CyHi The Prynce Talks ‘No Dope On Sundays,’ Creating a Nu World, and What It’s Like Working with Kanye West & Kendrick Lamar [Interview]
Los Angeles, CA – Grammy nominated rapper and songwriter CyHi The Prynce is known for his astonishing work with G.O.O.D. Music president Kanye West. His penmanship on tracks like, “New Slaves,” “All Day,” “Famous,” and critically acclaimed “Ultralight Beam” have gotten him recognition beyond the streets. Now after years of much anticipation, the Stone Mountain, GA rapper is prepping to release his debut solo album entitled, No Dope On Sundays.
The album in which CyHi coins as a documentary of his life and word to the streets is produced by Kanye. With features from Travis Scott and Schoolboy Q, there’s no doubt that the album will be a fan favorite. Hosting tracks like, “Nu Africa” and “Legend,” No Dope On Sundays is set to bring the consciousness we’ve grown to admire from CyHi and highlights the significance of the day of rest.
As CyHi The Prynce sat in the Puma headquarters amazed at the array of gifts laid out for him, he spoke on the inspiration behind the album’s title, positive habits inherited from Kanye, being a vessel, and what it will take to create a nu world.
What is the meaning and theme behind the title of your new album, No Dope on Sundays?
No Dope on Sundays is something that I’ve always wanted the power to do as an emcee, but it was something I always wanted my favorite rappers to do, like Jay-Z. I always felt like he could pull it off. It was something that I felt was powerful enough to influence our neighborhoods or the inner city not to indulge on a Sunday. We need to give that day back to our families and neighborhoods. It’s more so a real story. It’s a week of my life that I went through when I was 18. It’s a concept album as well and that’s why it has that name. I want the dope boys and the rest of the community to listen to it.
With you weighing heavily on Sunday being the day of importance it made me look at this as a street gospel and brought me to a place where I was able to compare it to the story of creation and the seventh day being the day of rest for God. Is that something you thought of or was I making that comparison on my own?
See that’s how the Lord works! You just taught me something! The Lord rested (laughs), but that’s what it is and that’s what I want guys to do. I’d like them to sit back and assess their situation, understand your family, and understand what will get your time. A lot of times that’s what will get us caught up in the situations we find ourselves in. We never assess the situations. We never take the time to go over what may have just happened.
Kanye has a large part in this project and the two of you are no strangers in the studio. Aside from working together, what have you learned from him as a man?
He taught me how to share more. Back when I started, I didn’t know that there were so many people that were a part of a song. At first, I thought it was just the engineer, the producer, writer and that’s it but there’s a lot more to it. The way that he delegates the percentages and shares the royalties with everybody…your role might not have been that big, but the fact that you were there was what he respects. So he would give points on a song because you were in the room. He respects the vibe and I took a liking to that. So if you were in the house that day, we try to make sure that you are compensated in some way. It’s like we respect this song so much, that even the man that’s outside washing the cars that day, we try to make sure he’s involved.
When I listen to music I try to see where it fits in my day to day and how I can relate to it. When I listened to “Nu Africa” I put myself in your shoes and I understood where you were coming from with wanting to return to the motherland and develop a new world – something better than what we have today. How do you convince those same people that you’re speaking to, some that have never left their neighborhoods, that it’s okay to start over?
See, that’s a part of the plan. I have to make sure I teach the young men how not to have felonies on their records so they can leave the country. A lot of times people say to me, “Hey CyHi! You never tell them to stop doing this…” I always tell them the smartest way to do it. I’m not against a dude in the trap, but it should be rules and regulations to it. The hot thing now is running off on the plug twice – that was a cardinal sin for us. You gon’ blow the whole thing for us. You’re going to go blow that little money because you got it for free, but then be right back looking for the next plug. It was just those values that were instilled in me growing up that a lot of fathers were not able to do for their sons. I feel like it’s my job and my duty to give them that guidance. All of that is what No Dope On Sundays is about and what my movement is about.
You hinted at a possible collaboration with Kendrick via Instagram. When can we expect to see that?
Well, that’s something that I’ve always wanted to do. It’s crazy because when we did the XXL cover, Kendrick came to my hotel room and we were playing music for each other. I remember it was me, him, Schoolboy (Q) and I think Jay Rock or YG playing music for one another. I love him like a brother and I think he’s super dope.
You’re currently on tour with Lil’ Wayne and just yesterday he ended a show unexpectedly due to a fan throwing a drink at him. If that were you would you have done the same?
[Contemplating his answer]…you’re penalizing the entire crowd over one person’s stupidity.
Yeah, but if we were to go whoop him then we’d penalize the whole crowd too so either way it goes […] if we whoop his ass it’s going to cost us a quarter of a million dollars, the show will be over with or I can just walk off stage and the show will be over with. It’s a tough decision, but artists throw water on the crowd all the time, it just depends on the kind of artist it is. If it’s Travis Scott I don’t think he’d give a shit because he’s throwing things too. There’d be an entire water fight in there with him, but everyone deals with things in their own way. Like he said, “I’m rich, so if I have any of my guys come do something to you that’ll be on me,” so I think it was the best thing for him to do at that time.
You’re very open when talking about spirituality in your music. How has your relationship with God grown within this project?
I don’t know if our relationship can grow any further than it already has. I’m so touched by the Lord, it reeks out of my skin. We’re past the belief part. We are on a mission now. He already knows we are together. Now it’s just about accomplishing the mission that he needs me to do. That’s the biggest thing. I want to say this…I want to let my brothers know that ain’t nothing soft or sucker about being spiritual or understanding who your God is and being submissive to him. I’ve been in shootouts where guys have yelled out, “God, don’t let me die!” He didn’t say, “CyHi, don’t let me die!” (laughs) It’s like we all have that, it’s about exercising it. That’s the thing about knowing who our leader is and listening to those who are speaking the word because a guy like me who have been through those situations, still going through it will smoke a blunt with you right after we pray together. At the same time we front line. I’m front line so God gives me that pass. I might go into a club and change this guy’s life for good, but I would not have met him if I didn’t come into this club or if I wasn’t in these environments. I walk amongst the wilderness.
Last question – We know that Kanye is all over this project, but who else can we expect an appearance from?
Oh, G.O.O.D. Music! I don’t want to say too much, but Trav (Travis Scott), Schoolboy (Q)…Kanye is executive producing it. It’s going to be a family affair. I don’t want to say too much cause when I release this track ya’ll are going to be like, “Whoa! Bruh did that?” You’re going to be super excited.