The sixth man of the G.O.O.D. Music crew, CyHi The Prynce, talks blessings, closeness to Kanye West and more in this new interview pegged to his No Dope On Sundays debut.
Looking back on all the chart-topping hits as of late, hip-hop seems to evolving on the daily. With Lil Pump’s reign into the no. 1 spot on the Billboard 100 for “Gucci Gang,” many of us are left to wonder where the real lyricists can be found in the game. Insert: CyHi The Prynce from the G.O.O.D. Music crew.
Not only does CyHi serve as Kanye West’s best kept secret, but he also comes equipped with one of illest pens, period. Let’s not forget the Grammy Award-nominee won the BMI Award for co-writing Rihanna’s hit single “FourFiveSeconds,” which featured Kanye West and Sir Paul McCartney of The Beatles.
After dropping numerous mixtapes throughout his career (nine to be exact), the Stone Mountain, Georgia rapper is finally ready to unleash his debut album, No Dope On Sundays, to the rest of the world. While the advance stream and explanations for each track can be found on NPR, we spoke with CyHi about everything from working side-by-side with Kanye to his dream collaborations.
Okayplayer: For those who don’t know, who is Cyhi The Prynce?
CyHi The Prynce: CyHi The Prynce, I feel like, is a prolific writer from Stone Mountain, Georgia that works close with the young man named Kanye West. And he’s venturing off to finish his mission of saving lives in the inner city.
OKP: How would you describe your sound?
CTP: I would say versatile. My music is not more so about the sound all the time, it’s about the message. Sometimes, I can put my message on different sounds. So I think that’s the cool part about CyHi.
OKP: How’s G.O.O.D. Music treating you?
CTP: Oh, great! I mean, G.O.O.D. Music is the best thing that ever happened to me — in my opinion. Some people may think whatever they may think… [laughs]. But G.O.O.D. Music, that’s family. There’s never an issue there. It may look like it, but unfortunately, we’re people who are followed by a lot of different people, so everything is news. Checking the mail is almost news. So you have to be careful about what’s real and what’s not.
OKP: You’re actually from Georgia. How does coming to places like L.A. benefit your career music wise?
CTP: It’s a bigger platform because there’s a lot of different things going on in my neighborhood that may be going on in a lot of other people’s neighborhood, so to keep it confined to one area would be selfish. So I think, you know, that could be something that’s therapeutic on all levels for all different people. To be able to just touch different demographics and different people from different places is always a blessing.
OKP: After dropping multiple projects, how does it feel to have your debut album dropping for public consumption?
CTP: It feels good. It’s a blessing to be here. Also, it’s a blessing to have my mixtapes be such prevalent bodies of work in the hip-hop community. ‘Cause people come to me all the time about my mixtapes and I be like, “Man, I put that out for free, so many years ago.” I think now, this time I can get the resources that I need. This is my chance for all my fans to support me. And then after this, I can really go there and ask for what we need to make a consistent run at music. And also hearing it on time and when you want it… a lot of times, I have to go through so much to get it done. And now it’s being reciprocated from the label side. So I think that’s the dope part: we can actually get a chance to really have the machine and really have the ammunition that we need to put out our message or put out the type of music that we like.
OKP: No Dope On Sundays… What do you want fans to get out of your story?
CTP: My story is how God was involved even when I was in my darkest places or in situations when I knew I shouldn’t have been in. But to be able to have the experiences, to able to talk about them, I had to experience them. Even if I didn’t want to. It just shows you how spirituality and someone being your spiritual mediator can kind of keep you out of certain things. Like when you want to react aggressively towards a situation, if you have that spiritual counselor, you might say, “You know what, I just ain’t fucking with them no more. I ain’t gonna go to that extent on why I wanna harm somebody.”
You know, just different things, being able to to pray about certain situations that when the police pull you over, you’re a lot more calmer because you feel confident in what your mission is. I think all those things is what help me get through my situation, even with dudes jumping on me where I could have easily aired out the block. But me being like, “Okay, I can’t lose a battle, I have to win the war.” That was my whole goal, and I kinda wanna give young guys that. Because those small little moments in their life can translate to penitentiary time, or losing a life, or harming somebody else’s. So to be able to slow that down, that’s kind of what my album embodies on No Dope On Sundays.
OKP: You came back with that Kanye feature on “Dat Side”. How’s the fan reception been?
CTP: It’s been incredible, man. It’s crazy because everybody loves Kanye, how he sounds on it. So that’s dope. And I think it was something that it fit where I wanted to put him on the album. I know a lot of times on the album, I was trying to figure out what spots I wanted to put Kanye in. It felt, if I did, it had to be something that was celebratory, or something that was us having a party. Because early on in my life, how can I say it, I didn’t know him that well. This story is from when I was younger, so I had to figure out which ways I can kinda implicate him in a cool way of the story and it would be believable. And I kinda took to where we go, to Ye the plug, and we go to the club with him. And that’s how we did it. In my mind, that’s how I thought about it.
OKP: Your project is executive produced by Kanye West. Talk about working alongside him, a guy who manages to stay so low-key and off the radar.
CTP: The dope thing about ‘Ye being an executive is: I actually did the whole album. But to be able to have him as an influence… he’s definitely telling me, “You should change this, you should do this, add these types of joints, put Travis on this, you should put Pusha.” So that’s him. But then me, I’ve worked with him for so long, where I don’t need all of his attention to go get it done. I can kind of put the two and two together myself. That’s the biggest influence, but he deserves that right automatically because everything he’s taught me from once I met him has made me an even better artist. He’ll always be the executive producer on my music.
OKP: Do you ever want to post him on social media but you can’t?
CTP: It’s funny that you ask that. That’s what people are mad at me about. It feels like I don’t insert myself. But it’s like, I met the man on a real level. Like, he really saved my life. It ain’t like I’m trying to get famous off of him. I’m already good. If I need anything, I can just call him. I never try to do that. I try to be a rest haven or refuge for him other than him gotta think about if he wanna bring me around, or whatever the case may be. I ain’t got that rich yet. So maybe when I get a little richer, I’ll be probably be like, “Yeah what’s going on!” But other than that, nah. I’m just respectful.
OKP: You got the features on deck. What songs are you most excited for people to hear?
CTP: “Closer” is my favorite. “80’s Baby” is dope with BJ The Chicago Kid. I think that is one of the good ones. And Jagged Edge is dope to have on the album as well on “Don’t Know Why”. It’s a multitude of different things, just a dope story that I feel like really embodies that week of my life that I was really writing on.
OKP: So besides rapping, what would you be doing if you weren’t an MC?
CTP: Wow… [long pause]. I don’t really know. You would think that I would have something other to do, as talented as I am. But I don’t know. I would probably try to venture into writing movies. I like writing film scripts. That’s something that I want to eventually get into more of and attack vigorously. But I think, there was nothing other than… yeah, I was just caught up in some bullshit. But definitely I would have tried to do something in the music industry, if I could. If didn’t never work out, I woulda tried to be an A&R or a manager or something. That would have been cool.
OKP: I for one think you’re one of the dopest lyricists in the game. What do think of this new generation of Lil Yatchy’s, Lil Uzi’s, and Lil Pump’s?
CTP: I think they’re developing a subgenre of hip-hop. And for us to be as big as we can be, and reign as long as we’re gonna reign, I feel like we have to make subgenres. Because every music got subgenres. You got Christian rap, you got gospel, then you got alternative gospel. You got every genre of music. You got Neo Soul, to R&B, to… you know what I’m saying? So I think this genre is actually becoming that punk-rap genre for rappers.
That’s the Uzi’s, the XXX’s, even though they can do other types of music. Same way with Kendrick [Lamar]. Kendrick can do a trap song, but that’s not what you look at him for. You look at him for classic hip-hop. I think all of it is definitely gonna get to branching out into genres. It’s just we can’t let it pigeonhole us and let us fight over what’s real Hip Hop, what’s real rap, and what’s not. We just need to start opening up avenues for different sounds of music. I think that’s what dope about it.
OKP: What’s a normal day in the life? Walk us through.
CTP: I wake up, smoke a blunt, go over emails, and other than that I’m a professional thinker. So I don’t do too much. I’m more trying to figure out how I want to attack the next project, or the next song, or what freestyle, or whatever. I’m just always constantly thinking and writing. I don’t do a lot. But now that my album is out, I’ll be doing a lot more touring and things of that nature. Other than that, it’s just really thinking of different scriptures that I can add to different books of the Bible.
OKP: Who’s the most played artist on your phone?
CTP: Right now, it would probably have to be Jay-Z. I just listen to old Jay. Or Bob Marley or something. Bob just puts me in that mood, in that place where I can just think freely.
OKP: Dream collab?
CTP: Kendrick Lamar. Terrace Martin kind of put us together on a record but I wanna actually sit in there with him. I would love to do a record with him and J. Cole. Me, J. Cole, and Kendrick on one record. That would be dope.