C.Shreve The Professor is an emcee from Asheville and part of the group Free The Optimus. He’s been going strong both as a solo artist and as part of the group all decade long. His last solo effort, Lost Love Found, came out a little over a year ago. Now he comes back with one of his strongest efforts to date, Grown.
As you might imagine, this album is not only about being a veteran in this rap game, but just being grown in general. That’s right, this is an album about prioritizing, learning about what really matters in life, and handling your shit. Oh, and flexing on some young fools. To do so, Shreve is enlisting the help of producers TheifofBaghdad, Ile Flottante, KevoBeats, Jarv, E.A. Poitier, Pat Junior, K. Starnes, J. Ford, Grove$ide, Soul Monk, and FLUE. Throughout the course of the album, you’re getting a mix of classic East Coast boom bap and modern trap and electronic beats, all of which really crackle and pop and sound amazing coming through your headphones or speakers. There’s room to slow things down, such as on the R&B-flavored “Hold Me Down,” with Marisa Blake, where Shreve opens up and gets real about finding a partner you can rely on to help you through the hard parts of life, and recognizing when you need to knock off the B.S., be humble, put your pride aside and do what you have to keep that special person in your life. There’s room for anthems like “Positive,” with its lyricism about community building and a bumping piano sample that is reminiscent of early Blackalicious, which is always welcome around here. These songs are great and open up the sound of the album and give it depth, but don’t think for a second that because Shreve is grown that it means he’s lost a step. Far from it, in fact. Just one listen to a song like “Recognize & Witness,” with fellow FTO member M!KE LIVE, and not only will you hear a beat that absolutely bumps and sounds menacing, you’ve got two emcees essentially hopping on that beat cypher-style and just doing lyrical acrobatics all over the track. There’s also room for absolute fun, like the old school boogie of “Pylon,” which demands to be blasted on your car stereo on a sunny day.
If you’re looking for some grown ass hip hop, look no further than Grown. This is exactly the type of album you’d expect from a veteran emcee like C.Shreve The Professor. It hits all the right notes, both musically and lyrically, moving from the serious and necessary discussions of life to rocking the mic and the party and everything in between.
C.Shreve The Professor is ready for the release of his new album on Nov. 13
C.Shreve wears a Free the Optimus shirt, representing a collective of like-minded rappers that form a support system for one another across the country. Shreve is the founder of FTO.
C.Shreve The Professor’s new album releases on Nov. 13 on all major music platforms.
Christopher Shreve is a senior professor at Appalachian State University, teaching classes such as Chronic and Infectious Diseases and Communications in Public Health. But when classes end, C.Shreve The Professor takes the stage.
Shreve’s passion for teaching is nearly matched by a passion that most wouldn’t expect from a health sciences professor: hip hop.
“After college, I remember thinking I wanted to do something physical since I wasn’t playing sports anymore, so I decided to learn how to rap one day,” Shreve said. “Once I got it, I started writing my own songs, and from there I’ve kind of waded in, and I’ve trusted it.”
Inspired by the hip hop revolutionists of the ‘80s, such as the legendary TuPac, Shreve says that hip hop ebbed in and out of his life — until it stuck.
Shreve’s first album was released in 2014, and he’s performed with artists such as Topaz Jones, Lupe Fiasco, DJ Enuff and Three 6 Mafia, at events across the country.
As for students’ reactions, Shreve says that classes typically have smiles and wide eyes when they first find out.
“It’s kind of the novelty of seeing a professor do something that’s not really typical,” said Shreve, adding that teaching and performing aren’t really that different.
“You have to keep it entertaining, or you’ll lose them. Especially during transitions from one lesson to the next or one song to another,” Shreve said. “I like to have all kinds of tricks up my sleeve in case there’s not a reaction from the audience.”
Shreve is also the founder of Free the Optimus, an Asheville-based collective that’s all about “artists supporting one another and having each other’s backs,” said Shreve, adding that the name is a bit of a triple entendre for creating a better world.
The name acknowledges the freedom that comes with seeing the world from a positive perspective and trying your best, while also being a call to action for those who are stuck with a glass-half-empty perspective.
While Free the Optimus began as a way for Shreve to brand his music without using his name, today it unites musicians from across the U.S. that are a part of the collective.
“We’re a collective instead of a group or a band because we’re not always performing together,” said Shreve. “Sometimes we might open a show for each other or play together, but for the most part, we’re separate acts.”
To date, he’s released 15 albums of rap music that are available on most music platforms under his rapper name, C.Shreve The Professor, with the 16th dropping on Nov. 13. The new album is titled “Grown,” and the day following its release, C.Shreve and Jarv of Jarv Makes Music will kick off the “You Don’t Look Like Rappers” tour Boone. The tour makes five stops in N.C., two in Virginia and one in Washington, D.C.
See the Nightlife section page 24 for details.
To keep up with C.Shreve, visit his website at shreveraps.com, which has links to his social media and music platforms.
It’s the weekend so you have every right to feel good! MiKE L!VE ensures listeners that the positive vibes will continue with his new platter “Examples Of ___ To Inspire You” & a fun clip for “Feels Good To Me!” Keep bouncin’ & check out the action below!
— Asheville, NC MC C.Shreve the Professor comes through with yet another crisp music video for his latest single, “Fresh Laundry”.
It’s pretty safe to say that North Carolina’s own, C.Shreve the Professor, is one of the hottest things bubbling out of the Asheville region. As a member of the ‘Free the Optimus’ Hip-Hop collective, C.Shreve has released over 15 projects and has shared the stage with the likes of Big Boi, Talib Kweli, Lupe Fiasco, Big K.R.I.T, Slum Village, Raekwon, and many others. But, this time around, C.Shreve holds it down solo in his latest visual for his single, “Fresh Laundry”.
The video opens up with C.Shreve looking rather menacing as he seemingly prepares for some dirty work and the smooth ThiefofBaghdad-produced beat creeps into your ear drums. As the beat drops in classic boom-bap fashion, C.Shreve hops out of his seat and begins performing some lyrical gymnastics while casually doing laundry in his half-laundry room/ half-recording studio.
The Andrew Anderson-directed visual was beautifully shot, to say the least, and I’m not sure that anyone has ever made laundry day look as therapeutic as C.Shreve the Professor just did.
North Carolina hip-hop has been on fire lately, so much so that people may forget how deep the NC underground is. Stepping into the summer mix with a new release from Asheville, is underground veteran C.Shreve the Professor. This just released collaboration with New Zealand producer ThiefofBaghdad is titled “Fresh Laundry”, and is our new selection for DOPEST Video of the Week. This Andrew Anderson directed visual finds Shreve (appropriately) kicking bars in his laundry room and in his own words regarding this new single/video, he says,
“I didn’t overthink this one too much. Thief crushes the production and my studio is a big open space that happens to also be a laundry room on one side. I just went with that as the concept both for the lyrics and for the visuals. It’s about being true to self and refreshing your perspective through life’s simple joys.”
Watch “Fresh Laundry”, our DOPEST Video of the Week, right now and be on the lookout for Shreve’s next full project, “Grown”, which is scheduled for a September release. Also, be sure to connect with Shreve on his new website and social media streams.
Asheville emcee C.Shreve the Professor is part of the collective known as Free the Optimus, but he’s been focusing a lot on his solo material recently. Just last December, we got the second of two solo releases he put out when he dropped Daddy Love to Rap. Now he’s come back once again with a new album called Lost Love Found.
Lost Love Found is a pretty easy album to get to know. While this particular project isn’t full of the crowd rockers that he put out last year, it’s still very easy to get familiar with this album. Featuring production from Grove$ide, FLUE, B Squared, Pat Junior, and Kid Ocean, this album is full of midtempo, soulful beats that allow Shreve the space to get introspective and reflect on his own personal experiences with love and loss. Sure, this isn’t anything that hasn’t been done before, but these are universal themes that we all deal with over the course of our lives, and when handled with care, they can turn into very moving and relatable listening experiences. That’s exactly what happens on this album. Shreve is a veteran performer who’s played many a live show, so even on an introspective album like this he is able to use his savvy to grab your attention with some solid hooks and lyrical acrobatics, and then draws you in further as he opens up and walks you through some tales of love, loss, and life. 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, all while delivering some pop-friendly compositions. It’s a little bit of a different take from Shreve, but he’s a mature and seasoned emcee who was willing to take the time to do this right.
How do you follow up a crowd-pleaser like Daddy Love to Rap? You show everyone a different side of the artist, one that’s vulnerable and thoughtful, who can welcome you in and walk you through some personal rhymes that we can all relate to. Lost Love Found is a welcome addition to C. Shreve the Professor’s growing catalogue.