Finding hip hop in its purest form is something that The Source has prided itself on during its 30 year reign as hip-hop’s bible.
Carrying on that tradition, earlier this month, I repped the five mics as a guest judge of BCG Records’ indie hip-hop competition at midtown Manhattan’s Daddy’s House recording studio.
Power 105’s DJ Will spun on the ones and two’s for the event that was hosted by BCG Records’ Israel Burns. The event hosted rhymers from the greater New York area and featured rhymers who flowed methodically about money, cash, cars, girls and making their dreams come true. After carefully judging for lyrical content and consistency, I discovered a winner—Brooklyn native, Emmanuel Zamor, better known by the stage name of Prophecy Da Future.
Prophecy caught my ear while flowing to his written work titled Angels & Demons and was rhymed to the instrumental of Jay-Z’s Dead Presidents. Think J. Cole meets Asher Roth’s I Love College and combine a kid growing up in the 90s who understands Hov’s struggle to achieve upward mobility in Reasonable Doubt.
Check Prophecy Rock Out To I Got Five On It
The crowd was feeling him too!
Homeboy captivated the crowd because he discussed topical issues that many could relate to: being a recent college grad, being broke and looking for stability.
Of note, he vividly described his 2003 Nissan Altima whip—something that stood out to me because he was humble enough to embrace his struggle while confident enough to laugh at it. “The more miles I put on it—the closer I get to my success,” Prophecy tells The Source.
Currently a sales and operations coordinator at an equipment rental company, Prophecy started rapping in junior high school because it was the cool thing to do. According to Proph, he rapped in the lunchroom and school yard and folks in his neighborhood were feeling it and he kept it going through college. “I started reading books,” he said. “Researching just for fun and that within itself gave me some content to write about. Soon I realized that I can relay a message through what I rap about and that prompted me to take it serious.”
Prophecy sat down after the show and gave us a look at what makes him tick.
The Source: How did you prepare for the BCG showcase?
Prophecy: My High School friend, JP—I call him my brother. He called me and told me about it. I told him sign me up. Soon after I spoke to him I started thinking of the songs I was going to perform. I have a lot of songs. But I wanted to perform attention grabbing songs. Something different than what over 75% of the artists will rap about. Not saying these are whack, but I didn’t want to sound redundant. So I picked a song called Angels & Demons where I talk about where I’m from—Dead Presidents, which is a classic Jay-Z instrumental and the song that I think captivated the crowd.
The Source: What is your ultimate goal?
Prophecy: My goal is to tell my story and touch millions that share it and ultimately, to inspire change. In my mixtape THE CALL I said: “I’m from the island where the water surrounds tropical skies and palm trees, history profound. I’m a kid from Haiti with a story to tell and if you listen and understand what I’m saying you’ll see how beautiful our history is, how resilient we are and how we prosper through adversities and how complicated things can be sometimes. And at the same time making you bop to it.
The Source: Who in hip hop inspires you?
Prophecy: The greats, really: 2pac, Jay-Z, Nas, Biggie. No matter how cheesy it sounds, all the old school legends inspire me. And new school rappers like J. Cole, Kanye and Kendrick. I’m the type of guy that would go to sleep at 3 in the morning all because I was watching a 2pac performance in the 90s or Jay-Z’s Hard knock Life Tour on YouTube or watching hip hop documentary’s on Netflix.
The Source: Tell me about your crew.
Prophecy: I represent a dope ass crew. We are called SelfMade Entrepreneurs, founded by my brother from another CQaffeine. He joined forces with me and his childhood friend Taz and my good friend Spadez to push this Thing which is more of a lifestyle than a crew. Our motto is “bringing dreams to reality through creativity” and I personally hold these words very true. If you have a dream you will do any and everything to make it a reality—even if it means pushing the envelope and being creative. We also do a sign with our hands, which is the upside down pyramid. People mistake it for something secular or mystique. But it symbolizes bringing the bottom to the top, by that we are saying we want to shift the status quo by bringing the bottom up. Hence, the hashtag we use #fromthebottomup. As far as what we do, we do event planning, music production, visual production, and apparel design.