One of the more authentic individuals you will encounter in the Big Apple indie scene Prince Hood has always possessed a good vibe and quality talent. His contributions as an artist, producer, and executive have garnered great respect on the circuit. This past July he slid out a project titled "Appreciated," and I most certainly had to catch up with him to get the breakdown of the music and shed light on his journey in Hip Hop. Check out the interview below:
Jason Bourne: As I was going through your biography, it was refreshing to get a clearer picture of your journey into Hip-Hop. This was essentially plan B in a sense, seeing as though what happened in sports?
Prince Hood: Swave. My life is filled with Plan B, C, and Ds. Music has always been a consistent passion of mine. I'm confident that I will be successful in music. I quit my freshman year of High school at Lafayette, and by quitting I let my whole team down. All my friends were counting on me. I learned from that. I became mindful of my actions and how they, directly and indirectly, affect those around me. I'm dedicated and I need dedicated people around me. I played Division III ball in college and I was dedicated to the sport, my team. I was dedicated to AP, Brainstorm, and Dub when it came to music. I knew what I could bring to the table. I think once I came home from school is when I evolved into a piece of the Prince Hood you see today.
Jason Bourne: There are a lot of people who would've not have had the resilience to rebound and identify a resource that close to them and utilize it to transition (this is about Sa Dubble and Brainstorm).
Prince Hood: I was lucky in a sense. Dubb was my roommate and I was a fan of his music. Brainstorm welcomed me with open arms. He was a young OG building a team with June and the rest of the camp. I was humble I wanted to learn the art, the business, the technology, I played my part and tried not to step on toes except for the time I deleted hundreds of his beats off his motif, which he brings up till now.
Jason Bourne: Your initial inception was more on the executive side, doing management and handle other roles in support of artists correct?
Prince Hood: Yeah. I was involved and known around campus and I was connecting with more people in the college parties all over Boston. I was filled with ideas. I would come with the, "You know what we should do..." stuff every time we linked up. They liked my ideas and I wasn't afraid to put in the work. I used my connections to get the music out. We started seeing success and then we graduated and everyone's goals changed. I still had my mind on that brass ring. I came hungry to work. That’s what motivated me to link with Ray and Drahma Mag, also 456.
Jason Bourne: How nerve wrecking to put aside your own goals musically in favor of the greater good for all parties associated with the brands you were a part of?
Prince Hood: It's not that nerve wrecking. I'm naturally humble and unselfish. I'm somewhat of a realist but then again an optimist. I knew that I didn't know everything. I didn't have the connections in NYC. Leaders have to know how to follow at times. So I followed and worked with those who let me soak up game. I was still doing Management for AP artists as I was producing 456 artists and other artists around the hood. I had a lot of sleepless nights not only for the greater good of the entities that I was a part of but for myself. Back then I didn't want to be an artist. I wanted to produce, Mix and broker deals. Now I've added artist to my title.
Jason Bourne: Talk to us about that night when you were sitting there with History and V Mack and you guys settled on doing your own thing and going full steam with H Squared.
Prince Hood: Before our fall out we knew we were going to do our own thing eventually. You could see the divide and Hi$tory and I was clicking heavy. 456 was like the new Wu and me and Hi$tory was like Rae and Ghost. Me and Syn used to be like brothers but other people got involved. Head got big headed. You know how it goes. My sister knew about the turmoil. We had a meeting at Arch diner about a showcase we did and I had my reservations. Hi$tory wasn't happy. We got released. Nobody had our back. We knew they were serious. We sat in my whip. Hi$tory wanted to get the strap and light the place up but I was motivated and I wasn't going to let all the work we did together for them to go to waste. We put one in the air and meditated on it. We headed to the crib. Me my two sister’s mom dad and my uncle shared a 1 bedroom apt in the Junction at this time because my mom's house caught fire. We came in and updated V Mac on what happened and she was happy for us. She knew our potential. I had a great idea. That night she came up with the name H squared for Hi$tory and Hood. 2 H's. I told them both what my end goal was: to be an Executive and Producer. Behind the scenes. I said we can do the duo thing but I want to be known for my production and Hi$tory to be known as the rapper. We agreed to drop two projects as a duo. Then put out Hi$tory's solo with all tracks produced by me followed by my solo and back a to H Squared album then we'll see what happens. V Mac and Sheena T were down to help. They created social media accounts to network and find opportunities for us. Once we linked with DJ NO and Don Demarco we were moving,
Jason Bourne: Who had the foresight to say let’s start a label as well?
Prince Hood: I had a business degree, but I didn't know that much about the music business. I learned from Ludacris to own your shit. Own a piece of what you are a part of. So the LLC was a no-brainer. After that, we signed up with ASCAP and created Swave Over Everything Publishing and started learning about Publishing, licensing, copyrights and everything. I try to handle the business side by we still 50/50 partners.
Jason Bourne: As an artist what would you say you take into the greatest consideration when working on the careers of guys like Punch Loc and GG Adonis who have trusted you guys by signing to you all?
Prince Hood: Well now GG is going by Briel Giovanni. I've done a lot of music with Briel and Punch. I know their strengths and what they bring to the table. Punch is so raw and unapologetic. Briel is cocky and sensitive at the same time. We've been through a lot. They are my family. They are part of #Swavegang. So, of course, I take great consideration with them. "The Hood Strikes Back" by Punch Loc is one of the best projects I've put together. I haven't signed any of them to Swavorland. I've only signed H Squared now known as Prince Hood & Hi$tory.
Jason Bourne: "MixtapeIsh" was your last effort, and you set a good pace with Swave On It. This time you are back with a more eclectic project. Why have you gone in this direction with the music?
Prince Hood: Yeah Swave. We had "Freedom" (Remix) with a dope ass video directed by me and Ace. "I Know She Does", "Sent Up", "Swave On It" and "Rack$". That is a dope lineup of music. "MixtapeISH" was supposed to be a mix of original and Industry tracks that I was putting out for free as my solo project that I mentioned before. I jumped in front of Hi$tory based on the original plan. I was designing different covers and narrowed it down to 17 tracks and I was thinking whether I should have a DJ host it or not. It became frustrating and I was taking way too long. At the same time, I linked up with new producers like Eloheem and Tony Tone. I slipped into artist mode and I would write and record organically. I just let shit flow swave. The music I was making had more feeling. I was experimenting with mixes and plugins. I fell in love with "Love Sick." The songs show my appreciation of music, the people around me, and the experiences I've had. That's why I call my new project "Appreciated". I feel it’s a personal project where, after you hear it, you're left with a piece of me. And hopefully, Y'all can appreciate that. I snuck it out July 9th with no marketing or promotion. I wanted to see if it would pick up speed on its own. I haven't got the numbers back yet but it's doing well and I’m getting great feedback. I’m working with Director Ruth on the visuals which should be out in the coming weeks. #Appreciated