CyHi The Prynce Explains Why He Likens JAY-Z To A Modern Day Martin Luther King (Video)

CyHi The Prynce is recognized for his ability to combine the spiritual and political in his rhymes, so it’s no surprise he relates to the world and the people within it through a similar lens. When speaking with Billboard this week, CyHi likened JAY-Z, the man he considers his mentor, to Civil Rights leader, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

The G.O.O.D Music affiliate, who is dropping his debut album, No Dope On Sundays, tomorrow (November 17), spoke of his astonishment at kicking it with Hov while visiting the Carters in their New York home. “[JAY-Z] would be friendly and slap-boxing. [Laughs] He’d hit me in the chest or stomach when I saw him. I’d have to put my arms up, in shock– like, ‘You’re JAY-Z, you’re JAY-Z!’ I’d have to snap out of it,” said the Sony Records artist. “I remember getting invited to Easter Sunday dinner or coming to his house. You’d see Blue running around, Beyoncé comes into the house, and it’s just like, ‘Wow! Where am I at?'”

The Stone Mountain, Georgia native continued, “It is surreal. You would think I’d need a million dollars, and I would have to be a super-duper successful artist in order to be able to have this kind of conversation or to share dialogue with somebody of this magnitude, and he treats me like I am family. Jay will tell me, ‘Bruh, come on over.'” Throughout his career, Jay has taken non-Roc artists under his wing. He executive-produced Lupe Fiasco’s Food & Liquor and has recently advocated against Meek Mill’s two-to-four-year sentence for probation violation.

CyHi The Prince mentioned how from an early age, he looked on the Roc Nation founder as a “second father,” saying how he’d listen to certain Jay songs and notice how they echoed the views of men in his community. “[JAY-Z] would solidify the things my O.G.’s would tell me. I’d have these old dudes tell me, ‘Maybe you should do this,’ then I’d go and listen to a JAY-Z song, and he’d say the exact same thing. Those are the moments that felt like, ‘Yeah! Okay, these are cardinal rules. I [can’t break them]. I am not going to do this.'” The Prynce takes his work and role as an artist seriously. The purpose of his new album he told Billboard is to “get men to understand spirituality … And [encourage them to be] to themselves, understand how to speak up for themselves, and [exemplify] how to handle yourself with a tad bit more integrity.”

Of comparing the Roc Nation honcho to the Civil Rights martyr, CyHi explains, “It is just like, JAY-Z is what Martin Luther King Jr. would have been if they did not take his life. You know M.L.K. didn’t get to reap all the benefits he should.” CyHi then described how foreign heads of state wanted to send gifts as a sign of their respect for the slain Civil Rights leader. “Back in the day, different kings from different countries used to try and send Martin Luther King Jr. crowns. There were these all gold crowns with rubies, and diamonds in them, but they could not find someone to insure them back then,” he said. “These kings have crowns that they made for Martin Luther King that is worth five or six million dollars, that he never had the opportunity to receive.” To conclude CyHi said of his Cruel Summer collaborator, “I believe JAY-Z is the poster child for what every young Black man who came from the struggle went through. I think that is who JAY-Z is. So, that is why he is a big mentor to me.”

Over the past month CyHi has released a string of singles to build momentum before the release, including “God Bless Your Heart” and “Dat Side,” featuring Kanye West. Elsewhere in the Billboard conversation, CyHi recalls being signed to Def Jam with his then-group, Hoodlum.