Since CyHi The Prynce’s latest mixtape, Black Hystori Project, dropped back in February, the hip hop world has been in a frenzy over it. At this stage in his career, CyHi is known for always coming correct with the lyrics. But after listening to Black Hystori Project, CyHi has clearly stepped his lyrical game up two notches. Now, only four months into the year, debates are already circulating over whether Black Hystori Project is the best mixtape of 2014. And as of right now, CyHi is without doubt holding the belt. Recently the Delerme Discussion got an opportunity to catch up with the champ to discuss his critically acclaimed mixtape, Black Hystori Project.
Tony Delerme: What prompted you to make Black Hystori Project?
CyHi The Prynce: My little nephew wanted to do a black history project on me and the teacher told him he couldn’t because I wasn’t important enough. That kind of rubbed me the wrong way. So I knew that when Black History Month came back around that I would potentially do it. I placed a mood board up on the wall and started putting pictures up of people like 2Pac, Marcus Garvey and Basquiat. All of them are different leaders that I embody within my music. Once that put me in the mood, I started telling my producers what type of tracks I wanted. When I got them, I started writing raps to it and that was the Black Hystroi Project.
Tony Delerme: Do you feel there’s an even balance in hip hop between substance filled and non-substance filled songs?
CyHi The Prynce: There isn’t a lot of balance. I feel like Atlanta neglects artist like Andre 3000. He’s the biggest artist we ever had and it’s like we don’t even claim him until it comes into a real conversation about lyricist. But with artist like J. Cole, Kendrick and Big K.R.I.T., I feel hip hop is slowly but surely coming back around towards real lyricism.
Tony Delerme: “Mandela” is probably the most powerful song on Black Hystori Project. What was your mind state when you made that?
CyHi The Prynce: What’s crazy is that I’ve been wanting to make “Mandela”. I didn’t know what I wanted to name it, but I definitely knew the beat. I actually produced the beat myself. One of my favorite shows growing up was Shaka Zulu, so I sampled the intro to it. The beat came out so cold that I thought to myself, what topic could be just a big? I looked up at the mood board and saw Mandela. So I was like, ok, let’s go, Mandela it is.
Tony Delerme: A lot of people are saying that this is your best work to date. Would you agree?
CyHi The Prynce: Yeah, I would say that too. All of my other mixtapes were just people sending me beats. And a lot of times, the beat selection wouldn’t always fit my style but that was all I could get so I had to do it anyways. With this project I found a couple of producers that I really liked and I was able to match the emotion, lyrically, with my production. So yes, I do feel like this is my best all-around project to date.
Tony Delerme: Listening to the mixtape, it sounds like you made it a point to lyrically turn it up a notch. Did you feel like you had something to prove when you made Black Hystori Project?
CyHi The Prynce: Well, I don’t think you’d want to put your favorite rapper in a cypher with me. If I spit 32 bars and then you spit your 32 bars. You gonna be real nervous when my 32 bars are over with. And that’s what Kanye wanted me to prove. Kanye was always like, man, why are you always being so humble? Fuck that! Go at these folks throat! So I said ok, I got you and Black Hystori Project is what I came back with.
Tony Delerme: What was Kanye’s reaction to the final cut of Black Hystori Project?
CyHi The Prynce: He loved it actually. He loved the concept and the energy of it.
Tony Delerme: Are there any songs that didn’t make the final cut, for Black Hystori Projcet, that you may be dropping here and there on the net?
CyHi The Prynce: Yup, I’m actually waiting on a couple of features to come back and then I’ll start dropping them.
Tony Delerme: Why didn’t you make Black Hystori Project an official album?
CyHi The Prynce: Because you have labels (Def Jam) and they gotta go through all there little petty decisions. I just wanted to do this to be able to make an album.
Tony Delerme: Do you have a timeline on when we could possibly expect an album?
CyHi The Prynce: Actually, I’m secretly working on it now. I can’t give you all the information because it’s still at a fresh start. They’re just now saying we can do it. So now I’m getting my budgets and who I want to work with together. Thanks to this mixtape, it kind of opened their eyes up.
Tony Delerme: When you say “they’re” and “their” do you mean the label (Def Jam)?
CyHi The Prynce: Yeah, my label expects me to be like any other Atlanta rapper. Go sell a bunch of dope, put it on the radio, take it to the strip club, throw your money in the air and tell the motherfuckers call me when you got this many spins. That shit is so wack to me. I’m really hip hop and that’s what I had to prove. It’s being able to prove to these folks that this real hip hop shit ain’t gone nowhere.
Tony Delerme: Can we expect a Black Hystori tour coming up anytime soon?
CyHi The Prynce: Yes you can. We should be releasing dates in a few days actually. If you thought the mixtape was good, the show is gonna be mind-blowing, trust me.
Tony Delerme: After having mixtape as successful as Black Hystori Projcet, what’s the next move?
CyHi The Prynce: Once I go on tour, I’m thinking about putting another mixtape out. I don’t know exactly what I’m a call it yet. But I just want to put one more tape out to hit’em hard with and give myself a little more time to do the album. What you’ve heard so far, I have a lot more of that and better. I feel like being able to find the producers that you really want to work with is an amazing thing to any artist. That was the biggest thing in my career and now that I found the few producers that I like, we’re just making a whole bunch of music now.