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Percee P: A Hip Hop legend found

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Chances are that if you haven’t heard of Percee P., but your favorite
rapper has and loves and respects his music. For more than 3 decades,
Percee P has been a highly respected and lyrically gifted underground
Hip-hop artist. He has been featured as the most lyrically gifted
artist in “The Source” magazine’s Unsigned Hype section in 1992.He
also appeared with Big Daddy Kane, Jurassic 5, DJ Red Alert, legendary
producer Madlib and countless other hip hop legends. He also has
gained a following around the world, all without releasing a full
length CD until 2007.he also was featured on J. Dilla’s last full
length CD Donuts.

John “Percee P” Simon began rapping in 1979 at the age of 10 years old
in the Patterson Houses Projects of the Bronx, NY. But it was not
until 1988 that his debut single “Let The Homicides Begin” with his
friend D-Nique was released on local Gotham City Records. That single
began to receive airplay on DJ Red Alert’s show on New York’s Hot 97
that same year. He also began to engage in Freestyle battles with some
of his fellow hip-hop legends, which included Lord Finesse, Big Daddy
Kane, Kool Mo Dee and others.

A few years later, his freestyles on the hugely influential Stretch &
Bobbito radio show on WKCR in New York, parlayed into what should have
been Percee's major label breakthrough, 1992's “Lung Collapsing
Lyrics,” which was released on Big Beat/Atlantic Records, the now
legendary Fast Rap masterpiece. Though the record established
reputation as one of the best rappers in the field, his break never
came. He also was featured in “The Source” magazine that same year.

For the rest of the 1990’s he made independent singles and made guest
appearances on various artists’ records. “For the most part I just
wanted to lay low and do my thing. I had offers from labels, but I
felt that they would try to water down my sound. That is a no-no for
me. I want my art to be pure and real,” stated Percee.

Also during that time he began to do began his own guerilla
distribution campaign, selling his CDs face-to-face to patrons outside
of New York's Fat Beats Records, establishing himself as something of
a local landmark. Percee stated, “After my time with Big
Beat/Atlantic, I was kind of anti-music industry. I felt that the
industry wasn’t a good place for me. It took my friends and family to
motivate me to really make a comeback. But this time I wanted to sell
my records on my own terms, not depend on others for my sales and my
tracking, so that is what I did.”

It was not until 2002 at Fat Beat Records, that he met his future
label mates Jurassic 5, who recognized his music and asked him to be
apart of their record "A Day at the Races," which was featured on
their Power In Numbers CD. “To have them recognize my music and my
gift, was a thrill for me. I also loved that they featured me on their
record. These cats are very talented.”

Percee also met his future label execs out on the street as he sold
them CDs in 2003. Stones Throw's Peanut Butter Wolf and Egon met with
Percee during a series of NYC visits, and, impressed by his constantly
evolving lyricism, brought him to Los Angeles, leading to appearances
on albums by Wildchild and Jaylib. They signed him to an album deal
shortly thereafter.

He also began touring with various acts internationally during that
time as well. He made appearances in Norway, the UK, France, Belgium
and other countries. “I loved going to those various countries and
seeing how much they enjoyed my music. I was surprised to know that
they knew who I was.”

Perce began to record his first full-length album for Stone’s Throw
during this time as well. The album, which would eventually be titled
Perseverance, was produced entirely by legendary producer Madlib, who
also produced Erykah Badu, J. Dilla, Talib Kweli and other artists.
“Working with Madlib was amazing. This brother’s dedication to the
music is astounding. It was a thrill to work with someone who is as
dedicated to making quality music as I am,” stated Percee.

The album was well received and led to Percee being recognized by
Enimem and Fat Joe as one of the greatest MC’s of all time. “That was
awesome for me, of course to see that I had such influence on these
popular cats. It made all of my heard work seem worth it all.”

Percee who is working on his second CD for Stones Throw Records,
offers this advice for the younger generation of Rappers “Stay
dedicated, don’t be swayed by popular culture and trends. Good MC’s
will last, the rest will fade out. Stay positive and don’t fall into
the trap of selling drugs and acting dumb. Not to say that I am better
than anyone, but I came from a not so positive place, but Thank God I
never fell into the trap that others fall into, so they don’t need to
either. Just stay dedicated, that is the main thing.”

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