Prince Po

Share it Please
Revolutionary music can empower both the individual listener and the masses. A musical uprising can be inspired by an eccentric emcee with his heart and mind in state of balance. Whether inspiring actual physical movements or innovative music, revolutionary music moves people on a fundamental physical or mental level. Formally of Organized Konfusion, Prince Po is a true eccentric emcee. With a microphone in his hand and a slick attitude within his heart, Prince Po has moved listeners in spiritual, physical, and philosophical ways.

Organized Konfusion instantly sparked a mental revolution in each listener. Fans first heard of the duo when they released the '€œJudge Fudge'€ single and their self-titled debut album. Featuring O.C., '€œJudge Fudge'€ has an energetic beat and wildly innovative flows by the emcees. Formed by Pharoahe Monch and Prince Po, Organized Konfusion truly gained critical acclaim with their '€œStress: The Extinction Agenda'€ album (Hollywood Records). Their anthem-like single, '€œStress'€ has helped to empower listeners to challenge their own mental demons. '€œCrush! Kill! Destroy stress!'€ was chanted repetitively over rugged drums. Prince Po'€™s opening verse gained him worldwide attention and helped to make the track a classic hip-hop song. '€œPain! Stress! My brain '€“ can'€™t even rest / It'€™s hard to maintain the pressure on my chest'€¦'€, Po rhymes with a both confidence and vulnerability. The album included other songs like '€œMaintain'€, '€œBlack Sunday'€, '€œBring It On'€, and '€œWhy?'€ featured mind-blowing flows and emotional lyrics. The follow up Organized Konfusion album, '€œThe Equinox'€ (Priority Records) featured many skits, which weaved narrative tale through the LP. Creative concept tracks had thoughtful lyrics that fans would only truly understand after multiple listens. The song, '€œInvetro'€ was told through the eyes of an unborn child. The aggressive track, '€œHate'€ has Prince Po rhyming through the eyes of a White supremist. Although the album gained critical acclaim, many fans were devoted to '€œStress: The Extinction Agenda'€.

Prince Po and Pharoahe Monch broke up Organized Konfusion and walked their separate paths. Signed to Rawkus, Monch had a major hit with '€œSimon Sez'€. While Monch was in the limelight, many fans wondered about Prince Po. They did form their management group, Nasty Habits. After many years, Prince Po finally released his debut solo album '€œThe Slickness'€ on Lex Records. With a beautiful packaging design, '€œThe Slickness'€ is an undiscovered gem of a record. Production included Madlib, J-Zone, Jel, Prince Po, and others. Guests included Raekwon, J-Ro (of Alkaholiks), MF Doom, J-Zone, and more. The innovative concept tracks were accessible, but they still possessed an emotional core. Produced by Prince Po, '€œBe Easy'€ can almost be dubbed mellow sequel to '€œStress'€. Produced by Madlib and featuring Raekwon, '€œThe Bump Bump'€ is an up-tempo track with a thick, bouncy rhythm and catchy chorus. Other tracks like '€œLove Thing'€, '€œSocial Distortion'€ (with MF Doom), and the title track all prove that Po has what it takes to be a solo artist. The European label, Lex Records released the album with limited distribution. The only problem with '€œThe Slickness'€ was that the album was hard to purchase in America.

Prince Po is continues to work hard, make music, and inspire listeners. On a warm evening during the later summer of 2005, I had a very in-depth conversation with Po about Organized Konfusion, Monch, hip-hop, racism, different countries, and much more. Poetic royalty is in his blood. Prince Po is the Prince of revolutionary hip-hop that inspires deep thoughts and fierce action. Prince Po makes music from his heart as '€œThe Slickness'€ flows through the blood in his veins.


T.JONES: "What goes on?"
PRINCE PO: '€œNothing much. Nasty Habits Entertainment, our new production company. It'€™s a new one made up by me and Monch. Pharoahe and I had one named Medicine Men Productions, but we found out that someone else had the name. We could have sued them but instead of going through all of that, we just made a new company called Nasty Habits Entertainment. I got artists and we'€™re developing them. We have a few producers. I'€™m coming out with a new album, '€˜Pretty Black'€™, which is my next solo album. I have new artists too. We have Touch Em Blak. GBG, which stands for Gary Blue Grass. It'€™s a Blue Grass band. I have an artist named Stone, who was in a group called Brotherman. I'€™m just trying to make it happen. I have one of the hottest producers, who happens to be a female. Her name is Jazimoto. I'€™m trying to grow, build, and get a foundation. I'€™m being creative, man.'€

T.JONES: '€œWhat label is going to release the '€˜Pretty Black'€™ album?'€
PRINCE PO: '€œI don'€™t know right now. I'€™m looking for the right independent situation. I'€™m talking to a few people. Penalty Records or Up Above Records may be doing something with me. It'€™s up in the air right now. I'€™m in the studio until I feel that somebody may do right on the album and get it out there. That'€™s one purpose of this interview. I'€™m trying to reach out and let the fans know that I'€™m still working. Cats wonder what happened.'€

T.JONES: '€œWhat did happen? You were in Europe for a while?'€
PRINCE PO: '€œI was overseas last year, promoting and doing shows for '€˜The Slickness'€™ album that I put out on Lex Records.'€

T.JONES: '€œTell us about '€˜The Slickness'€™ and how you got involved with Lex Records.'€
PRINCE PO: '€œActually, they called me to do a song. My man, Jemini, had a song. I produced his first single, '€˜Funk Soul Sensation'€™. He hooked up with Danger Mouse. They had a deal with Lex Records. Danger liked the work ethic we had and asked me if I would like to do a record on Lex for myself? It worked out, but there were some things I had to adjust to. It'€™s different working with an overseas label. It was a good experience being overseas last year.'€

T.JONES: '€œWhat were some differences working with a European label as opposed to an American label?'€
PRINCE PO: '€œFor one, it basically comes down to money. The dollar is almost half of what a Pound is. If they spend '£50,000 on promotions, it'€™s really like $100,000 here. The value of the dollar is different. A lot of overseas labels, not all of them, but a lot of them don'€™t have a relationship with people over here in the U.S. That hinders selling records in the United States.'€

T.JONES: '€œDid '€˜The Slickness'€™ LP get promotion in the United States?'€
PRINCE PO: '€œActually, it did. The people that they hired to promote the record here, in the States, weren'€™t competent enough to get the project to where it should have been at. If it was a project that came out on Penalty Records or Traffic Entertainment, there would have been a whole different impact. It would have been a movement. The album remains a classic. They love the album. The people who know about it over here, look at it as something very eclectic.'€

T.JONES: '€œWhat is the underlying theme to, '€˜The Slickness'€™?'€
PRINCE PO: '€œ'€˜The Slickness'€™ is about a lifestyle. It'€™s like saying you are a b-boy, but in a modern way. It'€™s a way you carry yourself in hip-hop culture. The way you wear your hat, the way you talk, and the love you have for hip-hop. It'€™s the way you walk and the way you act. It'€™s a whole style of living. Even if you take the word '€˜slick'€™ as '€˜You think you are slick'€™, or '€˜You think you are sneaky'€™, or '€˜You think you'€™re smart.'€™ But, '€˜The Slickness'€™ is how you wear your sneakers and make your pants fall over your sneakers. You want them to look a certain way. Back in the day, b-boys tied their pants to their legs. It'€™s a style. It'€™s a life. It'€™s a movement.'€

T.JONES: '€œDo you have a favorite song on '€˜The Slickness'€™ LP?'€
PRINCE PO: '€œ'€˜Be Easy'€™, not because I produced it, but the purpose behind the song. It'€™s for my man Matt Doo, who drew the cover for Organized Konfusion'€™s 2nd album, '€˜Stress: The Extinction Agenda'€™. He drew us in caricature form. Years afterwards, he killed himself. That was basically because of the stress and turmoil that you have to face everyday. It'€™s survival. Some people don'€™t understand that suicide is a thin line between sanity and insanity. Some of who choose not to fight any more. It touched my heart when he passed away. I wanted to do a song for that. Even when you'€™re getting money, getting your shit together, and things are looking good, some of the times you have to sit back, not get caught up in the angst, and be easy. You have to appreciate the little things that are going on in your life, instead of trying to shoot for the big ones.'€

T.JONES: '€œWhat song took the longest, from conception to completion?'€
PRINCE PO: '€œI would say '€˜Social Distortion'€™ with MF Doom because of the process. Our schedules were conflicting. That was the main one. '€˜Love Thing'€™ too. I wanted to do a song called, '€˜Love Thing'€™ but I wanted to make the lyrics say how things are fucked up. But at the same token, count your blessings. This music thing is love. There'€™s positive energy. That took the longest to write because there'€™s so much negative shit around you. And you don'€™t want to be a sucker for the people. I know that I'€™m not a sucker, but I know that love is in hip-hop. I don'€™t know where it'€™s going, but I'€™m going to keep it in the original form that I learned about in the music.'€

T.JONES: '€œThese days, many collaborations are not recorded while the artists are together. Some are mailed in. How were the guest spots on '€˜The Slickness'€™ album done?'€
PRINCE PO: '€œThe only ones we did together were the one I did that I worked with Carla personally. I wrote all of the stuff that she sang as well. I worked personally with Raekwon too. He'€™s a good friend of mine.'€

T.JONES: '€œWhat was it like working with Raekwon for the song, '€˜The Bump Bump'€™?'€
PRINCE PO: '€œHe'€™s so devoted to the game. I called him early on a Friday and he was there Saturday. Much love to him and the love he has for the music. He did like 25 fucking takes for '€˜The Bump Bump'€™!

T.JONES: '€œJ-Zone produced a couple of tracks on '€˜The Slickness'€™. What was it like working with J-Zone?'€
PRINCE PO: '€œJ-Zone put in a valiant effort. We built a couple of times. We didn'€™t work in the same exact location together, but we talked and we built together. He'€™s the one who did '€˜Copycat'€™, a song I did with Jemini and Danger Mouse. J-Zone is very creative. He doesn'€™t cater to the industry. He just tries to do what he thinks is creative. That'€™s important. He sticks to what he does and he loves it.'€

T.JONES: '€œHow has being a solo artist changed your approach to hip-hop?'€
PRINCE PO: '€œAnyone who understands math and science understands that what is - is what it is. I never came out as Prince Po from Organized Konfusion. I came out as Organized Konfusion and my name is Prince Po. I just had to accept that there would always be an element missing when Monch is not rhyming with me on the record. I just try to cover as many elements as I can by myself. I think that it made me grow a lot, but I was able to adjust. I realized the changes that the industry was making. It'€™s not my industry so, I can'€™t make the rules and regulations. I can realize how it is going and how it is and how I can fit in that system. It basically comes down to how to work with the elements you'€™re dealing with. I'€™m trying to make songs with lyrics that are not so tongue twisting, but still have messages. I always get my point across. It'€™s still a struggle. Monch is a very creative dude. That was my other half. We still talk, fight, and talk on the phone. It'€™s incredible how our relationship overcomes everything else, even the industry. We can support each other, do different things, and still have respect for each other. It'€™s powerful enough to give me the energy to write for myself.'€

T.JONES: '€œWhy did Organized Konfusion break up?'€
PRINCE PO: '€œWell we broke up because we didn'€™t want to hear the fans say the same thing like, '€˜You'€™re dope but you are not getting the right promotion'€™. That gets tiring. We had three albums and fans thought we were dope but didn'€™t have the right promotion. We didn'€™t want that shit to run us into the ground. People kept saying that. It was a hopeless situation, but would we would always be dope? We wanted to preserve the name. I don'€™t think the records would have been the classics that they are if we kept on throwing records out there like it was nothing. Right now, we are trying to make some moves and put out an Organized Konfusion remix album. We are just trying to make moves on another side. After we came off the road, I was tired. Besides writing, I was doing most of the business. I would say that I was doing 90% of the business. I would always sit down with Monch and discuss it with him. We did do 50/50 on everything. I was burnt out. I was writing rhymes, making beats, doing the business, talking to the labels, and building with the managers. I made sure the job got done while Monch was able to be an artist. That was cool. Monch is my brother, but I wanted to get to a point where I could be creative, make songs, and worry about being an emcee or producer. Even now, that won'€™t happen because I have a company and artists who I'€™m working with. The job will never get easier. It will always get more tedious. The difference is that I'€™m ready for it now. I had to take that break. On the road, we did a lot of shows and a lot of traveling. I was mentally and physically burnt out. Monch was like, '€˜Do I have your blessings to go into the studio and work on some material to get a deal?'€™ I was for it. His anger wasn'€™t like he wanted to go and shoot somebody at the label. His anger came out in a way that he had to show the world that he was not done yet.'€

T.JONES: '€œAfter Organized Konfusion broke up, you appeared on Pharoahe Monch'€™s solo album, '€˜Internal Affairs'€™. How did the song, '€˜God Send'€™ come about?'€
PRINCE PO: '€œHe told me the idea of a song he wanted to do. You know, Monch is very eclectic about his music. He wanted me to be on the song that meant the most to him on that album. That'€™s why he named it, '€˜God Send'€™. We really try to stay focused and count our blessings. We collaborated on the song. I had the rhyme ready and he liked the rhyme. That pretty much made it a rap. It was done just as quickly as he mentioned it to me. With this album he is working on now, we'€™re building on something. We are also building on this mix-tape that I'€™m putting out called, '€˜The Lost Scrolls'€™. I'€™ve been working on this. People have been like, '€˜Where is Prince Po?'€™. I'€™ve noticed those questions on mightypharoahe.com. They think that I disappeared. There were just a whole lot of things going on. I had to make the transition of using 2000 & 950 from using the 2000 and the Reason program in the computer. It got very digital. I had to teach myself how to use Reason. I had to teach myself how to use Windows products. I had to teach myself how to use Pro-Tools. All of that stuff takes time. I educated myself.'€

T.JONES: '€œOn the song '€˜Money, Power & Influence'€™ from Guru'€™s '€˜The Street Scriptures'€™ album, Talib Kweli mentions that Pro-Tools made producers lazy. Do you agree?'€
PRINCE PO: '€œOf course, it did! It is a lazier way to make music. It'€™s cheating a little bit because somebody programmed it to cater to the hip-hop world. It has taken out the creativity. Premier chopped samples up, showed his own creativity, and took that record to another level. Pro-Tools changed it drastically. That'€™s the whole thing. I can'€™t change the game and say, '€˜Fuck Pro-Tools! It'€™s too digital!'€™ Even if I don'€™t use it, if somebody puts me in a situation where I have to use it, I have to show and prove. I don'€™t totally agree with it because it is taking away some of the creativity. I still like sampling and I play a few things around it. That'€™s how it goes now. Pro-Tools did hinder the game a little bit and put some studios out of business.'€

T.JONES: '€œWill there ever be another Organized Konfusion album?'€
PRINCE PO: '€œPossibly, in the Fall of 2006.

T.JONES: '€œAre you still in contact with O.C.?'€
PRINCE PO: '€œWe'€™re talking. O.C. is on the road with Hieroglyphics. We'€™re trying to work things out with him too. It'€™s all a family situation but with us, we'€™re not yes-men towards each other. If O.C. feels a certain way to me, he'€™s going to express it, which is something he has done. I don'€™t give a shit because I put him on a record. He didn'€™t put me on a record. He'€™s Monch'€™s neighbor before anything else. I love him like a brother. He'€™s like a little brother with me. I want him to get the best he can out of his career, make the most money, and be happy. It'€™s just that if a little brother is wrong, he is wrong. I'€™m not going to '€˜Yes'€™ him.'€

T.JONES: '€œThat '€˜Starchild'€™ LP by O.C. (on Grit / Nocturne Records) was dope.'€
PRINCE PO: '€œI'€™ve heard it a couple of times. I'€™m just hoping that he'€™s happy with what he'€™s doing. Then, I'€™ll be happy with his project. He'€™s a dope emcee. He'€™s definitely creative. Hopefully, we'€™ll work again in the future. Right now, let him do him. Once he can get back home and really realize that with the talent that we have, we can make something together. I never knock him. I tell people to support him and buy his records all the time. It'€™s just that, when a little brother does something, you have to let him do it. '€˜Jewelz'€™ is not O.C. '€˜Jewelz'€™ is a cool album but it is very materialistic. It'€™s not '€˜Word'€¦Life'€™. O has to decide whether he likes jewelry, fine women, and nice clothes. I know that part of him but, at that time in the game, it seemed like everybody was doing that because that was what everybody was doing. We'€™re known to go against the grain and a lot of fans were complaining when he did '€˜Bon Appetit'€™. I think he should do whatever he wants to do as long as he puts his heart and soul into it. If he did it just to make a quick dollar, I'€™m not with it. If his heart told him to do it, I'€™m fully supporting it. He'€™s a creative dude. He'€™s a dope emcee and I love what he'€™s doing. I could love you and be away from you at the same time. I'€™m not going to sit and argue with you. I'€™m not going to keep wondering why you are mad at me, when I all I want to do is put you on a record. I know him from living next to Monch but, I don'€™t know this mother fucker. He didn'€™t grow up in the projects with me. He lived around the corner from the projects. That makes no difference to me. He didn'€™t grow up with me. I looked out for him because he'€™s a dope ass fucking emcee.'€

T.JONES: "When creating a song, do you have a set theme or pre-written lyrics? Or, do you write to the beat?"
PRINCE PO: '€œBoth ways. I'€™ve had ideas and wrote for them. '€˜9 X Out Of Ten'€™ was my rhyme. The actual chorus for that song was my rhyme for that song. Monch wanted to use that rhyme for the hook and wanted me to write another rhyme. It varies. Most of the time, I wrote to the beat and then, come up with the concept. For '€˜Invetro'€™ and songs like '€˜Black Sunday'€™, a lot of the written rhymes were from bits and pieces of little paragraphs that were written before. When the track was put together, we just put it to it.'€

T.JONES: '€œDo you have a favorite Organized Konfusion album?'€
PRINCE PO: '€œI would say '€˜Stress'€™, but coming right up next to it is '€˜The Equinox'€™. The album, '€˜The Equinox'€™ did not get a lot of write ups. Some people didn'€™t like it that much because there were a lot of skits. I like '€˜The Equinox'€™ because of the effort we put into it. It'€™s such a different record. We even went out and ordered $600 worth of Hollywood sounds from moviemakers out here in Cali, just to put in those skits. A lot of those sounds, like the car noises, are professional movie sounds. We paid money for it. We put it together and had people come in to do the voiceovers. It'€™s like a '€˜Pulp Fiction'€™ story. Where it starts is where it ends. The album is just creative to me. A lot of people slept on it. To me, the most slept on shit or the most underrated shit, would always be my favorite shit.'€

T.JONES: "Who are some people you would like to collaborate with in the future?"
PRINCE PO: '€œJay Dee. I did work with Large Professor. I like 9th Wonder, who is coming up now. I think Kev Brown is dope. Also, Rhettmatic, The Beat Junkies, and Hershey P, who is down with Nasty Habits. Shafir. Man, there'€™s a host of niggas! I want to work with DJ Quik too. He'€™s a different type of dude. I'€™m just on some weird shit. I would like to work with George Clinton. I'€™ve got a weird, eclectic vibe of who I would like to work with. To each is own. Even if I would work with somebody in Cam'€™Ron'€™s crew, I would like to work with Juelz Santana. I like some of the shit he says. I like different styles. Everyone talks about commercial versus underground. You are only underground until you sell a million copies. Once you sell a million copies, you go commercial? That'€™s stupid! If Common goes platinum, he'€™s not underground anymore? That'€™s crazy!.'€

T.JONES: '€œWho have you been listening to lately?'€
PRINCE PO: '€œActually, everybody I just mentioned. Rhettmatic, Kev Brown, 9th Wonder, Pete Rock, some of the Diplomats. One of the dopest, who I would like to work with on something special, is Jay-Z. Even when Nas and Jay-Z had the battle, your opinion could be that Nas won, but in what perspective did he win? Nas is a certain type of emcee to me. Jay-Z is a certain type of emcee to me. They are not even in the same category. I love Nas and I got to give the brother love from the borough of Queens, but Jay-Z does a lot of collaborations while Nas doesn'€™t. To me, that takes away from someone being a dope emcee. Making a dope collaboration with somebody is where Jay-Z kicked his ass. Jay-Z can adjust and do songs with different people. That is part of the versatility of being an emcee. Nas is versatile on topics and different things to talk about. Nas is definitely intelligent on the lyrics. We will always be able to listen to his music for years to come. I like Jay-Z because he can do a song with Talib Kweli and then, turn around and make a song with Linkin Park. That'€™s a true fucking emcee! That'€™s versatility! I like a lot of the Nas collaborations but I don'€™t think he collabs as well. To me, that'€™s one thing that he'€™s not better at than Jay-Z. Everybody says that Nas kicked Jay-Z'€™s ass but a lot of people don'€™t know things. People don'€™t know that in '€˜Do It Again (Get Your Hands Up)'€™, he said some shit on there to Nas. '€˜Three cuts in your eyebrows / trying to wild out. The game is ours. We'€™ll never foul out / Y'all just better hope we gracefully bow out.'€™ To me, that'€™s just as dope as '€˜Either'€™, but you couldn'€™t tell anybody in New York that it wasn'€™t. To each is own. I like both emcees. They are both kings of New York. Fuck that one king shit!'€

T.JONES: "Where were you during September 11th terrorist attack? How did you deal with it?"
PRINCE PO: '€œIn 9-11, I was in Southside Queens. WPLX, Channel 11 went out because it was on top of The World Trade Center. At the time, I didn'€™t pay it no mind and went back to sleep until one of my neighbors knocked on my door and told me what happened. My man G.I. Joe, who runs with Diggin In The Crates, saw the 2nd plane hit from his window, in The Bronx. I just felt the tension from everything that was going down. It was a shocker to me.'€

T.JONES: "What was the last incident of racism you experienced?"
PRINCE PO: '€œIt was when I was getting on a plane. You know the lady who checks the tickets before you walk down the corridor to get on the plane? I asked her if 1st class was crowded. She said, '€˜If you were flying 1st class, you wouldn'€™t have to worry about it.'€™ I just ignored her. If I didn'€™t, I would have cursed her ass out. I don'€™t give a fuck if you are mad about your job. Somebody else wants to do it. Your hell is somebody'€™s heaven. Who gives a fuck about what you think, your theories, or if I should be flying first class? I just ignored her, walked away, and didn'€™t acknowledge her existence. I thought it was a very ignorant thing to say, but that'€™s how the world is. I have neighbors here, in Burbank, California. When I talk with them and they ask me questions, I can tell that they didn'€™t grow up among Black people. I can'€™t be mad at them because that was just the way they were brought up. I'€™m definitely going to educate them on who we are. I'€™m going to let them know that every mother fucker doesn'€™t have to have a chain around his neck to show his worth. We'€™ve been worth a lot of money even before money came into play. I just try to walk with my head high and try to spread love no matter what color people are. Ignorance don'€™t have a color. She was an ignorant fucking lady who will be there for the next 20 years of her life, tearing those goddamn tickets.'€

T.JONES: "What are some major misconceptions that people have of you?"
PRINCE PO: '€œWow! That'€™s a good question, Todd. A lot of independent labels aren'€™t stepping to me because I was on Priority .They must think I'€™m looking for $180,000 advance. I think people have the misconception of the type of grinder I am. I'€™m into getting in those streets and selling records. The little record labels must think that I'€™m looking for a major deal when all I want to do is move units. Over the years, when people don'€™t see you, but you pop back on the scene with a nice shirt and nice sneakers, they look at you. They think, '€˜What happened to you? Are you alright?'€™ I guess that if I was wearing sneakers with holes and looked cracked out, it would be alright because I'€™m not making records, as far as them not seeing it. Over the years, I was studying sampler ands computers. I was learning the programs by myself. I was educating myself on being computer literate. This made people have the misconception that I fell off. They may think that I'€™m hustling because I look the same and wear nice clothes. That'€™s because my fans are devoted to me and I was still doing shows solo. I am still doing features solo. I am still producing. It was a blessing. When people don'€™t see you on T.V., they automatically think that you are cracked out, hungry, or sleeping in the park.'€

T.JONES: '€œDid drugs ever influence your music?'€
PRINCE PO: '€œCats smoke a little bit of greeny weed. This whole new era of E pills is cool but it'€™s not for everybody. Out here, there'€™s a saying that niggas a fizzed out. For me, I'€™m horny and want to touch something normally. I don'€™t need to take pills to do it but I'€™m not mad at anybody who bug out and have fun. To each is own, but those pills have other shit it them.'€

T.JONES: '€œYou'€™re from Queens but you are in California now?'€
PRINCE PO: '€œI'€™m in Burbank, California. I'€™ve been in the valley for about 3 months.'€

T.JONES: '€œMany emcees from New York move out there to California. How is the hip-hop scene different out there?'€
PRINCE PO: '€œHonestly, there'€™s no difference, but there is more of what is, out here. When you talk about Los Angeles, California, you are talking about the size of New York state. Sacramento, San Jose, San Francisco, and Oakland have a whole other following of people. There are so many people to reach out to at one time and in one spot. New York is definitely the epicenter of hop-hop, not just because it was born there. It'€™s not the biggest place to sell records but you have to get the '€˜Okay'€™ from New York to tell you that your record is dope. If New York thinks your record is wack, your record isn'€™t going anywhere. That is a part New York plays. Cali plays a part too. Once New York says your record is dope, you better have a dope show in Cali. If your show is wack in L.A., they'€™ll fuck with you. If your show is dope, people will let you expand more. They will appreciate your creativity and how you make music. It'€™s dope. There'€™s more shit to get into out here.'€

T.JONES: '€œDoes recording in Los Angeles have a different creative effect or stimuli than recording in New York?'€
PRINCE PO: '€œI'€™m looking for any deal, not a major. Hypothetically, if someone gave me $400,000 to do an album, I would have to do half or most of the songs on the East Coast, but I would also have to do a significant part of the album on the West Coast. I'€™m on some different shit. Fuck the palm trees! I'€™m into the sun coming up in the morning, the smell of wet grass, and nature. If you wake up at 8 in the morning with the sun coming up, you get that energy. You get that vibe. It has to do with nothing else but nature. 80% of '€˜The Slickness'€™ album was written in California, at Danger Mouse'€™s house. It gave the LP a different vibe than the other shit I have done. I would definitely record in both spots. I would also record down South or Midwest. Chicago, Atlanta, or Texas. There are different vibes when you go places. People go through the same struggles. You can meet beautiful ass people everywhere. The nature, the atmosphere, and the people all make up where I am at. That is why I would have to keep it versatile.'€

T.JONES: '€œYour music has many themes about overcoming struggles. There are uplifting sentiments about getting by and maintaining through life. Songs like '€˜Maintain'€™, '€˜Stress'€™, and '€˜Be Easy'€™ help people get through hard days. The song, '€˜Maintain'€™ was especially moving for me. Was this intentional?
PRINCE PO: '€œThe main thing was that it is for cats like you. You are like the three hundredth person who told me that the '€˜Stress'€™ album helped them get through rough times. They always specifically name that song, '€˜Maintain'€™ too. That album was recorded when a lot of stuff was going on. We lost Monch'€™s father. He passed away during that time. He was a very big influence on our life. Not only was death hard, but we were also dealing with the record labels. We were struggling and arguing with the labels, and trying to satisfy the record labels. We had to make sure we could eat. It became hard. We just wanted to make a record and see how many people go through what we go through. Not everything is peaches and cream. We got a response from that record. The record shows that we went through a lot of shit. Hollywood Records had to let us go. They weren'€™t doing the full job that they were supposed to do. They didn'€™t understand the music or where we came from. They were putting all of these boujie ass people. I don'€™t give a fuck what color people are. Boujie people are Black too. We have a lot of Boujie ass Black people. Problems don'€™t have a color. You can be white, Indian, or whatever. It doesn'€™t matter who you are, you are going to get challenged and face turmoil. You have to learn how to adjust and live with people. I have white people who I have looked out for me just as well as my Black friends. Am I supposed to treat them different when they looked out for me exactly the same way? No! One of my roommates out here in Burbank is a white kid. I don'€™t give a shit what color you are! I'€™m going to tell the truth and pull no punches. You just have to have a certain type of etiquette and have some respect for each other. Accept the fact that we are all different! Black people are different from each other. We are not all the same.'€

T.JONES: '€œYou just need to be yourself.'€
PRINCE PO: '€œExactly! I grew up with all types of people but I have met people out here who are some of the best neighbors anyone could have. I actually sat down and had conversations with them. They never grew up with Black people. I can'€™t expect them to know everything or not say some things that may be offensive because they grew up in a certain part of Texas where there weren'€™t any Black people. It'€™s my job and my duty to educate them because I don'€™t want them running around thinking that all we do is say, '€˜Yo! Yo! What'€™s up B?'€™, grab our nuts, and wear our hats sideways all the time.'€™ When I see white kids wearing their hats sideways and talking tha

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks to:

Blogger, Google and of course Jermy Leeuwis.

Flickr Photostream