/sound-track-twenty-sixteens-by-c-shreve/        

Interview with Middle Tennessee Music: https://www.midtnmusic.com/interview-c-shreve-the-professor/

Interview w/ Mountain Times: https://www.wataugademocrat.com/mountaintimes/entertainment/c-shreve-the-professor-releases-new-album-nov/article_7b4dea7d-1dcf-5864-bbc6-141cba487b6b.html

Asystole on Hip Hop DX: http://hiphopdx.com/videos/id.24329/title.c-shreve-the-professor-doesnt-deal-w-fakes-in-asystole

Live In The High Country on I Still Love HER:  http://istillloveher.de/tag/live-in-the-high-country/

Daddy Love To Rap review via Scratched Vinyl: http://scratchedvinyl.com/?q=node/3491

Official video for “Summer Ransom”:

“This Is Love” LIVE in Virginia Beach on 8.23.18

Official video for “Catacombs” from Twenty Sixteens:

Live in Montpelier, Vermont @ Charlie O’s World Famous 3.2.19: 

Official video for “My Hemisphere” from Summer Ransom:

Contact us at freetheoptimus@gmail.com or use the form below to inquire about booking, interviews, or requests for C.Shreve the Professor or Free The Optimus.