Features

C.Shreve the Professor releases “Fresh Laundry” single w/ video.

Production from ThiefofBaghdad. Directed by Andrew Anderson Films. Mixed and mastered by EG Engineering.

C.Shreve releases new album “Lost Love Found”. Review via Scratched Vinyl

C. Shreve the Professor – Lost Love Found

Mike L!VE releases “It’s the Beat” via 1st Day Fresh

Mike L!VE brings that old school feeling on “It’s The Beat”

FTO’s Mike L!VE is back with another self-produced single for your eardrums. “It’s The Beat” is hip hop head rap, that raw boom bap + raw lyricism.

L!VE’s love for paying homage and sound collaging is once again evident as he talks that shit with bar after bar of lyrically dense MC bravado rap.

“Promoters be illiterate thieves, and still book me”

“Who need a rest, you a chess pawn / Style, bed of fire, I ain’t never been slept on”

Fans can catch L!VE in Asheville, NC this summer as Free The Optimus shares stages with Big Boi (6/3) and The Pharcyde (9/21). FTO summer dates are still being finalized, but a full east coast tour is planned and will be announced soon.

“This Is Love” featured on The Dope Show

New Music: C.Shreve the Professor – This Is Love (Prod. By B Squared)

NEW MUSIC: C.SHREVE THE PROFESSOR – THIS IS LOVE (PROD. BY B SQUARED)

North Carolina emcee C.Shreve the Professorreleases his dope new single “This Is Love” along with a video teaser for the track.

Produced by Burlington, NC beatmaker B Squared, the song counts as C.Shreve’s first release since his previous album, Daddy Love To Rap, that dropped late last year.

Keeping that same raw, gritty flow that he put into the album, “This Is Love” finds him in a classic boom-bap pocket that he’s known best for.

C.Shreve speaking on the song:

“This is one of those live show bangers. It’s meant to be a celebratory song to feel the love, to get lost in it. I recently added this into my live set and fans have really rocked with it.”

Support C.Shreve the Professor’s craft by streaming “This Is Love” below and on iTunes here.

C.Shreve’s “This Is Love” featured on Revolt TV!!!

https://revolt.tv/listen/music-love-cshreve-professor-00a53b96

North Carolina rapper C.Shreve the Professor shares his latest, with “This is Love” marking his first release since his 2017 album, Daddy Love To Rap.

The track, produced by B Squared, showcases how his support system is as loyal as they come, spitting, “At the show, they be like who up next? Man, I hope it’s him / With the pen I go within, it’s got me focusin’ / I’m just tryna break you out that box that they hold you in.”

Mike L!VE’s “My Mentality Is…” featured on the Millennial

FTO’s Mike L!VE Uses A “Brady Bunch” Inspired Theme On New Single “My Mentality”

Mike L!VE is a member of the FTO (Free The Optimus) movement based out of North Carolina. You may have heard him featured on tracks with his counterpart C. Shreeve The Professor. This week, Mike L!VE drops a new solo track and visual of his own.

The single is titled “My Mentality” and takes on a Brady Bunch inspired music video. While the song “My Mentality” promotes the boom bap sound that FTO is known for, the visuals flaunt multiple frames of Mike L!VE delivering bars in a very aesthetically busy music video. Take a look for yourself below.

MiKE L!VE – My Mentality Is… (FTO Official Video by QWYK)

C.Shreve the Professor Interview with Middle Tennessee Music

Interview with C.Shreve the Professor – Free The Optimus

Interview with C.Shreve the Professor – Free The Optimus

CShreve the Professor-Daddy Love To Rap

Chris Shreve (aka C.Shreve the Professor) is a Deep Gap, North Carolina MC and founder of the award winning hip hop collective Free The Optimus (FTO). A senior lecturer at Appalachian State University by day, this veteran emcee brings unique and dynamic perspective to both the studio and the live stage. 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.”

In this interview spotlight, I chat with C.Shreve about motivations, challenges, the latest project and more.

Links, music, and the full Q&A below.

Where are you from and what style of music do you create? (In your own words, not necessarily in marketing terms or by popular genre classifications.)

I am originally from Mouth of Wilson, Virginia but I spent time growing up in Knoxville, Tennessee and Salisbury, Maryland. I’ve spent the last 10 years living in Deep Gap, North Carolina. I am a lyricist and MC. I take great pride in my raps and tend to choose production that speaks to me. I love classic boom bap and love wavy spaced out trap as well. I try to push my own boundaries with the songs I create so that I can have a wide variety to pull from on the live stage.

What led you down this path of music and what motivates you to keep going?

I’ve always felt drawn to hip hop, since I first heard Rakim and Slick Rick. Something about wordplay and rhythm, storytelling and energetic vibes just drew me in. I was a listener and pure fan for a long time. I watched and listened to 2pac, Biggie, Outkast, DMX, Wu Tang, KRS, Common and The Roots in awe prior to hearing something in Q Tip, Kanye West and Snoop that told me I could do it.

The fact that I can continue to make music, that I have an audience, and that I can continue to tour all over the country and have people come rock with me is pure motivation. The raw challenge of figuring out the messages you want to convey, and what people respond to the best is so motivating. Making and performing music is my favorite thing to do.

How is this new release different than previous ones? Were you trying to accomplish anything specific?

This release is me just doing me. I’ve done concept albums previously, and they can help you focus, but this concept was really just “I love to rap and I’m gonna pick the beats that I want to do that on, and then execute.” It’s also the partner release to an EP I put out a couple months ago titled “Mommy Love To Dance”. That one was me making a project for the people up front who love to dance, but still just slinging bars. I kind of wanted to branch out and gain some new fans (I was thinking it would be super dope to get pushed on a dance blog) but also wanted to push the limits of what my core audience was used to. I almost wanted to set them up, like “what is Shreve up to now? He needs to get back to the raw raps”. On this new album, DLTR, I’m kind of back to my bread and butter and really just expressing where I’m at in life (which is currently focussing on being a dad).

Name one or two challenges you face as an indie musician in this oversaturated, digital music age? How has technology helped you (since we know it does help)?

Just getting out there. I actually enjoy a lot of the challenges though. Things like: How do you truly connect with your social media audience? How do you not just RT the crap out of all the blogs and mentions and find a way to truly engage them? How do you get people out to shows, when you do shows all the time? How do you navigate all the hustlers and make real connections (PR, managers, etc) when everyone has a convincing profile page and most of them are full of shit?

I know I wouldn’t have been able to do this without twitter, soundcloud, facebook, bandcamp, etc. Plain and simple. I don’t live in a market at all. Boone, NC isn’t gonna break a major hip hop artist. But Charlotte, Raleigh, Asheville, etc might. The ability to connect with all the different markets through social media has been a game breaker for indie musicians like myself.

Where is the best place to connect with you online and discover more music?

I’ve really tried to put everything everywhere, so if you have spotify or apple or amazon or tidal or itunes or you like soundcloud or bandcamp or just youtube. It’s there. I like bandcamp because a larger portion of it goes directly to funding what we do, but bottom line go listen wherever you listen. FTOlife.com is our main hub with all the new happenings. Search “C.Shreve the Professor” or “Free The Optimus” on an internet near you and you should be off and running.

I’m pretty active on twitter and IG and tend to keep all the feeds current. One great place to start with my music might be with this video playlist (we’ve invested a good bit in videos that last couple year): https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLH3uRUeG-7YVR_hPm4OQyv0wiJ82JgKqO

Anything else before we sign off?

For all your readers: Support dope artists on the come up! They need you now more than ever. For an indie artist, putting your friends on to their music or taking some friends out to see their show is everything. The social media sharing is incredible too, but really just spread the word. However y’all do that. Huge THANK YOU to y’all for doing that with this interview!