Kenneth Ryan Anthony (born in Oakland, California), better known by his stage name R. Prophet, is an American rapper. He was formerly in the Kentucky-based quintet alternative southern rap group Nappy Roots. He attended Western Kentucky University with the present Nappy Roots members.
R. Prophet born Kenneth Ryan Anthony is an Oakland, California native and relocated to Louisville, Kentucky in 1985. Anthony later pursued acting and theatre by attending duPont Manual High School's, Youth Performing Arts School, one of only two programs in Kentucky allowing high school students to major in performing arts. Anthony excelled quickly starring in several plays, commercials, and short films. After graduating from high school, Anthony went on to attend Western Kentucky University where he would later start his music career.
1997-99: Career Beginnings:
In 1997, while attending Western Kentucky University, R. Prophet joined the likes of Skinny DeVille, B. Stille, Ron Clutch, Big V and Fish Scales to complete the sextet Nappy Roots, an American alternative Southern rap group. R. Prophet and fellow members of Nappy Roots began pioneering their sound at ET's Music, a record store/studio. Soon after, they released a full-length debut titled Country Fried Cess in 1998. This independent effort caught the attention of several major labels, the group later signed to Atlantic Records in 1999.
2000-2002: Watermelon, Chicken & Gritz:
Their group's first album released on Atlantic was 2002's best selling hip-hop album, "Watermelon, Chicken & Gritz". The multi-platinum album included the platinum hits "Headz Up", "Awnaw" and two time Grammy nominated "Po' Folks" featuring Anthony Hamilton. The song's signature concept, verse, and chorus was written by R. Prophet a prolific member of Nappy Roots. Discussing the meaning of "Po' Folks," R. Prophet told MTV.com that the lyrics did not only speak of being poor as an economic issue. "It's a state of mind. It's not so bad being poor when you've got your family and God in your life and you have different values that, when it comes down to it, matter. A lot of other things really don't matter when God is knocking at your door." Po' Folks later went on to be awarded a BMI publishing award in 2002.
In 2003, R. Prophet and the group garnered several award nominations, including American Music Award nominations for Favorite New Artist and Favorite Band, Duo or Group in the Hip-Hop/R&B category. Nappy Roots was also nominated for Grammy awards for Best Rap/Sung Collaboration for "Po' Folks" and Grammy Award for Best Long Form Music Video for their DVD "The World According to Nappy." Also in 2003, R. Prophet' was among a group of celebrities and professional athletes that participated in USO Project Salute 2003, the tour made stops throughout the Persian Gulf including Iraq. "This was an experience of a lifetime, being in an actual war zone, it's something I will never forget", remembers R. Prophet, of the USO tour. Nappy Roots was among the top groups requested to be a part of USO tour. Soon After, their third album Wooden Leather, followed in the latter part 2003, which featured the hit song "Round the Globe" and featured production from Kanye West, David Banner, and Lil Jon. In 2004, R. Prophet worked with his group on the soundtrack and score for the film "The Lady Killers" by Joel and Ethan Coen.
In 2005-2006, he started and was involved in numerous community events and programs including; Nappy Roots Failure Free Reading Program; Prophet's Society, a non-profit organization which helps disadvantaged children; and the development of R. Prophet's Hip-Hop Multiplication CD, an educational tool used to teach children multiplication. R. Prophet also served as a motivational speaker and mentor for Kentucky, Indiana, and Texas school systems.
In 2007 R. Prophet went on to pursue his solo career, traveling to Houston, Texas to record his first hit single, "Run Tell The DJ To Crank it" with former Cash Money producer Mannie Fresh. The single was an instant hit generating over 2500 spins (radio) after its independent release. Following the success of his hit single, R. Prophet performed on-stage with the likes of Nelly, Ludacris, T.I., Young Buck, and Yung Joc.
In 2008, R. Prophet was also featured in Hilary Duff's single "Reach Out" from her album, "Best of Hilary Duff". However, he was not officially credited for this.
In 2010, R. Prophet relocated to Los Angeles, California to further pursue his solo career; producing, writing, and recording for several artists, as well as himself. In 2011, R. Prophet teamed with Hugo Ferreira of Tantric to record tracks joining rock and hip-hop.
2012-current R.Prophet is developing Hiphop educational tools for children. Acting and Recording his solo album tentatively called "Genesis" as well as Writing and Producing for other mainstream artist.
One of R. Prophet's biggest honors in addition to being nominated for two Grammys, is the appointment to the Board & Advisory Council of the Muhammad Ali Center. This committee is composed of historical figures such as His Holiness, The Dalai Lama of Tibet, Her Royal Highness Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein, Dr. Maya Angelou, and sports and entertainment greats such as Will Smith, Bono, Sean Combs, Billy Crystal, Larry King, Diane Sawyer, Sean McManus, Robin Williams, Angelina Jolie and Quincy Jones. R. Prophet states, "It's an honor to be on this board not only representing my family, the community and hip-hop, but I symbolize what young adults can do with support. It proves all things are possible if you have positive people around you." R. Prophet goes on to say, "This prestigious group is led by the "Greatest" of all time, Muhammad Ali." R. Prophet knows that achieving true greatness takes dedication, sacrifice and determination., ,
Due to the contributions made by R. Prophet and Nappy Roots, the state of Kentucky and abroad, Governor of Kentucky, Paul E. Patton declared September 16, 2002 as "Nappy Roots Day", as well as the members of the group being officially declared "Kentucky colonel's, the highest title of honor bestowed by the Commonwealth of Kentucky. "Nappy Roots Day" continues to be a yearly event, which allows fans to celebrate the accomplishments of R. Prophet, Nappy Roots and the overall Louisville public.