After being on hiatus for a long period of time, the “secret” weapon to Kanye’s success is finally ready to come out the shadows to make his presence in the game.
One of G.O.O.D. Music’s most “slept on” artists, CyHi The Prynce is ready to have a breakout year. The Atlanta native is in the position to release his long awaited debut album entitled No Dope On Sundays next month. In addition, he will be touring around the country heading to various colleges with Young Money’s head honcho Lil Wayne. Known for his dope, conscious lyrical skills and unorthodox delivery, CyHi has been an major staple to quite of few of Kanye and G.O.O.D. Music’s iconic songs such as “The Morning”, “Sin City” (Cruel Summer), and “So Appalled” (My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy). In addition, his penning game has been uncanny as he was able to deliver some bangers for Yeezy on the Yeezus album along with being honored as a BMI award winner for “FourFiveSeconds” which featured Rihanna and Paul McCartney. Planting his feet to take off into super stardom, CyHi blessed The Source with the opportunity to catch up on life as an artist, being a part of the Yeezy empire, the state of Hip Hop and told us what the music fans should be looking out for.
Now you have a long awaited debut album called No Dope On Sundays which will be coming out soon. What can the fans expected from this project?
Man, No Dope On Sundays is a story of a week in my life that I went through when I was younger that I wanted to talk about in detail on my album. I wrote this album about a week in my life that started off as turmoil but ended in a very spiritual matter. I just want to give the fans a bunch of stories of my life, a bunch of different concepts, a bunch of things that you wouldn’t even think that you can make a rap song out of. I’m just going to give them different perspectives on everything. At the end of the day, it’s going to be an emotional ride so I look at as that.
What kind of sound are you trying to introduce to your fans?
This album is authentic Hip Hop, but it’s also just rap and black music, you know. It has a lot of soulful samples. It has different concepts, different vibes and its 110% the truth. So these songs are not fabricated or it’s nothing that came off of a cool idea to make up to get the sales. No, this is authentic, this is my life. When you hear me rap these songs, they are going to be so vivid to you because you are going to understand that this is a real story. It just that story of an inner city kid that’s trying to figure life out. He just hit puberty, now he’s selling drugs, getting into fist fights, having n***** shooting at him. So, I want the kids and young men to hear this, to relate t,o and I can figure out how I can deal with situations that I’m currently going through as well.
Can you give the fans breakdown on the creative side of how this project came to life.
Well, I used to talk s*** to my current manager, Al Branch, and mention to him that when I’m done. I used to be like “Man, when I’m down, n***** are going to be like…..I am not going to sell dope on Sundays. I want to have that much power with this project that you are not going to find a nickel bag (weed) that’s being sold in the trap on Sundays.” He turned around and said “Man you should name that for the album”. Then that I was like “hmm, that’s interesting” (ponders). So I thought about the project and try to figure out what can I relate to. Like I said I had a story where throughout the week in the summer where a lot of things went on such as my partner getting shot. I remember when he got out, they wanted to take him to the club. The girls wanted to take him to the movies, mind you he got the staples in him. But he want to be seen as “super” tough. But I was like “Nah bro, I’m take you to church. I could’ve lost my best friend and ya’ll in here glorifying and treat my friends like in a joking matter. This could’ve been a funeral”. So I did that and you know years later, he came back to me and told me that that was the realist things anybody has ever done for him. So I just want to give people parts of my life on this album so it’s about a week span where I just wanted to give that story.
Any special features on there?
Yeah, we have SchoolBoy Q, Travis Scott, Big Sean, Ty Dolla $ign. It’s just so many different people I’ve worked with but in a different capacity. You never heard them on an CyHi track singing what touches CyHi fans. It’s different when you hear them on a Kanye song because everyone knows where’s that going to go. On my album, it’s different, you never going to understand what you going to see until you hear them on my project.
Recently, you performed at The Roots Jam Session with Budweiser at SXSW? How was the overall experience performing with an legendary hip hop group in front of an packed crowd in Austin, Texas?
First, I wanna take the time out to thank The Roots for letting me do that concert. A young prynce that came to rule and conquer/I might not ever did the numbers/Put this much fire on wax/They start comparing you to Kwanzaa. (laughs…) Okay at the end of the day, it was dope and it was just an honor. It was so crazy just seeing Questlove knows my songs and the way he hit the sticks on the drums and he got the playing, I was losing it, just a full of excitement that he knew my s***. Even tho I did one song, I was super excited the entire time and I believe that was one of the most exciting “one-song” performances I did in a long time.(laughs)
A lot of fans know how lyrical you are based off of your mixtapes “Black Hystori Project” and “Black Hystori Project 2: N.A.A.C.P” which was both executive produced by Kanye West. How is the creative process between you two when it comes to create new music?
Well, 80% of it is brainstorming and 20% is just rapping. So we sit in any place just brainstorming and having extensive conversations. There isn’t any small talk. There’s no weed during the process, no groove s*** going on, you know. We in deep talk about how are we going to affect these people’s lives, help people through their situations and how we going to touch their spirits, musically in different ways. Once we have those conversations, we get the arguing then after that, it’s straight work. People don’t understand that it’s not more so writing for him. It’s more so just brainstorming, bringing that energy, and seeing an reaction out of me whenever he says a line. He feels that I’m one of the best rappers alive so if I don’t react to it, he’s going to change it and switch it up on me. So, that’s where our relationship has been consisting of; I’m like a mirror to him and if his outfit looks good on him on that day, he’s rocking it. It’s all about the vibes and energy.
Fans can look into the credits and see you wrote a lot of songs for Kanye. You co-wrote 9 songs off of the Yeezus album. You earned an BMI award for “FourFiveSeconds”. How are you planning on getting yourself out of this “shadow key piece” to Kanye’s success and to position yourself making major noise to the public eye where they can rightfully place you as one of rap’s most elite emcees in the game?
Well this album, No Dope On Sundays is going to prove all those things. Everything you thought of CyHi, everything you thought of what he could be, everything you thought he will be, you will get that satisfaction on this album. You know people wish that Kanye can rap like the old Ye. I’m like “Don’t worry about that, I got that under control”. Let Ye be the new Ye. You want to hear some dope bars and some dope concepts, that’s me now. That’s what you and the fans will hear, that vintage hip hop sound and that storytelling concept. You will hear that spiritual side of it, you will hear the street side of it and all those things combined, you make……Captain Planet (laughs).
What’s your favorite song you co-wrote or favorite feature for Kanye?
My favorite song would have to be “Father Stretch My Hands”. I just always liked that beat and I had a verse on it that people didn’t know. It was just my favorite beat, favorite song to work on because it embodied a lot. It had a lot of my vibes to it. I also like Black Skinheads as well, I felt that was dope too.
Now are there any artists you been listening to that you want to work with right now?
Hmm, I’ve been saying Young MA a lot but she thinks I’m crazy so I’m going to say it again. But another person that I like is Riley Richards from the UK. I heard a few songs and afterwards I was like “I have to download everything from this guy”. I had to do it on the plane so but I never got the chance to but that’s who I’m looking forward to attempting to meet and work with.
Now after the potential huge year you may have for yourself between the album and the tour with Lil Wayne, what do you want your fans and critics to say about your work when your name is being brought up in conversations?
I want them to say, “I want that top 5 dead or alive list to shuffle”. My ultimate goal is to keep young man out of prison but still be cool and still have a beautiful young lady, you can still go to the clubs, be fly, get high, however you do what you be doing; still be fresh but it’s certain rules and regulations and protocols that we need to follow to make sure we reach the ultimate level where it’s family and where can we take care of our families not from prison but from the homes. So that’s my main goal; showing young men how to be fresh, how to be cool but not jeopardize your character, your livelihood and integrity. I’m about showing young man how to be cool but also be responsible that’s all.