Price is proud as hell to be where he’s from: the West Coast. Coming up as one-half of rap duo Audio Push, the Inland Empire native is a true visionary when it comes to the art of creating music, having worked with all the industry’s biggest names while still pushing his own solo artistry. On top of the music, he finds time to run 5 thriving businesses and still be a great father.
He states, “I’m from the IE, about 40 minutes from LA. I come from a household where my dad was a Crip and went to jail when I was 5 years old. I didn’t see him again until I was 17. Raised by a single mom, a sad typical story born in the 80’s to 90’s era.”
Thankfully, music would be his ticket out. When it comes to his strong pen game, he’s lended his hand to endless hit records from Bhad Bhabie’s “These Heaux” to Travis Scott’s “Antidote” to Brandy’s “Say Something” off her latest project B7, showcasing his innate ability and diversity to create in all genres. Whether he’s songwriting, producing, or recording himself, Price never forgets the soulful influences he grew up: Erykah Badu, Jill Scott, Erykah Badu, Ginuwine, 112, Marvin Gaye, James Fauntleroy, and legendary poet Maya Angelou.
Recently joining Wyclef Jean and his HEADS MUSIC imprint, Price is as excited as ever to be releasing his debut solo album titled CLRD. The title itself is an ode to his experiences as a black man in America, shedding light on the necessary subject of racial equality. Flaunt caught up with Price via Zoom to discuss his early days songwriting, friendship with Vince Staples new project CLRD, working with Pink Sweat$, being an entrepreneur, and more!
I didn’t even know your strong pen game, how long have you been songwriting?
From the beginning really. I came into writing because we wrote so broad for ourselves, people in the industry were like “yo can ya’ll write for this person?” My first few placements,
I worked on “Blocka” with Travis which is his first record he ever put out featuring Pusha T. Working with Hit-boy, producers were putting us in rooms. Writing with Brandy early, writing with a lot of dope artists that come full circle. This year Brandy put out B7, it went #1. I wrote “Say Something.” I wrote plenty, we could do that all day. I’ve been writing and producing for a while. Throughout that whole time, it never stopped. That’s actually what sustained us because it helped build a lot of relationships for me. We’re able to get on tours and do different things because I was writing for a lot of these people, working with them.
Did you think you’d be writing for all these incredible names?
Nah, that was never even the plan. I started finding myself in rooms with Diddy. I’m with Puff writing, all types of different greats. I always loved it, but didn’t think that’s what I’d end up doing. As much as I rap and love hard rap, I love R&B. I love to write. This day and age of R&B doesn’t feel anything like the R&B I grew up on and loved, so I do my best to put it in the universe.
Brandy is obviously the queen. She’s everyone’s favorite singer’s favorite singer. Working with her, learning harmonies. Seeing her work impresses me, she’s so humble. That’s what I really learned most from her, maintain that humility and showing love.
Talk about your relationship with Vince Staples, I saw you guys did his podcast recently.
I was on his finale for his radio show on Apple Music, which is dope. That’s my brother. Shout out to Vince Staples, Westside Ty. We talked about the album CLRD, new single, everything. Vince is my dog. I met Vince Staples during ScHoolboy Q’s Oxymoron tour. We opened up, it was us, Isaiah Rashad, Vince Staples. Vince Staples’ first real tour, ours as well. We built from there. Jumped off that tour, did our own tour with Skeme. Been brothers ever since. That’s really my dawg, real life family. Really fought in the streets together, that’s really the homie.
That’s fire, I love that.
That’s my brother. I pulled up yesterday to hear his new album, we on that type of time. We put each other’s ear to each other’s music, give each other honest critique that brother’s gon’ give. Not yes’ing that shit. We pull up, give each other that deal.
Talk about your new project CLRD and how you came up with this concept.
I was inspired to do this at the beginning of this year, before we even quarantined. The project was done before we had a lockdown. If you’ve been following Audio Push, our music’s definitely been speaking on the black struggle. The process of being black, what we go through. Me going solo and dropping a solo project, I made it clear to myself. I’ve written for everybody. We’ve made all types of music: turn up music, spiritual music, everything. I learned who I am and found what’s true to me. This is the music people are getting, this is my message. CLRD is the name of my label, the first album, my brand.
I want people to embrace being African-American. Colored used to be men and women bathrooms, then colored. Men and women water fountains, then colored. It did suck growing up African American in this country, but there’s a lot of beauty in that struggle. I’m teaching the youth and my fans to embrace that. We grew up eating fucking hot sauce on everything, having to lap it up in the Cadillac and sleep on pallets with all our cousins, but it was the shit. We had fun. I found my love for music being stuck in households with 10 people in a 2-bedroom house. Started listening to Musiq Soulchild, The Chronic, 2001 album because my big cousins were playing it. I pay homage t.o Maya Angelou, giving people something in these times where we can be killed by the police. We’re getting choked and killed by each other, we’re at war everywhere we look. I want to give my people something to be inspired by.
How excited are you for its release?
I’m pumped! I’m on an unexplainable high. I feel like a new artist, better than ever. I’ve been doing business outside of music very successfully for the last 6 years. It’s taught me how to attack the music business like no one has before. My approach is going to be groundbreaking, that’s what I’m excited for. My partnership with HEADS MUSIC.
How’d you found your way to Wyclef?
The link up and partnership was a blessing. Shout out to Jennifer, she linked the relationship between me and Madeline.
I love Madeline!
Madeline’s beautiful, she’s amazing. Wyclef’s incredible, everybody’s been super embracing. Madelyn heard the music and instantly wanted to be involved, which was inspiring for me. I turned down a few major situations that were petty. They’re doing it just to do it. I turned down some good independent distribution situations because of Madeline and her excitement. What she had to offer was different, it’s amazing. I’m excited, Wyclef’s showing super love.
Bring us back to when you created “MAYA.”
Shout out to Kota The Friend & A.G. who co-produced it with me. I produced “MAYA,” one of my favorites for sure. I love “MAYA.” I made the song the day after my lil homie died, he got killed out here in the IE. The news reported reported that San Bernardino is the #1 city in California for the most murders, has the most homicides in California. Compton’s #2. San Bernardino has doubled Compton’s murders in the year 2020 alone. Oakland’s #3. That’s really our struggle, an everyday thing for our people.
You have your restaurant in San Bernardino too.
I’ve got a strap on me every time because I go to my restaurant in San Bernardino because I have to, unfortunately. San Bernardino is the #1 murder capital in California, every year. My lil homie died, it inspired me to make the song because I’m not in the streets anymore. I’m not inspired to hunt black men or kill people who look like me. Only thing I could do was put it in the music and donate money to his family and the funeral. “MAYA” is a message to the people. Kota The Friend comes through with the poetry, it’s beautiful. Beautiful backgrounds, it’s fire. The people need it.
Talk about the fire merch you have for CLRD.
Merch going crazy. If you guys pre-order or get the album, you get free merch. We’re going crazy. I’m coming for everything. I’ve attacked business outside of music and have seen it done very well. I’ve done retail and online e-commerce very well. I’m dropping a short film. I’m coming for black-owned ownership, period. CLRD is the millennial Motown on all levels, we’re coming for everything.
It’s definitely part of my genetics. My grandfather was a serial entrepreneur. Sadly he didn’t have the internet and information access we have, so he wasn’t as successful with the many businesses he had. My grandfather built churches, all types of stuff. Me, that’s in my spirit. I had a job when I was 13, holding signs. My mom didn’t want to buy me Bape and Nikes I wanted, she’s a single mom. I didn’t need them, but I wanted them. Once I graduated high school at 16, I sold dope a year before jerkin’. I sold dope to pay for my prom and graduation.
I made so much money in 2 months that it scared me, I stopped and started doing music. I was always in entrepreneurship, always wanted to own shit. First thing I did was get Carrie’s BBQ, invested with my family in the IE. I did that for my family, I wanted to invest. My mom and stepdad ended up getting a divorce, they didn’t want to do it so I picked it up. That sparked it, trickled into many other things. I had a dispensary at a point, but the regulations are really tough out here in California and I don’t want to be breaking the law.
I know a lot of people who are still in the black market.
It’s always tough. We’re still building a brand for when we have the capital to have all licenses across those lines. Brodihana’s is the greatest thing that’s ever happened to me, it’s going crazy. The first ever black owned Hibachi food truck, we specialize in fried rice, hibachi steak, hibachi chicken, lobster, salmon, all-flavored wings, special lemonades, tempura, sushi. We got these crazy sushi rolls. We’re 2 months in, I’m excited. It’s a billion dollar company. I’ve gotten offers to franchises already because it’s genius. It doesn’t take rocket science, you can see it to know it’s genius. The moment you taste the food, it’s done.
Talk about throwing a listening event in Los Angeles.
I’m having a private listening event and pop-up shop, partnering with David Gross at Vector 90. It’s going to be at Vector 90. David was Nipsey Hussle’s business partner, a crazy real estate millionaire. He’s an incredible black investor, done crazy partnerships with everyone from T.I. to Nipsey to plenty of greats. Temperature checks are on deck, not playing with the COVID. It’s an outdoor event, Brodihana’s is catering. I need you there, red carpet’s going to be rolled out for you Shirley.
And you know everyone’s ready to pop out.
It’ll be a vibe, me and David Gross going crazy. I’m making sure it’s an experience for all the people who pop up for me. We’re premiering a private screening of the short film. It’s a movie, I’m not treating it like nothing less. With Audio-Push, we’ve had to fuse our worlds for 10 years and that’s not easy. That’s my best friend and still is my best friend since I was 12 years old, we never did anything solo. Oktane’s acted in John Henry with Ted Cruz, it went #1 on Netflix. We’re killing it on our solo ventures, but this is my story. I’m a dad, I’m a father. I bleed entrepreneurship. I bleed black ownership, financial literacy, legacy building. The reason why I preach it so much on blacks is because Filipinos, Asians, Arabs, whites, they already got it figured out. Mexicans know already. Our people don’t have it fully figured out, that’s why we’re screaming it. Y’all gon’ get tired of me saying it until all my people are millionaires and are preaching to their kids. It’s simple.
How was linking with Pink Sweat$ on “Cadillac Drive,” he’s so talented.
Shout out to Pink Sweats. Shout out to Issa Rae, Insecure, the whole camp. Shout out to Natalie Prosper, she helped put that together. He’s been the homie before his name was Pink Sweat$. Once we got on this Insecure session, we’re all called in to work on the first soundtrack on her label. Issa Rae’s the first person to be an actor and get a label partnership with Atlantic and put soundtracks out. Buddy, a lot of dope creators were in the rooms. I was trying to write some parts with Pink but he’s so fucking incredible, he’s running through the shit. I couldn’t do anything but write my own verse ‘cause the n*gga’s so talented. I laid my verse. The verse was so fucking fire, everybody said “send this shit to Issa.” That ended up being her first single, glory to God. I’m stoked, we’re going to get a plaque. We gon’ get an Emmy for the soundtrack, we’re going in!
Anything else you want to let us know?
Stay safe, CLRD on the way! I appreciate all ya’ll tapping into the music, I’m not letting up. Stay pure, invest your money, love on your family.