Appalachian State professor Chris Shreve, a.k.a C. Shreve the Professor, moonlights as one of the more prolific mcees in the region, and he’s teaming up once again with his award winning group, Free the Optimus, to bring his inspirational hip hop message to Boone Saloon on Friday Sept. 9.
The show will be Shreve’s first performance at Saloon since the debut of his solo album Twenty Sixteens, which was released this May. This visit to Saloon is part of a 16-date east coast tour to promote the new album, which features sprawling but driven jazz beats alongside Shreve’s metaphysical lyricism.
Shreve and his group, FTO, have a firm and rapidly growing following in NC and beyond. Their talent has already been repeatedly recognized by the Carolina Music Awards. After winning two years in a row, FTO is once again up for best hip hop group at the event this year.
Since the formation of FTO in 2007, Shreve and various collaborators have sought to inspire critical thought with their lyrically positive hip hop. The purpose of this message is easily summed up: “to help people do their best.” Says Shreve “Using your full potential is what we refer to as the optimus.”
In the new album, Shreve often comes off like a mystic sort of hip hop philosopher, encouraging listeners to consider deeper issues than the materialism often found in mainstream hip hop.
The album’s title track encourages listeners to look inside themselves to question, “why you are who you are, why you move how you move.”
Attendees should expect a nonstop night of dance inducing beats carrying with them the positive and thoughtful message of FTO. “We’re definietly different than peoples’ preconceived notions of like a rap show,” Says Shreve. “A lot of people think a bar is a jam band space. Its just as intimate.”
Shreve is still teaching math within the exercise science department full time at Appalachian State, but his lyrical prowess, bourgeoning following and critical recognition all foretell a massive career awaiting launch.
“We keep saying we want to do fewer shows for more money,” Says Shreve. “If I could get a leave of absence because of rap that would be my optimus.” Don’t miss your chance to experience the Professor, to be able to tell your friends that you saw him when.
The night will feature the full FTO lineup of DJ Jet, Mike L!IVE and of course C. Shreve the Professor. There will also be special appearances from Professor Toon and Hunter Bennet. The cost for the night will be only $5 at the door. Doors open at 9 p.m., and the show starts at 10 p.m.
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