J. Prince Says Drake Had A Diss Response That Would Have Ended Pusha-T’s Career (Video)
J. Prince has officially intervened in the ongoing beef between Pusha-T and Drake. The owner of Rap-A-Lot Records has served as an advisor to Drake for nearly a decade. As a multi-millionaire 30-year-exec with a reputation for no-nonsense “Geto Boy” tactics and street wisdom, the man also known as Lil J has reportedly ordered Drake to stand down from replying to the Clipse co-founder. Appearing on Sway In The Morning, the onetime mentor to Scarface, Floyd Mayweather, Jr., Willie D, Trae Tha Truth, Z-Ro, and others admits that Drake has recorded a reply to last week’s “The Story Of Adidon” diss, and says that it would have been lethal to Pusha-T’s career.
The rare J. Prince media appearance (who just published his memoir, The Art And Science Of Respect) begins with an introduction from Drake. At 2:00, Drizzy recorded his first impression of the Houston, Texas-based mogul. “I honestly don’t remember meeting James Prince. What I do remember is like scenes from a movie: being in Houston on our way to a nightclub, being escorted by a motorcade [and] seas parting everywhere we were—all blatant signs of respect and admiration, and maybe even fear to be honest. But it added up to a man straight out of all of my favorite movies about power, loyalty, and respect.” Drake goes on to tell the story of Jas Prince, one of James’ sons, found him on MySpace and brought him to his father, who set up a meeting with Lil Wayne. “Not much has been said about the things that I witnessed from the Prince family during those early years in [Houston]. There’s a common thread throughout the careers of mine and my others: and that is that no one becomes great on our own—not even me or Pops.”
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In the interview, Prince owns his pre-music past. “Of course I was a hustler; I was in the streets.” His brother, Sir Rap-A-Lot was a founding member of the Geto Boys. His band-mates Jukebox and Raheim were street partners of Prince’s brother—who became the namesake for the would-be booming record label. “I can relate to a lot of brothers when they’re in bondage [and] lost, ’cause I was one of ’em.” Prince says prior to his climb to legitimate business, he had no fear and was destined for an early grave. He addresses “beating” 12 separate felony charges. While Prince says he’s seen the inside of a cell before, he has never been sentenced to hard time. “I beat ’em all because I was never caught in the right. Yeah, that’s a miracle.”
Of Pusha’s “The Story Of Adidon,” Prince states at 7:30, “I definitely feel like it crossed a line where music was concerned. The disrespect for [Drake’s] mother, the disrespect for his father, for 40—a man that’s dying. I know these people. I feel that was totally disrespectful and after even speaking with Kanye [West], and he didn’t want this. I saw this going in a place that I feel would have ended his career, if Drake would’ve put out the song that he had. It definitely would’ve hurt families, and we’re not in it for that; that’s not Drake’s character. We’re not in business to tear our brother, fellow man down to that extent.” Prince has a decorated career as boxing manager. He says that he made more than $1 million in his first year, backing fighters such as Mayweather and others. “I love the battle, and I think it’s a beautiful thing—the battle. It was only crossing the lines [that I do not condone]. When those lines are crossed, I understand where it goes from there. That’s why I called ‘a pig mentality.’ Some slop finna be thrown. My thing is: you’re a pig, then you’re a hog, and then ultimately, you get slaughtered. I feel like I witnessed a lot of this happen. A lot of people sat back when Biggie and Tupac was in the midst of battle. You wonder how these things go here. This is how they go there. [Mentioning] mama and daddy.” Prince feels that Drake’s mentioning Pusha-T’s fiancée by name on “Duppy Freestyle” was not a violation. “He mentioned her, but it wasn’t in a vulgar manner.” He says that Pusha would not have violated if he did not mention Drake’s family and associates with such disrespect. “This dude, he went above and beyond the call of duty.”
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At 11:00, Prince provides some further detail into the Drake response that fans apparently will never get to hear. “Let me say this here: the ingredients was overwhelming. I know for a fact that it would’ve been bad for Kanye and my man. It just wouldn’t be good. It’s beyond music at that point. It’s gonna affect the livelihood. It’s gonna interfere with his whole lifestyle from that day forward.” Tracy G asks the executive with a rumored vault of songs if the song was erased. “No. I don’t think it would leak because he gave his word. Me knowing Drake like I know him, he has a word. Until I see differently, then I won’t believe differently.” Sway asks what was said. Prince laughs.
Prince admits that neither he nor Lil Wayne were instant fans of Drake in 2008. However, after researching Drake’s popularity in Canada, the executive advised Wayne to take the Degrassi actor on tour with him during Tha Carter III. He says he considers Wayne as well as Cash Money Records founders Birdman and Slim “extended family” at that time. Ahead of 16:00, Prince admits that he thinks Cash Money’s getting “to a good place” in terms of paying Lil Wayne more than $51 million in a lawsuit. While Wayne has never been a Rap-A-Lot artist, Prince has advocated publicly on Wayne’s behalf. Previously, Prince signed Juvenile and U.T.P. after stints with CMR. “I’m speaking with the Universal [Music Group] people, and we’re prospering towards a right direction. That’s a good thing. I feel like this is gonna end better than it started. In defense of Cash Money, I feel like the [Williams] brothers—where I’m concerned—mean right, but may have blew situations, money and didn’t have it. In the end, they gonna have to do right by my son. I think that’ll happen.” Jas Prince is also among a list of people who have litigated against Cash Money for unpaid royalties.
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Rap-A-Lot Records was a longtime employer of Mike Dean, who is part of Kanye West’s production and engineering team. Early in ‘Ye’s career, he worked with Scarface on The Fix, a Def Jam Records album that featured Prince’s management logo on the back. He also worked closely with former Rap-A-Lot group Do Or Die.
Elsewhere in the interview, Prince speaks about his son, James Prince, Jr. having a problem with 6ix9ine. “When a man is out there campaigning, you never know when he’s going to get elected,” the mogul says, apparently alluding to the Brooklyn rapper’s claims of street gang affiliation and other controversies causing safety concerns at a Prince party. The mogul says he owns all of Rap-A-Lot’s publishing and master recordings. He remembers beating Don King in a legal battle. Lastly, Prince praises the civic efforts of former R.A.L. artist Trae, as well as discusses his fight to get Pimp C off of lean, but suggests the UGK member died from other substance abuse.