CyHi Details His Influence & Role In The Creation Of Kanye West’s Discography (Video)
Five-time Grammy nominated rapper CyHi The Prynce will finally be releasing his debut album, No Dope On Sunday, this summer. Having already released singles “Legend” and “Nu-Africa,” the Atlanta rapper has dropped a solid body of work in the form of ten mixtapes, as well as his appearances on G.O.O.D. Music’s compilation album, Cruel Summer. But with his next project, he will be officially venturing into his solo career as a recording artist on a major scale, and he’s got plenty of experience as an artist to make it a formidable piece of music. In speaking with Ambrosia for Heads, CyHi detailed not only the thinking behind his upcoming LP, but also the backstory of some of the most influential moments in his professional career, namely in working alongside Kanye West. Through contributions both credited and otherwise, CyHi left his impression on all of West’s more recent catalog, in ways both forthright and lowkey.
About three minutes into the interview, CyHi begins to detail how it came to be that he was signed by Kanye West to G.O.O.D. Music, over the strength of an online video. CyHi says it all began with his self-made video for “Studder,” which eventually led to his being invited to work on a record with Yelawolf. “Somehow it got in Kanye’s hands. I think he was on the internet,” he explains. “He went and seen Yelawolf, but he didn’t know about me yet. And when he seen my verse come, god bless your heart,” he says looking directly into the camera. As history tells us, CyHi and Kanye’s meeting would lead to CyHi’s appearance on My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, with “So Appalled” introducing him to his biggest audience yet. Prior to its recording, CyHi said he visited ‘Ye at the studio in Hawaii, where upon entering the room, CyHi couldn’t help but notice Kanye blasting his music. “Once I went in there, he told me how much he loved me, how much I inspired him, how much I pushed him to, you know, write the best raps for My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy,” he recalls.
After that, he says, everyone left the room except for the engineer and himself, and it was then CyHi began writing a hook for “So Appalled,” which eventually turned into writing a verse. But it was a certain well-known singer who played a major hand in solidifying his business relationship with West. “They told me Beyoncé heard my verse and said ‘I don’t know who that is, but you need to sign him.’ And that was the beginning,” he explains. He goes on to make the statement that he “was the first artist- or one of the first artists – to get signed by another major artist. Then, you know, Rick Ross signed Meek…T.I.signed Iggy. But my initial signing triggered all those signings.”
It’s then that CyHi is asked to comment on his role behind the scenes of recording Fantasy, and he may have been more involved with Kanye’s discography as a whole than Heads may realize. “A lot of people don’t know that I was in a bad situation back then with another label, and ‘Ye was in the process of trying to get me out of it,” shares CyHi. “So, in the meantime, he was just like ‘yo, can you help, you know, with some of the projects. I was the dude who could always, like, rap on the spot. I could always give energy to a song, give dope ideas, and so they was just really feeding off my energy. It wasn’t more so me just sitting and penning stuff, it was more me just [saying stuff] like ‘oh man, this beat is crazy, I might drop a freestyle before Jay and ‘Ye [record to it].'” Ultimately, he says he felt like his energy is what “brought the pace to the room.”
Other topics discussed include CyHi’s range as an MC, the misinterpretation of Atlanta as not being a hotbed for lyrical Rap, the distinction between mixtapes and albums, the concept behind his new album, and more.