J. Prince Advises Rappers On How To Stay Alive
This week (September 12), the Hip-Hop music community lost another artist. PnB Rock, born Rakim Hasheem Allen, was fatally shot during a robbery at a South Los Angeles, California location of Roscoe’s Chicken & Waffles. According to The Daily Beast, assailants entered the restaurant, demanded Allen forfeit his jewelry and other valuables, before shooting him and fleeing the scene by vehicle. At the time of the shooting, the 30-year-old rapper from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania was dining with his girlfriend and the mother of one of his two daughters. The incident follows fatal attacks against members of the Hip-Hop community, including Nipsey Hussle, Young Dolph, Drakeo The Ruler, and Pop Smoke—an out-of-town artist who was also killed during an L.A. robbery back in February 2020.
An artist signed to Atlantic Records/EMPIRE, PnB had recorded four platinum, and seven gold singles, including collaborations with Ed Sheeran, Chance The Rapper, and Meek Mill. PnB’s 2017 LP GTTM: Goin Thru The Motions was certified gold, and involved Wiz Khalifa, Ty Dolla $ign, and Quavo.
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As an investigation gets underway, many officials, media outlets, peers, and fans have laid blame on PnB’s girlfriend, model Stephanie Sibounheuang. Los Angeles Police Chief Michel Moore said his team is looking whether an Instagram post confirming the couple’s location played a role in the robbery and ultimate death of the star. That post has since been deleted. “Mr. Rakim Allen was apparently there with his girlfriend or a friend of his and as they’re there enjoying a simple meal, [Allen] was brutally attacked by an individual who, apparently, we believe… came to the location after a social media posting of the artist and the woman accompanying him,” said the official per CNN. Nicki Minaj, a PnB collaborator, also alleged that IG use played a role in the crime.
After Pop Smoke there’s no way we as rappers or our loved ones are still posting locations to our whereabouts. To show waffles & some fried chicken????! He was such a pleasure to work with. Condolences to his mom & family. This makes me feel so sick. Jesus. #SIP #PnbRock 🕊
— Nicki Minaj (@NICKIMINAJ) September 13, 2022
Sibounheuang not only removed the post in question, she deactivated her personal account. The woman’s business page was reportedly flooded with verbal attacks for her alleged negligence in the situation.
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James Smith, better known as J. Prince, has now stepped in with advice, and come to the defense of Stephanie Sibounheuang. The Rap-A-Lot Records founder and memoir author is known as a street-savvy record executive who has never minced words. On social media, the executive who has worked closely with the Geto Boys, Scarface, Drake, Tha Outlawz, Devin The Dude, and others, had a different take.
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“RIP to @pnbrock and my condolences to his family, friends and fans,” began an Instagram post from the 50-something exec. “To all of you dumb mothaf*ckas blaming his girlfriend for his death, you’re wrong as two left shoes. Here’s a woman that’s been traumatized by seeing her boyfriend killed in front of her and you dumb f*cks are adding insult to injury with dumb sh*t that you don’t know to be facts,” wrote the H-Town legend. “As a man and leader you have to teach your girl what and what not to do—if you know. I believe the root of the problem is wearing jewelry without proper security. Until rappers and others come to the realization that if you put cheese in front of a rat without the trap, they will eat and run every time.”
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The veteran record executive, who was previously in the used car business and later became a boxing manager, he was candid about tips. “To make myself clear if you’re wearing jewelry without proper security: Understand you’re making yourself a target because some clowns will kill you for jewelry. Also understand, if a robber has a gun in your face asking for your jewelry… it’s smarter to give it to ‘em alive, than them to take if off you shot or dead. To sum this all up, be smart and don’t wear jewelry if you’re not prepared for the jackers. Live to see another day…wear it another time. Its just that simple. Understand you can’t rationalize with a wolf mentality. They don’t care if you’re a good person or not … they just want to eat. This is life-saving wisdom. Take heed.”
Rap-A-Lot Records has lost several artists to gun violence. Oakland, California rapper Seagram was killed in a 1996 drive-by shooting. In late 2016, 3-2, a member of The Convicts and The Blac Monks was fatally shot at a Houston gas station. J. Prince, who collaborated with Tupac and Death Row Records, was someone who reportedly warned The Notorious B.I.G. ahead of Biggie’s 1997 shooting death.
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Last year, J. Prince was instrumental to brokering a public peace offering between Drake and Kanye West. He appeared with the pair in photos, ahead of their Los Angeles concert. The executive used the event and concert to try and bring awareness to incarcerated friend Larry Hoover.
At the time of this article, no suspects have been arrested in the murder of PnB Rock.
#BonusBeat: Ambrosia For Heads‘ 2018 interview with J. Prince: