Scarface Clarifies Remarks About J. Prince & Rap-A-Lot Records (Video)
Last week, Scarface addressed his lengthy past relationship with Houston, Texas-based independent label Rap-A-Lot Records. As a member of the Geto Boys, Scarface (as Akshen) was brought aboard in the late 1980s. In the years since, he became Rap-A-Lot’s flagship artist, releasing an acclaimed and extensive solo catalog, in addition to launching the group Facemob, and overseeing a variety of emerging artists. Stemming from a conversation with Noisey, Scarface spoke out against four albums released under his name that he did not sanction. Scarface reflected of those releases, “If anything, I feel like [J. Prince] was trying to ruin my career with cut-away material that never ever made the album. Just a totally disrespectful dude when it came to your shit.” He added some points about character. “J didn’t give a fuck about you. He gave a fuck about him. He didn’t give a fuck about your family. He gave a fuck about his. He didn’t give a fuck who you fed. He only fed his people. That’s real shit. I’m not making this shit up.”
Additionally, the veteran MC alluded to label founder James “J.” Prince’s decision to ramp up quantity in the 1990s, changing the storied label’s image and arguably, its quality of music.
Following what ‘Face considers a misinterpretation of his remarks regarding his former boss and mentor, he spoke with VladTV about the true relationship. “That’s family business,” said the MC, who last released Emeritus with Rap-A-Lot in 2008. “On a personal level, that’s my brother. That’s my blood. That’s my reason.” Scarface was discovered, as a teenager with rapping, dancing, and DJ ambitions, by Prince, a used car salesman who had launched the Ghetto Boys to lead his fledgling label. “A lot of mothafuckas wanted to be like Mike, growing up; I wanted to be like J,” said Scarface, referring to Gatorade’s famed Michael Jordan campaign theme song. The MC, who will release Deeply Rooted this week (September 4), just his third studio effort in almost 30 years not to carry the Rap-A-Lot jacket. “He was raised by wolves, and I was raised by that wolf…I’m cut from that cloth.” In Vlad’s studio, Scarface summed up his journey as impossible without Prince’s help. “That nigga is the reason that I left my grandmother’s house, and am sittin’ here talkin’ to you in Los Angeles, California. Would I ever turn my back? Nah, that ain’t how I’m built.”
J. Prince, with more than 30 years in Rap music, has been deeply responsible for not just the Geto Boys, but an instrumental figure in the careers of Devin The Dude, Trae Tha Truth, Z-Ro, Bun B, Big Mike, Pimp C, Tela, Seagram, and producer Mike Dean. Prince’s son, Jas Prince, also a Rap-A-Lot exec, has been involved with the career development of Drake. Throughout those 30 years, J. Prince has honed a reputation for strong-arm business tactics. In 2007, he was accused of orchestrating an attack on a studio owner in Houston over an incident related to Bun B. Famous for his on-album monologues calling out federal agents and peers, in 2015, Prince released an audio diatribe titled “Courtesy Call.” This track took a public stance against onetime associates Lil Wayne, Puff Daddy, and Suge Knight, in addition to publicly supporting Drake, following an altercation.
Given that history, Vlad asks Scarface if his clarification remarks come after a discussion with his former partner. “I mean, we ain’t really have a conversation, but we know where we at with it. He addressed a few issues that kinda concerned him. And I wanted to make sure that everything came out the way it was supposed to,” said ‘Face. While he specifically denounced the terms “condemn” and “slam,” as used in some media headlines, the MC maintained the gist of his remarks to Noisey, just with different language. “In all actuality, that shit is just business. Legally, it’s right. Morally, as an artist, I feel like it’s wrong. I wouldn’t just take somebody’s shit and just throw it out there like that.” That statement refers to aforementioned albums such as the gold-certified 1993 LP, The World Is Yours and 2001’s Last Of A Dying Breed, in addition to two others.
However, while the story-line could be perceived as a former employee criticizing a former employer, Scarface emphasized the elements of the relationship that will not change. “Fuck him being the CEO of Rap-A-Lot, he’s my brother.”