Cool Story, Pro is the second instrumental mixtape from the Philadelphia, PA-based producer Small Professor. From listening to the roughly 45 minute mixtape, you’ll hear that Small Professor specializes in the soulful and cinematic production reminiscent of Pete Rock, early Kanye West, and the beloved J. Dilla. But perhaps unlike any of those producers and artists, Small Professor’s Cool Story, Pro is largely inspired and informed by his own personal experiences. 

Originally conceived in 2010, the album tells the story of a (supposedly) fictional relationship that like most relationships starts off wonderfully and ends in painful, heartbreaking loss. The first half, which is conveniently the more upbeat half tells the happy side of the relationship, when there’s promise and hope. The second half turns more bittersweet and forlorn and yet strangely, enough there’s a hopeful undertone – life always manages to go on. 

In some way this mixtape transcends the current sense of the mixtape because like a great album, it has an organic feel – each track effortlessly leads to the other, and in many ways you can’t listen to one track without missing something essential. I was won over by this one and I think you will too.