Traveling through the desert and they say there’s an oasis in Jamaica. In a search for the family of beat royals and lyric sovereigns who have rebuked the fraudulent kingship of shady success and the lavish pits of jigga jewelries. So we have to remain silent on this illegal underground excursion. The rulership fills the broadcasting frequencies with clips, tits and hip pharmaceuticals ordered in the copied caricatures of our art, genius, oppression and rebellion. The less we hear the more we will listen closer to the Original so off the radio, tube out the television and anti-socialize the media. Closer to successfully dream chasing in warrior status, we reach a Serengeti of acclaimed ambiance. Our minds and ears may just meet a master of ceremony in verbal matrimony, who protects the beautiful queens and works with his own justice league. Our preying on predatorial music past the tears of a soldier that come with sacrifice have awarded us a build with a prince of steel. A long way home but out here in Jamaica Queens I reclaim a lost hour in our music building with Prince Original…
Tell us about your MC origins.
PRINCE ORIGINAL: About God (7) years I ago I was with a brother named Animal—a J-Love affiliated artist—and he mentioned to me, ‘Prince, why don’t you take rhyming seriously?’ I always looked at it as something I can do but there were so many other things I was dealing with at that time I didn’t take the time out to invest in my own rhyme ability. Being a visual artist I could draw a picture but putting together a puzzle of matching words with rhymes. It was just being able to transform the nature of the Art. It’s the same. If you’re an artist, you’re an artist. For example, drawing and sculpturing is one and the same. The practice is different once you get involved but the same essence of the artist will always show in his work, regardless if he switches his medium. You have to learn the medium but once you learn it you can express your artistic ability through that form. So it’s something I had to go through with rhyming. It’s something I had in me but I had to mold the form and then had to bring out the artistic ability I had in another form, which was drawing. All into the rhyme form which I’m still grasping. I’m getting a good response from the public as of right now, God. I just will keep adding on to what I’m doing.
Word is bond, God.
PRINCE ORIGINAL: Now, I was running with a crew, J-Love’s crew, Outdoorsmen, with Meyhem Lauren, AG Da Coroner, Action Bronson. Some of my earlier affiliations when I started to rap and being around these brothers—they’re rhyming all the time, God. And also pardon self, one very important brother—Rest in Peace to the God Killa Sha. Me and him became very close before he passed. I’m seeing these brothers but the medium is also changing. Changing from cd to digital and the DJ is being wiped out at the time. Then it was J-Love. As far as meaning it wasn’t as fruitful as it used to be. They’ve had to move with the times from vinyl to wax to digital. I had to do something to go with the times. That was another push to the rhymes. I had to go past my nostalgic emotion for things and move on.
J-Love flooded 5 great LPs, including yours, all produced by him. How do you decide who gets what beats?
PRINCE ORIGINAL: What we do is we go through his beats. We’ll have sessions where he’ll play his beats for us. We’ll hear one and say, ‘what you doing with that?’ And that one gets put aside. It becomes a matter of picking. See who is using what beats for projects for others, if J-Love can deliver the beat. For this album, I was blessed with the beats from J and I took it upon myself. I go in with the mentality of, ‘just give me and I will work with it.’ I respect your craft. He gave me a surplus. I see a lot of brothers complain about beats but I’m striving to be an artist that can build on any beat. Even if its unorthodox I want to bring it out of myself.
Now I will say this is J-Love and he doesn’t have wack beats. Lots of guys, even if they’re good, have hit or miss beats but J-Love is extremely consistent.
PRINCE ORIGINAL: And I understand the appreciation for this brother’s work. So as an artist—from an artist’s perspective—I’m going to take what he gives me and work with whatever it is. And try to give him back the best product that I could give on that beat. I have a theme with each beat as each one tells its own story. As an artist we feel that beat and work to explain that feeling.
Tell me about the overall theme of this LP?
PRINCE ORIGINAL: The title of the album, One Life to Live, tells of the struggle I go through and still have. I try to give interludes to give a little perspective of the song like “Sacrifice.” They may not have caught it until I made those skits. But when they heard it they’ll see it. It may take you six months listening to that song because I try to paint a picture with it. This album is for those who went through this and those who went through this. The next album I probably won’t do too many talking between songs, just straight skits, movie skits. They say to be cautious with that because of copy writes but I still would like to strive to add them on the next album.
Where was One Life to Live recorded?
PRINCE ORIGINAL: All in Goblin Studios. All my projects so big shout out to Goblin because without him. He’s a really big soldier. I see what he goes through there and his struggles. I even gave him a shout out on the album because without his patience with us at times I wouldn’t have gotten through the project. I gotta lotta support for this project including Knowledge Born. He’s the older God you see in my videos and he was with Public Enemy.
“Beautiful Queen” is a powerful song.
PRINCE ORIGINAL: The pretext to that song was I was looking at the songs on my album so far and I didn’t have any songs for the women. That is expressing how I feel about women. I want them to understand I’m not here to exploit sisters on any song. I’m here to uplift sisters. I may write a song about a bad relationship or something like that, God but I’m not the one to be calling wisdoms (women) things. First of all I have a nineteen year old daughter and a sixteen year old daughter and I have two little Queens coming up. So I’m being visualized right now, everything is being watched and recorded. I have to be very cautious in what I say on how I carry myself. Not to mention I have an ol’ Earth (mother) and a wisdom (woman). I had to do something for women that won’t make my wisdom mad at me and at the same time cover the topic of all the women out there. I wanted to first put my stake in the ground with that topic so I first made “Beautiful Queen” to show brothers what potential Queens are. That’s exactly what this is. It’s an uplifting song and I’ll have another one on the next album with a little bit more detail.
Every album I want to have at least one song for women. As I go on I will have songs to uplift them. I have a daughter named Isis so I might just do a song about Isis, giving some history of the Queen in ancient Kemit. Those elements that people need to know but nobody is doing but I’m seeing if I can sneak it in. God, you might start with too much of that talk and you could lose them. So you hit them with a few jewels in between. Throw a name out there so they can hear it. Eventually, over time, those who are seeking will search for it and learn about it themselves.
Tell me about the “Tearz of a Soldier” video.
PRINCE ORIGINAL: The three brothers in that video are all veterans. The first brother is the God, Knowledge Born and the other on the side, with scars on him, is Prince Solomon, one of the S1W’s for Public Enemy. Now we know the Father of our Nation (Allah, founder of the 5% Nation of Gods and Earths) was a veteran and to pay homage to him. To pay homage to those brothers who fought for this country—despite whatever influence we have in this country of the United States. To all the brothers that returned to the essence (died) and just traveled out there. As well as the brothers like us that are in the streets struggling as soldiers in the streets. We’re dying like we’re overseas in these wars. To put a pretext out about being a soldier in New York. That’s why I had the New York camo fitted on. At the end of the video those are live pictures that they allowed me to use of them out there at war. I wanted to add those things because I’m not a soldier technically for the U.S. army and they take that serious if there aren’t any affiliates with you. That was out in the Veterans Memorial out in Eisenhower Park in Long Island.
Tell me about the sequencing. It ends in a triumphant battle stance.
PRINCE ORIGINAL: To be honest, J-Love put that sequence to all of that. I put the concepts out but J has an ear where he can listen to the songs and see how it ought to be arranged. I didn’t even know I had such a logical sequence to it all. I recorded songs just as they came. I went through a lot, going through jail, running my own business ventures and taking care of my family. But everything I went through help me make this album. If you haven’t been through anything it’s almost like you have nothing to write about.
Do you have to suffer to make good music?
PRINCE ORIGINAL: You don’t have to do that because it’s going to happen to you anyway. Strive to be righteous and you will deal with those problems. Whether you do negative or positive you will deal with those elements either way. Now, I’d rather go the positive route so I can understand what is happening. When something negative comes it can’t override positivity. We all make errors but we strive to get it right. And that’s my stress. When you deal with these positive elements, God, that’s a better struggle than being negative and having it come back to you.
Where do you see your MCing at?
PRINCE ORIGINAL: Where I’m currently at in my rhymes, I’m still at the playground stage. You know the kid in the sandbox.
So after this One Life to Live album, you feel you are at an early stage of development on the mic?
PRINCE ORIGINAL: Yes, even though I hadn’t really realized it. you even put word on it in your work.
I did. I said I could hear you developing.
PRINCE ORIGINAL: That’s why I said when I read your review that it’s like the God knows me. That’s something that’s true. The best is still yet to come and when I have more time to write it will really develop. I just use every moment to write verses.
Tell me about “Master of Ceremony” where your cadence, tempo and control really peaks.
PRINCE ORIGINAL: That song I felt good. In that video I took a trip to South Carolina, Myrtle beach. Everything you see in that video happened that way. Each video I try to have a structure and the element of the seeds (children) and the wisdom (women) in it. I’m going to try to keep it going with the seeds—Knowledge, Wisdom and Understanding. In everything I do I’m trying to show you all the elements. You see the knowledge, see the wisdom and you see the understanding. That’s going to be my niche. I’m not trying to get caught up in the hype making negative songs and talking about what everyone is talking about. I want to do songs with some type of complexity to it or a scenario within. Something I’ve been through or is happening now. That’s basically the whole essence of Prince Original.
Some people may do this by chance but not overtly as you are. There is a plan here.
PRINCE ORIGINAL: I’m doing this for the love of Hip Hop. I already make money on my own so I don’t need their money. So I don’t need them there to give me a bank loan to pay back. If this is the case, what am I doing this for? People look at me in my neighborhood and are like, “you going to be a big time rapper?!!” They don’t understand I’ve seen what happens to the legends. I’ve sat with many and seen what they go through. They still have difficulties and go through it. You have a perspective of what you expect when you are a fan but it’s different when you are an artist yourself. This really ain’t a picnic. There’s lots of hardships. You really have to have a lot of love for it. I’m here to write a song and pass a message to people’s minds.
Making your own music your way is difficult.
PRINCE ORIGINAL: My foundation since I started is to write rhymes and perform them in public. It was an interesting introduction, seeing what moves in the street, seeing what people gravitate to. For the Gods, it’s always been a struggle for us. You ain’t gonna escape it in the music or in the street. This is my method of striving to do and teach through the music. What are we gonna do? Are we going to deviate from that and poison the people? I’m not going to do that. See what I’m saying, God? I would’ve sold shit on the street if I wanted to poison the people, if I wanted to add on to prostitution and all these illnesses to the people? But I fund my own music. I pay for my videos. I don’t make money off of music. I give money to music. I haven’t made a dollar yet. I just fund it to do what I’m doing.
I see this but I ask you, why?
PRINCE ORIGINAL: This gave me a chance to vent. A form of spiritual ventilation. A feeling that comes over your soul after you deliver a message through the mic in the studio. You could see yourself writing a rhyme and configuring it but delivering it, God, to how you feel in your heart. Then leave the room. That’s the most amazing feeling that the physical composition can attain. Aside from other things like the self equality (sex). There’s no feeling that can match that. A full completion of the mind and thought when you deliver a rhyme in proper form. You know you stumble over it a few times but once you master it, like you learn your lesson, it’s a good feeling. Especially if you do it right. It’s a priceless state and you can’t put a payment on it.