Today marks a turning point in Hip Hop history. CyHi The Prynce has released his debut album No Dope On Sundays after years of grinding behind the scenes writing for G.O.O.D. Music and their star artist Kanye West, releasing elite level mix-tapes (7 to be exact), and becoming one of, if not the, greatest freestyle rappers today.
Part in reason for why he hasn’t received his just due can be chalked up to the game and the politics of it all. When you write for someone as big as West on not just one album but four (My Beautiful Dark and Twisted Fantasy, Watch The Throne, Yeezus, The Life of Pablo), you can imagine how some will do all they can to make sure you stay with them. However there is no bad blood or ill will. With this album, CyHi believes not only will he be able to break through the glass ceiling he’s been placed under, but, change the game and show the world why if God had an iPod CyHi would be on it.
For as many rappers as you can find with bars about the flashiness that rap can bring, CyHi The Prynce, born Cydel Young, makes sure to balance his rhymes with knowledge that will put listeners on game and not just the latest trend. If you need an example, checkout his verse on “So Appalled” that got Beyonce to ensure he signed with West.
No Dope On Sundays features a heavy track listing from West to 2 Chainz, BJ the Chicago Kid, Jagged Edge, ScHoolboy Q, Travis Scott, Ernestine Johnson, and more. Yet through it all, CyHi wants to bless the youth with knowledge and instituting new street laws while telling you his story.
What do you hope to accomplish with the release of No Dope On Sundays?
CyHi The Prynce: My raps, when I’m done rapping, will have accumulated and touched so many young brothers around the world that if I said no dope on Sundays, or Mondays, or Tuesdays…that’s law. I remember growing up that what Jay Z said was law. I don’t know if it might have been law or not but when Jay Z said no more jerseys, jerseys was done. When he said no 4.0 it’s the 4.6, the 4.0 was done. So, I always wanted to say enough in my music to have that have same influence on the culture, or the youth, or one person.
If I could save one life I’m Gucci with that. That was the biggest cause of the name of the album and then it [allowed] me to mix in who I am on the spiritual level in my life and how I deal with my spirituality and my street past where I combined it to actually make it here today. If it wasn’t for my upbringing I probably would have gotten lost with all my other partners and friends that lost their lives or that are in the penitentiary that’s still stuck in the same situation. I think bringing that together embodies who I am.
One thing I wanted to do with this album, by me being stagnated by so many different things, I didn’t want to start where I’m at now with my first album.
Why is that?
CyHi The Prynce: I wanted my first album to be when I was 18, 19. So these are stories that I’ve [accumulated]. I’m not even going to rap about where I’m at now for another five years.
Nas actually taught me how to rap.
You’ve got some great artists on this album, which song stands out the most to you?
CyHi The Prynce: The BJ The Chicago Kid record is probably my most favorite record on the album. It’s so personal to me. It’s called “80’s Baby” and I can’t wait until people hear it. The concept of me rapping form a a baby’s perspective from the stomach of their mother. It’s a dope topic. My mom didn’t know she had me until she was 6 months [pregnant]. Then she had to start eating right and stop partying and smoking weed.
So I know a lot of inner city kids went through the same thing or even tougher where your mom might be on certain drugs or your dad is not around so I wanted them to understand that the baby hears what’s going on. It hears you arguing with your husband or your guy or you in the club and not reading to it. That type of stuff affects him. So I think it was a dope concept for parenting and also for my struggle and what a lot of kids went through during the eighties.
But when I heardBut when I heard Nas, Scarface, and Jay Z, I was like oh. This is really a gladiator thing.
The record “Dat Side” with Kanye is different from your normal style. Was that intended?
CyHi The Prynce: Yeah because I don’t want the word of God to be underground. I don’t just want it be shit that just us listen to. I want the world to. God said when he comes back every ear shall hear and every eye shall see. I want it to be like that as well. But also, people don’t know I’m from Atlanta. When they hear me rap they think I’m from somewhere else. I was born and raised in Atlanta. I just didn’t take to music until I heard east coast rap.
When I was in Atlanta I used to dance to our music too, so I’m when I’m hearing Master P, or UGK, or Pastor Troy I liked it but it wasn’t nothing but club music. It wasn’t anything I wanted to go home and duplicate. But when I heard Nas, Scarface, and Jay Z, I was like oh. This is really a gladiator thing. This is really a battle of the minds. These dudes are thinking on scholar levels. When I heard Nas, I definitely thought he was a scholar from Dartmouth.
What was the first song that had you think along those lines?
CyHi The Prynce: Nas actually taught me how to rap. Check this out. I had a friend that taught me how to rap and people were saying I became just as good as him if not better. So we had to battle and he rapped a Nas rap. He went ‘How you like me now? I go blaow, It’s that shit that moves crowds making every ghetto foul, I might have took your first child, Scarred your life, or crippled your style I gave you power, I made you buck-wild.
From there I went damn bruh you gone talk to me like this? So what he did was rapping a lot of Nas raps and Jay Z raps to me and back then we didn’t have the internet. We didn’t know. So I thought he was the greatest rapper alive. All in my mind I was like, how do I match that? And I’m only 14 at the time. So I’m trying to figure out how do I match the lyricist of the year thinking it’s this random dude in my classroom.
So a few years later I’m in the car with one of my partners and he plays the song. I’m like oh you know my partner! My partner, in the car, like this Nas. You don’t know Nas. I”m like bruh that’s my partner. He’s like no, that’s Nas song. So when I heard it. By this time, everyone was saying CyHi was the coldest rapper in our area, i was just blessed that this dude was rapping. This was the year he won lyricist of the year. So I’m battling trying to be lyricist of the year and be better than him at 14. That’s probably why y’all see me today and think CyHi is crazy because that’s who I as going for. Shoutout to Nas.
Anything else on Nope Dope On Sundays?
CyHi The Prynce: Nope Dope On Sundays is coming November 17th and it’s something that I want to give the people from my hood and my city to help nuture those guys and big them up. The album is full of G.O.O.D. Music artists, Pusha T is definitely on the album. It’s one of those albums that you’re going to play throughout your day and all your life. It ain’t gonna be one that’s just overnight. This is definitely a classic.
For more on CyHi The Prynce and Nope Dope On Sundays stay up on all things Respect Magazine.