CyHi the Prynce Explains Kanye West and Big Sean’s Influence
CyHi the Prynce's recipe for rap success was rather simple: drop dope rhymes and get noticed by industry players, including Kanye West. As a result, he finds himself signed to G.O.O.D. Music via Def Jam. But the Stone Mountain, Ga. rapper's career is still heating up as he prepares to go out on tour with his labelmate Big Sean next month and hopes to drop his proper debut, 'The Hardway Musical,' early next year.
Cy killed his verse on 'So Apalled' from West's 'My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy' album and continues to prove it was no fluke, recently dropping his latest mixtape called 'Jack Of All Trades.' He plans to release a follow-up to his 'Royal Flush' series with 'Royal Flush 3' and another jacking for beats effort titled 'Black Jack.'
After winning over the crowd at a vitaminwater Uncapped sponsored show in NYC, CyHi drops some insight into his immediate and future plans as he embarks on path he hope ends in rap royalty. Read on as the 27-year-old rhymer reveals what his mother thinks about the "b----es" and "h--s" in his lyrics, how Big Sean has inspired him and which action he had to repeat more than once at Kanye West's request.
What's the deal with this tour you're embarking on?
Me and Big Sean is going on tour. The Finally Famous tour, it starts in October. I think we doing 50 cities. It's something crazy, worldwide, like we the Beatles or something. We just having fun, man, doing what we do. It's going to be a great experience for me because a lot of the states we're going to, I never got to visit but I got a lot of fans there. We go to Houston, Portland, Utah, New York, Boston -- we go everywhere. Everywhere that got a capital, we there.
Who would you say you are closest to in the G.O.O.D. Music camp?
My closest friend might be -- other than 'Ye -- Big Sean, 'cause me and Big Sean we'll go through the same thing, we're still on the same path. Kid Cudi's like, outta here [laughs]. You gotta catch Cudi 'cause Cudi getting money. Me and Sean we got the same passion, the same goals. We started the same way -- organically having to work it from show to show. He mentored me a lot with different things that I experience on the road and in my career. That's my dude.
What have you seen in Big Sean's success that inspired you?
It's the blueprint for all of us now -- me, Yelawolf, K.R.I.T., Wiz. Wiz really put it down and showed people you can do it with just your music. The big thing about it is we're doing concert venues. We're not just doing clubs that people are showing up at. I just been learning a lot man, hands on.
You were signed to Def Jam before with the group Hoodlum. Did you take a break after that fell through?
See, I was always working. I was always in the studio so I already had material I did by myself. A lot of my good material I had to share it. But now, at one point I was getting with Akon, I recorded some new material and gave them some fresh material and they liked it and went from there. Kanye came aboard, did the joint venture, and here we are today.
Kanye heard the Yelawolf song with you, 'I Wish (Remix),' then co-signed you on his blog. What was the first conversation with him like?
The first actual conversation was in Hawaii. I went to Hawaii for the 'My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy' album and he said, "CyHi!," and I just said, "Hey!" And then that was it, man. It's crazy because he knew me more than I almost knew myself 'cause he's such a musical genius. It's like going to a professional basketball coach. You got your high school coach, he'll teach you a little bit. A professional will be like, "Keep that elbow up, throw a little jab," ya know. So he was teaching me little things that I can put in my style.
Then he knew a lot of my lyrics. It was a natural bond, man. We come from the same background -- Christian households. We believe in a lot of the same things. A lot of people think different of him, but if you really got to know him, I love him. I be in the studio and I know the verse ain't one of my best, even though all my verses are dope. My partners will be like, "Yeah, that's dope." 'Ye will be like, "Nah, write that over." When I first got [to Hawaii], I wrote my verse over five times.
Your verse on 'So Appalled'?
Nah, that was a one-take jake [smiles]. But it was other songs that he was doing and he would say, "Write it over." And everybody, not just me. Big Sean, Pusha, he pushes you to that next level to say, "OK, that's it!" So I respect him to the utmost.
So what was the session for 'So Appalled' like?
It was real secretive. I wasn't even supposed to be on the song. I snuck on the song. My verse is actually at like five minutes. The beat was like seven, eight minutes long. I put my verse like five minutes, so it's like a three-minute gap. I guess as he's explaining the song to everybody in the room, my verse just comes on. The people are like, "What the f--- is going on?" And I'm just going in. The engineer is like, "That's CyHi." He called me the next day from Hawaii like, "Congratulations, you made the album." It was just me, Pusha and 'Ye on it at the time. Then when I came back to New York I had to give him a hug.
What can we expect from your debut album?
We're looking to do the album late first quarter, early second. We're gathering all the ammunition, the guns, the soldiers, everything we need to go to war 'cause it's going to be lyrical warfare. At the same time, it's going to be conceptual, it's going to be interesting, it's going to be suspenseful, a lot of storytelling. It's called 'The Hardway Musical.'
Who are some of the influences you picked up coming up in Stone Mountain, Ga.?
Stone Mountain, where I grew up, was a melting pot for Black people that could make it out that hood. People from New York, Virginia, L.A., Detroit, everywhere was coming to get these houses that's cheap. I had two friends from Atlanta, everybody else was from Virginia, South Carolina, New York. One of my New York partners put me on to Jay-Z and it was wrap after that. I listened to Nas, Rakim, Bun B was another influence to me, Pastor Troy, Triple 6, M.O.P. It was all good man. I didn't never get to listen to the album. I got to listen to the popular songs cause my mama wasn't having that. I had to get it in when I could.
What's your mom think of your music now?
She loves it. I had to explain it to her now cause she hears all the "b----es" and "h--s" and this and this and I be like, "Mom, you have to listen to the message behind the b----es and h--s." Once she sits down and talks to me, she knows I have a plan. This is just my introduction. It's not how you start, it's how you finish.