Sean Price’s Jesus Price Supastar Brought Believers To Rap Paradise 10 Years Ago (Audio)
Ten years ago this Monday (January 30, 2007), the second coming of Rap lord and savior Sean Price occurred. On Jesus Price Supastar, his sophomore solo album, P definitely took wack MCs to “Church,” raining hellfire on the game. The immaculate LP is a solid 45 minutes of surefire rapping embellished by Five Percenter terminology, other religious references and P’s signature sharp sense of humor—and does, in fact, play out something like a lyrical apocalypse for fake, corny, funny-style, industry-bred Hip-Hop heathens.
Although he may have been channeling Christ, make no mistake, Big Ruck wasn’t nobody’s son, and he clarified his role on the album’s 9th Wonder-produced single “P-Body” featuring Heltah Skeltah right-hand disciple Rock: “I fear no man but God / Matta fact, duke, I am the God.” Although it could easily be misconstrued as a simple boastful statement, like many of the album’s lyrics (and the track’s title itself), the line is actually indicative of P’s religious beliefs at the time. Before converting to Islam in 2009, Sean was a member of the Five-Percent Nation—an offshoot of the Nation of Islam whose founder, Clarence 13X, taught his followers that the Black man and God are one and the same.
That being said, P was not known to be humble about his skill as a lyricist, nor should he have been. Beloved for his clever bravado, the MC refers to himself as “God” or “Jesus” interchangeably throughout the project, most blatantly on “Da God” featuring fellow Boot Camp Clik member Buckshot and Brand Nubian’s Sadat X. Despite its religious context, however, the LP is anything but preachy and P’s overall tone is far more playful than prophetic.
In fact, Ruck doesn’t get significantly personal or introspective until “Mess You Made” featuring Brooklyn Academy’s Block McCloud, the album’s very last track. The song builds on some of the issues he expressed in “Brokest Rapper You Know,” a brutally honest 28 bars off the MC’s solo debut about the financial instability of his Underground Rap career. Even when touching on personal problems, however, P takes a humorous, self-deprecating approach: “I gotta cut corners in order to look good / Bathing Ape jeans, a jacket and matching hood / Niggas think I’m fly, that I’m actually all good / but I bought it from an African traffickin’ mad goods.” Jokes aside, Sean does get real on the track, expressing his willingness to do whatever necessary to take care of his family and referencing his pre-Monkey Barz day job as a construction worker: “The drugs that I sold got fucked up, God / so it’s Carhartt suits and construction jobs / It ain’t Rap dough, but the money is cool / Gotta make sure Elijah ain’t bummy in school.”
Even after his tragic death in 2015, P continues to provide for his wife Bernadette and their children. In the wake of his passing, Duck Down Music, P’s career-long record label, has crowd-sourced almost $100,000 for his family—including, according to Duck Down co-CEO Dru Ha’s eulogy for the late MC, “a very generous donation” from Jay-Z and $10,000 from P’s would’ve-been label mate Eminem (before he blew up, Em almost signed to Duck Down after Dru saw him perform at a Lyricist Lounge event in New York City). Although he never saw widespread commercial success, P remains an extraordinarily influential figure in the Hip-Hop history books—a true rapper’s rapper—and one of the greats, in his own right. With the fittingly titled posthumous Imperius Rex album on its way (“rex” being Latin for king), it looks like Jesus Price will continue to resurrect.
#BonusBeat: Check out “Rap Professor,” which Duck Down released on the anniversary of P’s death, in anticipation of his upcoming posthumous Imperius Rex, last August.
“riP!” to the God, from all of us at Ambrosia For Heads.