Protoman
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Protoman

Miami, Florida, United States | INDIE

Miami, Florida, United States | INDIE
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Don't aim for success if you want it; just do what you love
and believe in, and it will come naturally.
-David Frost


Upon embarking on anything that's fit for accomplishment what would you say you need with you in order to make it a success?

Now the response may vary from person to person given what it is he or she wants to accomplish considering people may feel they need this or they need that or for that matter nothing at all to do what they have to do and get what they have to get. However, what seems to be consistent across the board, at least with all of WBM's features is above anything else what's brought along for the journey of life toward success is happiness.

Happiness it seems is the ration pack that provides that next bit of energy when we don't have enough, the confidence when there's any doubt, and the freedom to do any and everything. Take Protoman for example.

Happiest most when creating music that affects the lives of others, Protoman of Florida has this ability with words that demand attention, especially when placed over head nodding beats. You can hear it in each song all the way down to how he delivers each verse which by will get even better over time considering his greatest motivating factor is his daughter.

Take some time out to get to get up close and personal with not only one of Florida's great, but one of Hip Hop's and Rawkus50 as well.


[As Told To Why Blue Matters]




So tell the world a little bit about yourself:

Protoman: I record mostly hip hop and perform as much I can. I love Florida and Florida loves me back. I couldn't name you 5 hits on the radio as of today but could chronologically name every rap song that was released in 1984 and drop a little known studio fact of their recording sessions.

Who is Protoman?

Protoman is a character I try to detain - a sort of war machine. Misunderstood yet many people seem to relate. I try to keep Protoman separate from my personal life, but he creeps in unwillingly. If I were Protoman 100% of the time I would be in jail or dead.

How you come up with the stage name?

Protoman: I wanted a super villain yet a superhero in variation. Guess it depends who the listener is and where they come from. The name represents a prototype, human, but with flaws most "normal" people do not carry. It's also the name of my favorite video game character of all time.

Where are you from?

Protoman: I was born in Texas but moved to South Florida as a little kid. I think I'll end up in Florida forever. People think I'm crazy for that.

Interest(s)?

Protoman: I love mixing music - thats my secret interest (I don't tell my rapper friends because they'll want to render my services for free). I love playing basketball every week and pretending I'm Wade while chewing gum. Another interest is thrift shops. I love the way they smell and you meet some good folks there.

What does music mean to you?

Protoman: Music means expression and creativity mixed with emotion. It means doing whatever you feel is right and pushing the envelope no matter what people think. It means inspiration to others and being the voice for people who want to be heard.

How long have you been involved?

Protoman: I just got a decade under my belt. I should get a grant or something from the government like they do in Norway to make music.

When did you know that music was something that you wanted to pursue?

Protoman: Probably when I realized it made me the most happy. There is nothing better than working for days on a song and listening to it for the first time in it's completion. Then playing that song on stage and people seem to enjoy it. That's the cherry.

What inspires and motivates you?

Protoman: That feeling once again. Also coffee and occasional cigarettes. Honestly, it's fans. I remember when I realized the impact I had was when this girl wrote me and said, "I listen to your songs every morning while I drive to work and it makes me feel good while stuck in traffic" That's what keeps it going for me.

You have a very unique delivery, what goes into the creation of your songs?

Protoman: Lots and lots of things. But basically making something totally different from the last song but still keeping that signature sound. Sometimes you just mash ideas together in rhyme form and throw it at the wall and hope it sticks. Sometimes it's very premeditated and planned.

What lead to your being recognized by Rawkus?

Protoman: Personally it meant a lot because I idolized that label growing up when I was 15 or so. It's was a trip to be working with them 8 years later. Even though it was short lived and independent Hip Hop isn't what it use to be, I'm convinced that If I was this age now back in Rawkus' prime it would have been a wrap. I would have been getting an intro on Soundbombing II mixed by the Beat Junkies. I think being recognized proved to a lot of cats I'm here to stay. Even though it feels like the wrong era, I'm still here.

Biggest Accomplishment?

Protoman: Becoming a father and being content with this "grown up" thing. Being there for my daughter and they fulfillment that comes with it is the best reward. There is nothing better I can ever create or accomplish than her.

What type of impact would you like to make with your music?

Protoman: I want to be responsible for something important. Whether it's performing while two lost souls meet at my show and make a baby that will cure some serious disease or me showing my imperfections and mistakes to give people direction for their own lives -- it has to be big and meaningful in the big picture. I will not be content when I finally burn out or fade away and people can only say, ''yeah, Protoman was dope. The stuff he did with Sebino was fresh". That's not enough. I'm not trying to change the world but I want to make a dent in it.

Who have you worked with so far?

Protoman: I don't do as many collaborations as I should but some rappers/producers I have worked with are, Fusik, Bernbiz from Mayday!, DJ Slice, DJ Immortal, DJ Idee, Crazy Hood, DJ Final, Numonics, Bleubird and a lot of really great people I could type all day.

Any anyone you like to work with in the future?

Protoman: I want an EL-P remix of Redman, Ludacris and myself with original production from Rick Ruben put out on pink vinyl only.

What's next for Protoman?

Protoman: More records and more shows. I got a full-length I'm working really hard on now. I think a lot people will be surprised with the sound.

Any advice for those looking to pursue their aspirations in music?

Protoman: Do it for the love. Music cannot be monetized like you think it can. Be genuine and be yourself, that's when you will lay down your best work and get real fans that will support you.

For More On Protoman:
myspace.com/protoman
Rawkus 50 - Why Blue Matters


Album Review by Renda Writer
Album Review:
Protoman - Analog

A yo somebody said that hip-hop was dead/ I said listen to Audio Thrift Shop instead. These are the first words spoken by Florida rap artist, Protoman, on the intro to his latest full length release, Analog. Hes pledging his earnest allegiance to the boutique label that puts his music out, Audio Thrift Shop Records, deservingly named Best Local Label by the Broward/Palm Beach Edition of New Times Magazine in 2005.

Protoman then backs up this statement by giving the listener 10 well-produced songs. Not 1,000 guest appearances. Not a bunch of unnecessary skits. Not a bunch of loosely constructed freestyles over other peoples beats. Not a string of name-brand product placements. Analog is a dope intro and ten well-produced songs. All killer, no filler.

Analogs first track, Stand Tall, is Protomans impressive ode to Broward County, where this die-hard backpacker rests his head. In the songs first verse he claims that he wont stop spittin til this track is a ring tone, and with his well-seasoned flows and DJ Slices cutting edge production, it might not be long before your phone starts to sound like a Protoman album release party.

Why Do I? is a track where we find Protoman analyzing his spot in the hip-hop game and trying to figure out not only where he fits in, but more importantly, where he wants to fit in. Like many artists, he questions why he does what he does and finds himself at the For the money/ For the love crossroads when he sits down to write. Cathartically, he vents, questions, and dissects, until he comes to his final conclusion about his craft:

I love hip-hop, just a little bit more than I hate it.

Clearly the most personal of all of Analogs tracks, Get Focused introduces the listener to a mature artist who knows how to use his lifes harshest pains as inspiration for reaching his goals in life. Although he most likely wrote this track to motivate himself, the songs true power lies in its ability to have the same motivational effect on the listener. This is the song youll need to listen to the next time you doubt yourself or feel knocked down. This track changes people.

On Say What we find Protoman trading verses with Bonus, 1/3 of the talented Florida rap trio, Brokensound Blvd., and producer of 4 tracks on the Analog lineup. The two compliment each other like the peanut butter and jelly on a sandwich from straight outta Afrika Bambattas lunch box.

Perhaps the one track that best sums up Protomans image and lifestyle is the Mr. Burns produced, Backpacker. This song can be felt through the speaker of your home stereo system or your cars disc changer, but if you really want to get the full effect of this song, listen to it like Protoman would: Transfer the song from CD to cassette. Put the cassette into your over-sized boom box. Load up your Jansport backpack with notebooks, some black Magnum markers for tagging, and enough show flyers and CDs to fill out the bag. Then jump on the Broward County Transit Route 22 bus for a full day of self-promotion and getting the word out about Analog.


*Analog is available @ www.myspace.com/protoman & all South Florida independent record stores. - Renda Writer


Hailing from the Sunshine State of Florida, Protoman credits his style to being exposed to the ethnically rich surroundings during his upbringing. After being kicked out of high-school he worked a multitude of various job titles only to have eventually landed into what he is passionate about, making music.

Having released two albums in the past in the time frame of less than two years (Analog in ’06 and Grey Area in ‘07), the time has come for another. He has announced that a new single and new EP is scheduled to drop early this year. While limited information is available about these upcoming releases, he has confirmed that Sebino is taking care of production and the album will be released under Diamond Music Group/Pyramid Builders. Check out this sneak peak of what you can expect on the new album!

Take a look at Protoman’s answers to aboveground Magazine’s “First 5”!

1. Tell us something nobody knows about you?

Something that no one knows about me huh? This is weird but I have an uncontrollable thought of punching people in the face just to see what their reaction would be. I’m not violent. I don’t want to punch them. I just want to do it from a psychological stand point. Observation at best. I want to see what they would say. Like, “What the fuck man!”, or if they would fight me back. I want to see how close the reaction is played out in my head to what they would really do after I hit them.

2. What do you want people to take away from your music?

I want two listeners. The first listener I want is the kind that goes, “I can relate.” A listener who may feel they have no voice and I am supplying one for us. The second listener I want is someone who has no idea what the hell I’m talking about, learning and researching what I’m rapping. Better understanding and growing with a record, bottom line. I want all listeners to relate and think. I want it to be more than a hook or a beat. I want it to be an experience that’s worth $9.99.

3. What is one of your biggest regrets?

My biggest regret is not going to school at an early age. When you’re High School your all rapped out. You have your little demos. You think your gonna blow up soon. In reality, you’re not. I just turned 24 and just NOW I feel my music isn’t that shitty. Anyways, I wish I could have gotten some type of degree this past 6 years of who knows what the fuck I was doing. Advice to you, get school out of the way, then pursue your dreams. Work now, play later. There is no time limit to this stuff. There really isn’t.

4. What is your greatest memory in hip-hop?

Greatest Hip Hop memories would be the first time I saw KRS-One live. Out of the hundreds of shows I’ve been at and performed at that’s the only one I completely remembered. Growing up he was a huge influence and example. His live show is perfected. I literally analyzed everything about that show and why the crowd was so hype. There is a true science behind it. Just ask him.

5. Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

In five years I want to be on the road touring with a 100g’s in the bank. A house bought, a wife (this amazing bartender I just met, you know who you are!) and a 2nd child learning how to potty train. I think back to 5 years ago when I was asked this same question and, honestly, I’m exactly where I thought I would be. Let’s hope I’m right again. - Above The Ground Magazine


I know what you’re thinking: “Protoman – isn’t that Mega Man’s rival, programmed to exact vengeance by the dastardly Dr, Wily?” Oh, I was the only one thinking that, and I just outed myself as a nerd? Damn. Anyway, it’s somewhat appropriate that the up-and-comer took the name of a fictional villain; as evidenced by Movie Star, the latest off his and producer Sebino‘s forthcoming street album, he takes inspiration from some downright evil sh*t. Here, the Floridian emcee gives a first-person account of a real (as evidenced by the news clips at the track’s beginning and end) date rape, detailing the effects of Rohypnol slipped into the drink of an unsuspecting female clubgoer. The artist’s eye for dark lyrical detail, along with Sebino’s sinister, synth-driven production make this track a very creepy, yet compelling listen. Those who like what they’re hearing can find Movie Star and much more on the emcee-producer duo’s forthcoming 86’ed EP, scheduled to hit the ‘net on April 6.

Read more: http://www.djbooth.net/index/tracks/review/protoman-sebino-movie-star/#ixzz10KSK1VXn - DJ Booth


Rapper Protoman takes listeners on a musical tour of his hometown that's heavy on grit and low on glitz.

It's not the typical tourism shtick and that's totally OK with the Broward-based hip-hop artist. He prefers to keep it real with rhymes tackling both the Ponzi schemers and the bus station dreamers, with shout-outs to the area's rich diverse melting pot.

"It's not main street," Protoman said. "It's more of an alley view. It's the good and the bad, all mixed together."

Living in South Florida, Protoman has found plenty of inspiration. Fort Lauderdale, in particular, has been his crib of choice since moving there as a toddler from Irving, Texas.

"It's my home and always will be," said Protoman, whose real name is Neal McClure. "My roots are here."

He began cultivating his self-described "love-hate" relationship with the region after getting turned on to hip-hop culture while watching skateboarding videos. Protoman got hooked on the sport's background music and soon traded spinning wheels for spitting out rhymes to his classmates in middle school.

He turned pro at 17, taking his stage name from a character in one of his favorite video games, Mega Man. Now 24, he has cut four discs. The latest, "86'd," dropped in May and was a joint collaboration with Los Angeles producer Sebino.

Protoman's efforts have evolved from using portions of other people's tunes -- a process called sampling -- to original beats. Protoman supplies the lyrics. A series of producers provide the music. The list includes local talent, as well as tracks created via video chats on laptop computers with hip-hop artists in Norway, he said. - Sun-Sentinal


Tim McClure seems sedate on a recent afternoon as he sips on a cold coffee drink at a corner table in Fort Lauderdale's Brew Urban Café. It's a marked contrast with how the 24-year-old appears onstage, where he's known as local rapper Protoman. With a crowd's eyes on him, he's a wildly gesticulating ball of energy. But he'll be the first to say he wears his heart on his sleeve. "Some days, I walk around and crack jokes," McClure says, "and other days, I just avoid eye contact."


On those bad days, he says, he writes and records songs like "Gigapet," a self-conscious track that opens a portal to his soul. A lyrical sample: "Look into my eyes/Shit, tell me what do you see/I bet it's something sad/It's something that's not free." Intense.

But on good days, he'll freestyle along to Notorious B.I.G.'s "Hypnotize," singing humorous lyrics that flirt with rap's tough and sexist exterior but maintain a plebeian sense of vulnerability: "I put Miami hos into my Malibu/Tell them it's new like it's still 2002/Break down on 13th and Collins Avenue/Tricks, one of you is gonna have to push."

Few MCs these days would want to describe anything that would deflate their larger-than-life images. But if commercial rap is aimed at selling product to the masses, Protoman aims to actually be relatable to the masses. So, why would an ambitious young rapper portray himself, however humorously, in such a compromising position?

"All of my friends are broke. Music fans are more lower-class and middle-class than upper-class," he says. "I don't know how they buy this stuff from people talking about how much money they have. Kids in these raggedy-ass Accords are playing 50 Cent or Rick Ross talking about how much money they have."

And so it is that Protoman rhymes for the Everyman, exploring life's angles, both humorous and serious. He can switch from light to dark in an instant, and even the reasons he cites for his biggest influences are contradictory. For instance, masked rapper MF Doom, he says, is "ingenious" and "untouchable" because "you don't see him as a human being or a rapper," while Charles Bukowski inspires him by "living life and not putting up a front." Does Protoman want to present a character, or does he want to show us all of his cards?

Such a creative struggle is typical of intelligent young musicians (even though McClure says he feels like he's old). And he's prepared to take the time to work out his artistic identity. "Musicians are always in their early 30s when they break through. I look back a few years on my music, and it's hard to stomach," he says. "Good music comes with age. It's like anything in life. Not everyone's a prodigy."

Still, he got his start early. McClure was 13 when a middle school teacher assigned a project about Paul Revere that first ignited his interest. "You could do a skit, write a poem, or do a rap. I thought, 'I think I could do this rap.' I wrote a rap, and this kid was doing the beat with his two pencils," he recalls.

As he moved on to high school, battling with friends became a part of everyday life. "It was me being a big hip-hop fan, wanting to be part of the culture. I wasn't very artistic. I wasn't good at graffiti, and DJing was too expensive. Writing happened by accident, and once you get going with it, it's hard to leave it."

Along the way, Protoman was born. Like MF Doom, McClure culled his stage persona from a fictional source. The character name Protoman comes from a videogame called Mega Man. But the moniker also subtly resonates with one of McClure's favorite movie quotes, from Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. "Benicio del Toro's character is hopping on his plane, and Depp's character says, 'There he goes, one of God's own prototypes.' This person is like a rough draft that has issues and glitches, and he has to live with them. Everyone around him doesn't have those problems. Sometimes I feel that way in real life; we all have demons and shit wrong with us."

Although he spent several years exorcising those demons in freestyle ciphers, he's left the battle circuit behind. Recently, he says, he found himself head to head with a 19-year-old kid at a show at the club Area 7 in Oakland Park. "I just felt like a bully. When you battle, you hate the person; you want to murder them and make them rap never again. That's your goal. It's something you get out of your system."

Turning instead to building his proper career, McClure has focused recently on collaborations and live performances. He's quick to point out that he got a leg up on this front from Jasper Delaini of Fort Lauderdale's the Secondhand Outfit, who, he says, helped him book shows, put out records, and find the right direction for his career. Since that time, Protoman has released two records, Analog in 2006 and Grey Area in 2007, and collaborated with funk hip-hop outfit Fusik on a 2008 EP called Kill the Radio.

Currently, he's working on a new EP with Los Angeles-based audio engineer Sebino. What's interesting about this one, McClure says, is that he raps from the perspectives of other people. "As I get older, my ego gets smaller and smaller. I don't want to put I in front of every sentence. My life's not that interesting; let me talk about your life a little bit. Florida is such a crazy swamp. There are so many stories."

Protoman has already released the single "Movie Star." The lyrics are from the perspective of a serial rapist who poses as a movie producer and slips drugs into women's drinks. The EP 86'd will feature this song and five other tracks and will be released on April 6.

In the meantime, he continues to selectively hit the live circuit. This Friday finds him performing at Propaganda in Lake Worth with fellow locals Jabrjaw and DJ Dee Dubbs as well as touring Rhymesayers artist Toki Wright. It remains up in the air, though, which Protoman will rear his head onstage. "There are some shows where I invite people up on stage," he says, "and there are other shows when I hate everyone in the room." Let's hope for the former.
- New Times


JB: What’s been working for you in 2009? What tools are you using to organize and promote your music career and the 10,000 details that come with it?

Protoman: 2009 has been an ever changing experiment. Since the quick downturn in the American Economy this past year, the music business had been affected heavily. I find myself giving a lot more stuff out as free downloads, and not expecting as much as I did a few years back.

I’ve even started selling merch at shows for cheaper. I’d rather get out 10 CDs for 5 dollars apiece, versus 5 CDs for 10 dollars apiece. It balances out and fans see your giving them a break. Its only going to help me in the long run once the economy bounces back. That one kid who spent his last 10 bucks at the door will get a free CD from me. In the future I’ll see him again, he’ll be on better terms financially and he’ll express his gratitude by buying a few CDs and a shirt perhaps. Its all about balance.

JB: Is Audio Thrift Shop all you, or is there a larger team working behind the label?

Protoman: Audio Thrift Shop is a collective of people on a DIY platform. Cult leader Jasper Delaini is our brains. Its a brand. Its a big network of South Florida supporters. When we are making a project we have direct access to recording, CD pressing, Stickers, Shirts, Live Sound, Etc. We all work together to benefit one another.

Example: Joe Blow prints shirts and raps. John Doe audio engineers and raps. Joe barters with John. Shirts printed at cost for a mixed track or two. We help each other out to all move forward. This is essential in building a local scene. You cannot succeed by yourself. We can all work together to get what we need. Audio Thrift Shop is a prime example of how to do that.

JB: How do you guys do internal accounting at Audio Thrift Shop? Is it all personal barter deals or is there a set of “books” for the karma points and business flow?

ATS is budget rap. I don’t think we’ve ever done accounting. Everybody down has other things going on, other projects being put out on labels with a more standard approach to numbers. We’re pretty much based on handshakes and trust. Like recently, Dead Truth Recordings, a Florida hardcore based label, reached out to us. The owners are our friends. Some of the guys signed to the label you’ll see at our shows in attendance.

The label just got a good distribution plan and offered to put out some of our projects.. No strings attached. No contracts. Maybe we’ll even do a collective tour of Hip Hop and Hardcore. Basically, it’s a more stress free and fun way to put out records and throw shows. Everybody who is associated is always working with other deals, other labels, artist, managers..but when it comes time that you put something out your self, we represent Audio Thrift Shop.

JB: What are the biggest management mistakes you see other DIY artists doing these days?

Protoman: The biggest mistakes I see made are artists getting played. Artists trusting a promoter and getting hustled. I was recently in LA looking for gigs and was disgusted at a thing called “Pay to Play”. This is where a up and coming artist pays a promoter to open up for a bigger name. This is crazy to me. Its bad enough when you have your fanbase come see you, paying at the door, and you don’t make a dime. But you paying?!? Artist have to know their role. Don’t make money off your drive and skill for someone else. Don’t get played like that. Throw your own fucking show. Promote your own flyers. Get some local artist to open up for you. You can’t take a shortcut and just pay to open up for a crowd who didn’t come to see you in the first place. If you work hard and mess with shows the right way its only gonna reflect outward on your fans. They will see how hard you’re grinding. They are going to support that. Biggest mistake, DON’T LET PROMOTERS HUSTLE YOU. Know what you’re worth.

Protoman live onstage

JB: What’s your dream technology for 2010—something that would make your life and business an easier, more efficient hustle?

Dream Technology? It’s already here. The Internet. I secured a digital release and fully funding promotion with video from Rawkus with the Grey Area LP from the web. The label never seen me perform. I never met them personally. Never sent in a press package. They saw my site. Saw my plays. Saw me through a computer screen and signed me on. I am no way saying that it substitutes for the conventional way of interacting your music career, but it makes it alot easier.

Besides the Internet, I would say time travel. I would travel back in time and execute the newest trend (which is old in the present) before anybody else who had established it in the history books. That way I’m promised millions of groupies and smooth vodka. I would be at the forefront of party rap, gangta rap, hardcore, bling, underground, crunk, and hipster. But you know what? Maybe it does exist. Maybe I have traveled back in time and am standing in the limelight of the next current trend that’s about to explode that you don’t know about yet.

image

JB: For the readers who are starting their own collectives, what are the common or deadly mistakes you’d warn them about?

There are so many mistakes I see man..primarily, because I’ve had to partake in alot. But, I’ve learned from them. Some advice I can say to cats who are starting off and investing money are: Don’t be a dick. There are tons of people I dislike but I stay professional. Make freinds with everyone. Don’t kiss ass, but show mutual respect. If they disrepect you, then fine, be a dick back. You never know who you’ll meet through someone else you brushed with. Most people act as a vehicle towards a bigger person with a bigger opportunity. Get your live show on point. I can’t stress this enough. This is your only real way to making money in this industry. Venues are flooded. Everybody is a booking agent now. Stand out. It’s a show. Not you rapping muffled into a mike with no DJ. Make it big. Bring guests on stage. Rehearse. Throw free shit out. Freestyle about the crowd. Be creative, spontaneous, and non routine. People will come out to see you every time.

Artwork/Graphics. With the mandatory way to market, via internet. music has to have a face. People get bored listening to a song on the computer without a visual to accommodate. Peoples senses are burnt out. Everyone has ADD. Make sure your websites are colorful and full of dope shit. Pictures of you, banners, show flyers. Make a video for everyone of your album tracks on YouTube. It doesn’t have to be you performing. Just anything interesting. Re-use footage. Editing is easy. Ghostface Daytona 500 that shit.

One last thing is, don’t show to much of yourself. You’re an artist. You have a stage name assuming. Don’t get too personal. I recently read Trent Reznor deleting his Twitter account because he was tweeting (I cant believe I just used that word) about his newly sparked love life. Fans don’t want to hear that nonsense. They want to hear Trent fucking them like an animal and the world without love. Anyways, What I’m saying is, reflect your music. That’s what you’re known for. Always keep on your mask. You’re a superhero. Clark Kent was a pussy. - Audible Hype


Discography

Singles

Protoman & Sebino - Movie Star Digi 12" (Diamond Music Group/Pyramid Builders) 2010

Leaked

Protoman & DJ Rob Riggs - "I'm Very Proud of my Accomplishments" Megamix (Self Released) 2009

EPs

Protoman & Sebino - 86'd (Diamond Music Group/Pyramid Builders) 2010
Protoman and Fusik - Kill The Radio EP (Audio Thrift Shop Records) 2008

LPs

Protoman - Grey Area (Rawkus Records) 2007
Protoman - Analog (Audio Thrift Shop Records) 2006
Protoman - Ghettoblaster (Self Released) 2004

Photos

Feeling a bit camera shy

Bio

Battle rapping doesn't get you record deals in South Florida, nor do fans that aren't rappers themselves. Just ask Protoman (born Timothy Neal McClure). After years spent in street-format battles and organized events, Protoman was burnt out from the runaround-induced catch-22 cycle of Florida's redundant Hip-Hop scene. Intent on winning, he focused on writing and began homing his craft and recording techniques in the studio. Coming from a Texan family of music lovers and basement hobbyists, he developed a love and fascination for performers and musicians. Growing up in front the TV beside episodes of 'Head Bangers Ball' and 'Yo! MTV Raps', it wasn't long before he was practicing air guitar, or rapping in the mirror habitually before dinner.

Relocating from Texas at the age of four, he and his parents began discovering a strange, new, and weird culture-clashed land called South Florida. Growing up in the Sunshine State was, and will always be, the main drive belt for the content and originality of his music. Picking his rap name from the notorious and loved robot villain of his favorite childhood video game, ‘Mega Man’, he felt it was a perfect fit that gave him a masked identity and displayed a mysterious, nearly secret quality. Being brought up by older friends on classic Hip-Hop material and Golden Era gems, Proto was often found bumping ‘Gangstarr’ instead of ‘Hot Boyz’ in middle school, and felt alienated but secure with his love for Hip-Hop culture. Years later he would eventually meet other people who shared his love and gratitude towards the elements of local open mics and cipher spots. Protoman always wanted to be a part of Hip-Hop, and he practiced every element, until the art of rapping became cemented into his quick style, like a perfect man made, free flowing storm.

After years of earning his stripes free styling, recording demos, and enduring sometimes manic stretches of writing and honing his craft, Protoman was ready to launch his first full length album. His first official release, ‘Analog’, was a huge-impact to the “Hip-Hop is Dead” notion that seemed to dominate the mainstream. Released in 2006 at the age of 21, on the now defunct Audio Thrift Shop label, the record was a tribute, not a funeral, reminiscent of a time when rap music was in a state of vigor, freshness and larger than of life. For a record with no promotional budget, video, or any famous guest appearances, it swept through the underground Hip-Hop websites and radio-stations, gained momentum, and catapulted a new face among the tight-knit genre. A snowball effect of hardcore boom-bap beats, distorted electronics, record scratching, and intelligent rhymes broadcasted with a Miami Vice mentality, ‘Analog’ quickly became noted as original and "something here to stay". Now with a LP to promote, Proto hit the fans directly and found a new response to his songs: the stage. His live show is nothing short of memorable. Carefully enunciating inter-woven rhyme patterns, clever timed punch lines, and an infinite delivery of shape-shifting flows, his live performance is a staple of how rap should be in real-time. With the mentality he carried from the battle-circuit days, the mic is his chosen tool, and a powerful one. Use it wrongly, and you can lose in just one second what it took a lifetime to create.

It only took a year of continuous shows and word-of-mouth mention for ‘Analog’ to gain attention of industry alike's. In 2007, Rawkus Records, a label Protoman grew up religiously following, approached with a new campaign involving the ‘The 50 Next Important Hip-Hop Artists’. The Rawkus project was a landmark undertaking in the music business. In an industry plagued with low physical album sales, and digital music becoming more and more the norm in society, record labels have been trying various strategies to adjust to the new landscape. After consideration, Protoman agreed to release his next record ‘'Grey Area' with the label and embark on his next journey. After a hugely successful single, ‘Wake Up’, featuring DJ Immortal, and a popular video to provide the clashing visuals, Protoman showed no signs of slowing down. As ''Grey Area' was critically themed around the space being between what is underground or mainstream music, Proto derailed all labeling circumstances of content, and made the music he felt was right for the LP. From stories of deranged drug-addicted runaway teens, obsessive love driven to kill, and childhood hardships of growing up poor, Proto broke away from the constraints of "battle-party" rhymes, toward a more realistic view of his time spent living in Florida. The making of the record was an eye opener of how much in life can be put in words, and how much people can relate to the songs that you make.


After the record was released, Proto hit the road again, perfecting a set full of energy, sweat, and sore shoulders from chants of "Put your hands in the air" to huge attendan