Photography by Lloyd Johnson
Things come about in abstracts for ProbCause. The Evanston, Ill., native, who is in the process of wrapping up a MFA at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, has become known around his city for pointed lyricism and careful collaborations. On his latest project, The Recipe Vol. 2 he seeks to have his message stimulate eyes and ears alike while pulling from all corners of burgeoning the Windy City scene.
The Recipe vol. 2 is a departure for the Psalm One protege-an exploration of blending separate aspects of himself and those around him into one cohesive project.
As a kid growing up in the north Chicago suburb of Evanston, Prob began taking daily rides south on the Purple line towards the city to graffiti. New to the culture, he quickly discovered the inevitable link between graffiti and hip-hop.
“I think that has always been a thing for me, trying to figure out how to combine music and art,” said ProbCause. “With this album I did individual visual art for all of the songs on it.”
Crammed into a small stall amongst a catacomb of artist spaces off of Monroe St. in the loop is Prob’s work. As he describes different tracks from the latest installment of The Recipe, he shows off his original visual components.
Hanging from the white walls, the paintings vary from abstract meanings to sports motifs. Pointing at one of an old-school basketball player he smiles, “Phil Jackson in the old days”. Probcause may be from Evanston, but he can appreciate a strong mustache like any naturalized Chicagoan.
The complex drawings pair with each track and evoke the mood and theme of the overall piece, acting like a road map to his latest project, one that takes the listener on a trip around his adopted hometown.