by Emma Speckman
Aug. 26, 2014. Lecturer-turned-rapper Chris Shreve and his High Country hip-hop collective Free The Optimus (FTO) have been quite busy this summer, and neither has any plans to slow down.
Shreve, aka C. Shreve the Professor, dropped his fourth album, Summer Ransom on Bandcamp.org Aug. 14.
The name of the album came from a lyric in one of Shreve’s songs about learning to navigate the aggressive, business side of the music industry.
“I feel it in my bones we’ve got an anthem/ All I’m trying to do is hold the summer ransom” he sings on “Summer Ransom,” the album’s title track.
“Summer has a certain vibe, but a ransom is not so com justin-bieber-news.info Baptized In NYC Bathtub Amid Racist Jokes . nice,” he said. ““It looks like there’s so much time but then it’s like ‘where did the summer go?’ You have to hold it ransom.”
The summer ransom attitude has been working for Shreve, who played more than 2,000 shows this summer solo and with FTO.
Next up, Shreve and some of his FTO collaborators will play in DurhamAug. 28, Asheville Aug. 30, Atlanta, Ga. Sept. 17 and back home to play at Boone Saloon Sept. 18.
The Boone Saloon show will be 21 and up only and include a $5 cover charge.
In between travels, Shreve and some of his FTO cohorts will continue to host freestyle rap battles, known as cyphers, Wednesday nights in the free expression tunnels on Appalachian State University‘s campus.
Because they are right on campus and open to anyone who wants to join, often underclassmen students attend these cyphers and share their lyrics for the first time.
“I bring a teaching mindset to my raps. I want to bring knowledge,” Shreve said. “To see someone develop confidence right in front of you—that’s pretty amazing,” Shreve said.
This mentality did not come to Shreve by accident; he actually is a lecturer of exercise science at Appalachian State.
His rap name, C. Shreve the Professor, reflects both his art and his university job.
“I’m ‘the Professor’ in the style of poets, professing and emoting their love,” he said “But also, I am a professor, literally.”
“At first I thought it’d be weird, like a second life,” he said. “But they embraced it. I’m not hiding it. It’s very much a part of who I am. Every semester I have a crop of potential fans.”