Exclusive – CyHi The Prynce has long been affiliated with Kanye West and his G.O.O.D. Music label, although he was never officially signed to the imprint. So it came as somewhat as a surprise when CyHi released a song in 2015 called “Elephant In The Room” in which he shoots up the Def Jam Recordings offices, kidnaps Kanye and throws him in the truck of his car while dissing anyone who got in his way.
Using a sample from Cage The Elephant’s “Shake Me Down,” the song was uploaded to SoundCloud with a G.O.O.D. Music logo for the cover art, making it look especially disrespectful.
“Hey ‘Ye, do you know what it feel like?/To really be signed to you in real life?” he spits in the second verse. “… Sit the fuck down Mr. West, I ain’t done yet/While you’re in your little Lambo on Sunset/I’m riding with a gun next to me.”
But it turned out the actual “elephant in the room” was essentially a marketing ploy to get people talking about CyHi’s debut album. As he explained at the time, “What if I told y’all @kanyewest gave me the beat and the concept and I played it for him prior to releasing it?”
During a recent interview with HipHopDX‘s Editor-In-Chief Trent Clark and Senior Writer Kyle Eustice, CyHi The Prynce elaborated on the topic and revealed the song was intended to end up on an collaborative album between the two, à la Eminem and Dr. Dre.
“You know what, that was for an album we were doing,” he said with a smirk. “We were going to do this like Dr. Dre/Eminem album and that was a song Kanye actually gave me. So, I wanted to make it feel like that kind of vibe when I did it. You know how Eminem used to always go at Dre? That’s what I wanted to do.”
Although that particular project never came to fruition (at least not yet), Kanye and CyHi have teamed up on numerous projects over the years, including Ye’s 2010 masterpiece My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. But when asked what his favorite Kanye project was, CyHi struggled to name one.
“To me, I think all his albums are great,” he said. “I really feel like a lot of times what he does is he pushes the envelope. When you first come in the music game, you kind of want to be like everybody else. You kind of want to fit the algorithm, fit the mold, fit what a rapper looks like, act like, talk like. Then once you’ve won the 21 Grammys and all the other great things you’ve done, now you’re just trailblazing. I think with him, it’s just that’s where he’s at. He comes with a new idea and people get to sit and study it, and then they try to make a better version of it.
“Steve Jobs didn’t invent the telephone. He didn’t invent the cell phone. He just made a better version of it. You get what I’m saying? I think that’s what you’re hearing. You’re hearing an artist that get to sit at home, and they have they own equipment now and they don’t have to go to the studio. They may make a better version of the original version.”
He continued, “When I seen Basquiat paintings, I thought they were terrible when I first seen them. My five-year-old nephew could do this. But then when somebody explains it to you, when you see the pain in that stroke, when you understand where it ain’t like ‘I’mma write this lyric down’ versus ‘I’mma just go in here and say how I feel,’ because a lot of times. Ye tells me, ‘English is not our original language.’
“So, you want to hear him rap this original language so well where now it’s feeling like … I even heard him say one time where people didn’t like Yeezus, but Yeezus is The Weeknd and Travis Scott. They just perfected that sound and made it mainstream. When he did it at the most original, punk rock way to do it. They put the cool factor on top of it and now it’s a great album.”
CyHi then cited Kanye’s 2019 Jesus Is King album, which won Best Contemporary Christian Music Album at the 63rd Annual Grammy Awards last month, bringing his Grammy count to 22. Snoop Dogg is admittedly the only other secular rapper to put out a Christian album, 2018’s Bible of Love, and debut at No. 1 on Billboard’s Gospel Albums chart (although Jesus Is King debuted at No. 1 on both the Billboard 200 and the Gospel Albums chart simultaneously).
“When you’re doing something for the first time … A person told me, ‘What would you rather be?’” he said. “‘The first or the best?’ In my head, I was like ‘the best,’ then I thought about it. I was like, ‘The first.’ She was like, ‘You’re right because it’s always going to be somebody better than the best, but you can never replace the first.’ So sometimes, things that are done the first time may not seem like it’s that dope because the iPhone 2 is coming. Then the iPhone 3, then the iPhone 4. Now, we’re at iPhone 15.
“If you go back and look at the first iPhone, you be like, ‘What the hell is this? This is an ancient piece of material.’ But it was the start of FaceTime and Zoom and us having this interview. If it wasn’t for the first iPhone, we would not be able to have this interview right now. So, sometimes you gotta appreciate all the things because sometimes it’s maybe to spark the brain of somebody who can do it at a higher level like 2Pac would say.”
Check back with HipHopDX soon for more of our exclusive conversation with CyHi The Prynce. Until then, watch the latest clip up top.