A Brief History of J Prince Defending Everyone from Geto Boys to Drake

sully
sully Members, Writer Posts: 4,955 ✭✭✭✭✭
James Prince is a man of few words. Yet when the Houston OG speaks, things move. There’s an interview on YouTube from 2012 in which Prince, CEO of Rap-A-Lot Records and boxing promoter, is discussing a potential bet with 50 Cent over a fight between Andre Ward & Andre Dirrell. “I’m not about that lip wrasslin’,” he says in a thick drawl. “If I say it, I mean it.”

Those sentiments were echoed last week when Prince extended what he called a “courtesy call” to Lil Wayne, Birdman, Diddy, and Suge Knight over improprieties issued towards his family and in particular, Drake. “Drake is family. And the weak ? from Puffy & Suge is on my radar,” Prince says on the call. “First of all, Puffy, feelin’ like he can put his hands on my family … opened the doors for his family to be touched. You reap what you sow.” The entire 1:49 message can be heard below.

Diddy is most likely in J. Prince’s crosshairs because of that incident when Puffy punched Drake in December at Club Liv in Miami, allegedly from a dispute over the rights to the song “0-100.” Why is Suge mentioned given the fact that he, Irv Gotti, and Prince were pretty much the “big bad wolves” of rap figureheads in the 90s? Suge’s aligned himself with Lil Wayne, who forever has earned the scorn of the Prince family due to Wayne’s and Cortez Bryant’s (Wayne’s manager) alleged mishandling of Drake’s royalties and money owed to Prince’s son, Jas.

“Lil Wayne is a [? ], his manager is a ? , and his lawyer is a thief,” Prince says on “Courtesy Call.” “So ? all of them together, disrespectful lil’ punks.”

Whenever J. Prince checks someone, these “courtesy messages” are issued before things get out of hand. He issued one toward Charlamange Tha ? over disparaging Drake constantly on The Breakfast Club on New York’s Power 105.1. He’s done so repeatedly on records throughout the history of Rap-A-Lot Records—named after his older brother Sir Rap-A-Lot—going back as far as tapes in the late 80s and early 90s. He’s the original manager of Floyd “Money” Mayweather, whom he met while trying to get Mike Tyson to join his clientele. Floyd himself has an interesting story of leaving Prince’s management in 2003, one that alleges Prince had goons rough up Mayweather’s right hand man Leonard Ellerbe at a gym.

There are stories about Prince that sound like hip-hop fables. Tall tales, like the rumor that Scarface was able to set foot in dangerous Chicago hoods because of Prince’s relationship with Gangster Disciples’ founder Larry Hoover. Or the story of Prince sending a goon to knock out a bootlegger but refuse to do so because cameras were around. It’s hard to believe that a man who may not stand any taller than 5’9” is arguably the most feared figure in the history of Southern hip-hop. It might also be hard to believe that this guy is one of Drake’s most ardent supporters. But J. Prince has plenty of credibility in the music world to back up whatever he’s saying. The blueprint he forged with Rap-A-Lot helped set the foundation for other labels built on the Southern rap aesthetic such as No Limit, Cash Money, and Suave House. Prince still soldiers on, almost in a rather unique position as the most beloved boogeyman to ever come out of Houston, Texas.
«1

Comments

  • sully
    sully Members, Writer Posts: 4,955 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Prince formed Rap-A-Lot Records in 1987 as a way to keep his brother off the streets. A used car salesman with a hell of a sales pitch, Prince had a connection not only with street guys but athletes as well. The itch to make a dollar, however, consumed him. “I grew up where poverty was a serious burden on my family and that had a major part in my mind developing,” he told Andrew Noz in a 2012 profile for NPR. “I wanted to break that poverty curse that existed.”

    The original lineup for the Geto Boys didn’t even feature Scarface but rather a lineup of Raheem, Sir Rap-A-Lot, and DJ Ready Red, along with Prince Johnny C. Any record from the group’s 1988 debut Making Trouble sounds like Peewee’s Playhouse in comparison to their more refined, darker material. From the moment Scarface and Willie D joined the group in 1989 and subsequently released Grip It! On That Other Level, things swung in Rap-A-Lot’s favor. Soon they became Houston’s version of Def Jam, housing acts such as the forever introverted Z-Ro (in the early 2000s following his stint with Screwed Up Click), Devin the Dude, Do or Die (one of the few non-Houston acts to ? big on the label), Big Mike, and both members of UGK, who each released highly acclaimed solo albums on the label.

    Rap-A-Lot’s core, however, was gangsta rap and the earliest stages of horrorcore. Ganksta N-I-P’s South Park ? , which was released in 1992, followed the Geto Boys’ dark and brooding movement with small tinges in traditional G-funk. South Park ? was followed in that vein by Big Mike’s Havin’ Thangs and Big Mello’s Funkwitchamind in 1994.

    Prince has admitted that the Rap-A-Lot formula—an indie releasing constant albums and crafting enough of a force that major label distributors such as Priority—may never be repeated again, or at least not to the success he and labels soon after had. At the moment, Rap-A-Lot isn’t releasing the full swath of albums it did in its heyday, and Prince has let it be known publicly that he’s fallen a bit out of love with the music industry.

    “This whole game right now is a game that I'm not that excited about anymore because of the new structure and all these different ways of being able to get music without paying,” he told NPR in 2012. “It kind of kills my spirit from an entrepreneurial perspective.”
  • sully
    sully Members, Writer Posts: 4,955 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Controversy and J. Prince have damn near been bedfellows ever since the Geto Boys originally faced conflict over getting distribution from David Geffen when they were signed to Def America. Geffen pulled the Geto Boys’ self-titled major label debut LP in 1990 over its explicit content. Prince alleged racism on Geffen’s behalf, and Geffen responded, issuing a statement that, according to the New York Times, said, “While it is not imperative that lyrical expressions of even our own Geffen artists reflect the personal values of Geffen Records, the extent to which 'The Geto Boys' album glamorizes and possibly endorses violence, racism and misogyny compels us to encourage Def American to select a distributor with a greater affinity for this musical expression.'”

    According to rap urban legend, J. Prince allegedly stepped in to defend ? C after he and Master P got into a disagreement over whether ? was properly compensated for his work on P’s “Break Em Off Something” track from The Ice Cream Man in 1996. Master P allegedly kidnapped and pistol-whipped the UGK rapper over some of the latter’s remarks. But, allegedly, when he called J. Prince for a green light to ? ? C over the disrespect, Prince furiously told P not to harm ? C and to let him go. Although nobody ever admitted the story on record, the lyrics on ? C’s 2005 song “I Know U Strapped” seem to back it up.

    Perhaps the most famous J. Prince move of all occurred in 2000 after Scarface released his Last Of A Dying Breed LP, which features taunts at Drug Enforcement Agency officer Jack Schumacher and other agents. A 12-year investigation conducted by DEA agent Ernest Howard, which began in 1988, targeted Prince and Rap-A-Lot Records for involvement in drug distribution concluded suspiciously when then Attorney General Janet Reno canned the probe into the label. A rumor spread that the case had been withdrawn due to political pressure after Prince supposedly donated $200,000 to then-Vice President Al Gore’s presidential campaign, although government officials and Rap-A-Lot spokespeople denied the claim, according to MTV.

    Democratic California representative Maxine Waters intervened on Prince’s behalf, writing Reno a letter detailing how Prince and associates feared for their lives due to “police harassment and excessive force,” while Howard, on behalf of the DEA, testified in a congressional hearing that he ended the investigation for fear of agents’ lives and safety.
  • sully
    sully Members, Writer Posts: 4,955 ✭✭✭✭✭
    For many, J. Prince is the man who lets his voice drag and punch people in the throat on the intro tracks of Rap-A-Lot albums. He dragged former associates of his, the prosecutor Paula Goodheart, and Lil Troy on Scarface’s Emeritus album. He was the voice who led Bun B’s classic Trill album in 2005 and who celebrated the return of The Geto Boys with The Foundation in 2005. Even if his hand is strongly in the boxing arena, he still has a presence in rap through his son, Jas.

    Jas Prince discovered Drake from the days of the Toronto rapper releasing tracks on MySpace, right before Comeback Season truly took hold, when Drizzy’s style was heavily influenced by Phonte of The Foreign Exchange and Little Brother. Jas brought Drake not only to Lil Wayne but also to his father. That’s why J. Prince’s name is included as executive producer for Thank Me Later & Nothing Was The Same. Prince joked during an appearance on The Breakfast Club in January 2014 that he knew nothing of a rumor that he stopped a tour bus with Drake and Wayne on it in order to see it right that his son got his fair payment for album points. J. Prince, in other words, has had his eye on Drake’s business arrangements for a long time.

    And, just in time for the sixth anniversary of So Far Gone, the mixtape that really brought Drake (and, in a smaller way, Jas) to the forefront, the issues between the Princes & YMCMB surfaced once more. Legal documents have been served over album points for Drake and unpaid royalties, which could be in the millions. Personal issues have also spilled into public after Jas’s former fiancée Christina Milian left him in the summer of 2014—allegedly for Lil Wayne. Rap-A-Lot openly protested any of support of Lil Wayne during Drake’s Houston Appreciation Weekend concert last June.

    Prince himself is usually soft spoken but when you provoke him, things change quickly. You in a sense need to get a pass from J. Prince to do anything in Houston. Since his extended Canadian family was messed with, the boogeyman of Southern rap is around again—just in time, it should also be noted, for Drake’s new album If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late. Some people are interpreting that project’s title as a shot at Birdman, and, with its ? -talking, old school attitude throughout, it’s a release that undoubtedly benefited from the promotion of J. Prince doing some ? talking on Drake’s behalf. J. Prince is going to stand up for the artists he supports, and he’s still not here for any lip wrasslin’.

    UPDATE 2/18/15: Adding to the Prince family drama with YMCMB (and possibly further explaining J. Prince's actions), Jas Prince is suing Cash Money for $2 million, according to TMZ.
  • damayor187
    damayor187 Members Posts: 387 ✭✭✭
    nothing you wrote is really all that terrifying or like damn this the wrong on to ? wit. master p pistol whipped his artist then called him to ask to ? him and j prince did nothing in return. yawn if j prince was so feared why did master p pistol whip his artist 'allegedly" ? okay he sent ? to beat up mayweathers homie but i jumped ? before too that dont make me feared.
  • Busta Carmichael
    Busta Carmichael Members, Moderators Posts: 13,161 Regulator
    damayor187 wrote: »
    nothing you wrote is really all that terrifying or like damn this the wrong on to ? wit. master p pistol whipped his artist then called him to ask to ? him and j prince did nothing in return. yawn if j prince was so feared why did master p pistol whip his artist 'allegedly" ? okay he sent ? to beat up mayweathers homie but i jumped ? before too that dont make me feared.

    He is feared for a reason. U think police would be after him if he didn't do any major moves? The things in the article is only what they know of.

    Bad boys move in silence
  • Peezy_Jenkins
    Peezy_Jenkins Guests, Members, Writer, Content Producer Posts: 33,205 ✭✭✭✭✭
    maybe the lil wayne lawsuit will clear up the drake royalty ? also
  • Peezy_Jenkins
    Peezy_Jenkins Guests, Members, Writer, Content Producer Posts: 33,205 ✭✭✭✭✭
    ion like ? that just act untouchable n like bullies n ? tho.
  • DarthRozay
    DarthRozay Members Posts: 20,570 ✭✭✭✭✭
    damn Rap-A-Lot helped start horrorcore? ether
  • 32DaysOfInfiniti
    32DaysOfInfiniti Members Posts: 4,152 ✭✭✭✭✭
    J Prince may be a bully but he handle his business. Drake may be ? but he handles his business. It seems like Wayne and Baby, Wayne especially really just doesnt get it when it comes to making those important decisions that move you forward as an individual and a company. Baby got himself and jr stuck on lil forever

    All this struggle Wayne is having seems so ridiculous when both Nicki Minaj & Drake appear to be in control of their careers and creativity (or lack thereof).

    Nothing is what it seems with these guys, its all media.

    J corny tho for his call out joint but I respect him for being vocal
  • macadonwoo
    macadonwoo Members Posts: 1,900 ✭✭✭✭✭
    He handles bussiness for sure. But Percy was not scared the least of him. No Limit had shooters every corner of the South or the Country to be honest.
  • damayor187
    damayor187 Members Posts: 387 ✭✭✭
    damayor187 wrote: »
    nothing you wrote is really all that terrifying or like damn this the wrong on to ? wit. master p pistol whipped his artist then called him to ask to ? him and j prince did nothing in return. yawn if j prince was so feared why did master p pistol whip his artist 'allegedly" ? okay he sent ? to beat up mayweathers homie but i jumped ? before too that dont make me feared.

    He is feared for a reason. U think police would be after him if he didn't do any major moves? The things in the article is only what they know of.

    Bad boys move in silence

    feared by who regular street ? ? i got dope boys in my city who have ? shook. i mean who do we now 100% is shook by j prince? any ? in a city can put fear in regular lame L7 ? . i want proof ? is ? their pants. How can 1 man put fear in another mans heart. we all die with a bullet or get beat up. bad boys may move in silence but their moves are after the fact are not silent. there was a ? in my city who sold big dope police tried forever to shut him down. DEA indictments he kept beating them putting ? in his momma names and all that but he wasnt feared. just cuz your more clever then the government dont give u mafia don status. I sure a lot stories have been hyped and he been living off that hype for years. just saying i used to live in houston and i heard stories but never no facts
  • 2stepz_ahead
    2stepz_ahead Guests, Members, Writer, Content Producer Posts: 32,324 ✭✭✭✭✭
    i am not admitting to what i just read.
  • Focal Point
    Focal Point Members Posts: 16,307 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Interesting if nothing else
  • BelovedAfeni
    BelovedAfeni Members Posts: 8,647 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Our heros always get denigrated or infiltrated by outside forces
  • soulfulcat
    soulfulcat Members Posts: 1,330 ✭✭✭✭✭
    You said BRIEF!
  • Gee_has_hot_picture
    Gee_has_hot_picture Members Posts: 2,160 ✭✭✭
    WWE WWF, J Prince isnt going to do ? :) you think if this ? actually does something to Birdman he doesnt have the option to call the FBI. J Prince is not above the federal government unless he has something on birdman to scare him from going that route


    you fucken crackehad trailer trash no fucken diploma ? actually believe any of this ? ? J Prince cant do ?
  • Jabu_Rule
    Jabu_Rule Members Posts: 5,993 ✭✭✭✭✭
    WWE WWF, J Prince isnt going to do ? :) you think if this ? actually does something to Birdman he doesnt have the option to call the FBI. J Prince is not above the federal government unless he has something on birdman to scare him from going that route


    you fucken crackehad trailer trash no fucken diploma ? actually believe any of this ? ? J Prince cant do ?

    Informant post.
  • Gee_has_hot_picture
    Gee_has_hot_picture Members Posts: 2,160 ✭✭✭
    FuriousOne wrote: »
    WWE WWF, J Prince isnt going to do ? :) you think if this ? actually does something to Birdman he doesnt have the option to call the FBI. J Prince is not above the federal government unless he has something on birdman to scare him from going that route


    you fucken crackehad trailer trash no fucken diploma ? actually believe any of this ? ? J Prince cant do ?

    Informant post.

    ? baby response, the WWE isnt real

  • Jabu_Rule
    Jabu_Rule Members Posts: 5,993 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited February 2015
    FuriousOne wrote: »
    WWE WWF, J Prince isnt going to do ? :) you think if this ? actually does something to Birdman he doesnt have the option to call the FBI. J Prince is not above the federal government unless he has something on birdman to scare him from going that route


    you fucken crackehad trailer trash no fucken diploma ? actually believe any of this ? ? J Prince cant do ?

    Informant post.

    ? baby response, the WWE isnt real

    Sorry brah, my pops only pushed weight and was well before ? existed. But you go on and keep up with your wwe color commentator antics.
  • _Lefty
    _Lefty Members Posts: 6,564 ✭✭✭✭✭
    damayor187 wrote: »
    damayor187 wrote: »
    nothing you wrote is really all that terrifying or like damn this the wrong on to ? wit. master p pistol whipped his artist then called him to ask to ? him and j prince did nothing in return. yawn if j prince was so feared why did master p pistol whip his artist 'allegedly" ? okay he sent ? to beat up mayweathers homie but i jumped ? before too that dont make me feared.

    He is feared for a reason. U think police would be after him if he didn't do any major moves? The things in the article is only what they know of.

    Bad boys move in silence

    feared by who regular street ? ? i got dope boys in my city who have ? shook. i mean who do we now 100% is shook by j prince? any ? in a city can put fear in regular lame L7 ? . i want proof ? is ? their pants. How can 1 man put fear in another mans heart. we all die with a bullet or get beat up. bad boys may move in silence but their moves are after the fact are not silent. there was a ? in my city who sold big dope police tried forever to shut him down. DEA indictments he kept beating them putting ? in his momma names and all that but he wasnt feared. just cuz your more clever then the government dont give u mafia don status. I sure a lot stories have been hyped and he been living off that hype for years. just saying i used to live in houston and i heard stories but never no facts

    @damayor187
    You right, anybody can get touched, but power perceived is power achieved. You said old boy kept beatin the feds but he ain't have no power, you was half right. He had it, he just didn't know how to wield it. If he had the bricks like that, and people depended on him to eat. He could influence those people if he wanted, and they could influence they people, see how that work? Money alone don't make you powerful, but you'd be surprised how ? will move for you if they depend on you to eat. Another cog of influence is time and relationships. Prince been around for a long time, since the 80s, you know how many relationships you could cultivate in that time. Especially business relationships that end on a good note. You have those people for life if they're loyal. Then this reputation he holds is another thing. If a ? with the momentum Master P had back in the 90s puts in a call to J prince to ask permission to make a move, that's all you really need to hear. Don't confuse fear with respect. P might not have feared him, but he definitely respected him. Respect ain't nothin but healthy fear. Fear alone is unhealthy. Fear is paralyzing,but you can move against a ? you respect. You most likely won't because it's either not worth it, or you come to a better resolution. You know how rumors in the streets go. ? like playing telephone, but it could be bad for your health if you don't take it into account, most likely some exaggeration, but i'm sure there's truth to most of it. You just gotta decide what to eat, and what to ? out.
  • God_Yunn
    God_Yunn Members Posts: 9,081 ✭✭✭✭✭
    J prince and rap a lot us not to be ? with. Its just that simple.

    I've seen what they do and what his influence can do to cats who test.

    I got stories of times I've been in the club and they was there.

    ? I just seen jaz prince at v live last month bout to buss ah ? head over miscommunication
  • damayor187
    damayor187 Members Posts: 387 ✭✭✭
    YunnSanco wrote: »

    ? I just seen jaz prince at v live last month bout to buss ah ? head over miscommunication

    ABOUT TO? lmao i mean i seen ? actually fight in the club that dont mean shi..... i'm ? my pants in fear this ? was ABOUT TO!

  • bossflossy
    bossflossy Members Posts: 318 ✭✭✭✭
    YunnSanco wrote: »
    J prince and rap a lot us not to be ? with. Its just that simple.

    I've seen what they do and what his influence can do to cats who test.

    I got stories of times I've been in the club and they was there.

    ? I just seen jaz prince at v live last month bout to buss ah ? head over miscommunication

    if you talking about the son, then what you saw was him loud talking somebody and making wild threats knowing the other person didn't want no problems. believe me, if it was a big meech type of ? with long money and a serious team of ? with him. that ? would not be pressing no issues.
    and once again all ? can do is tell you he feared, no facts.
    youngstas forget that in the late 80's early 90's eavery rapper's word was took as gospel. wasn't no internet exposing ? , the rap magazines would glorify ? and people accepted it. geto boys was portrayed as these out of this world outlaws. in reality willie d wasn't no killer and robber. scarface was reallly a bipolar kid who tried to ? himself a few times and was good at poetry. bushwick wasn't a killer chuckie doll come to life. but that image had the whole world fascinated. then when j prince started getting some pub as the mysterious man behind it all, he got built into this mythical legend.
    all ? can tell you is he feared or 'everybody in houston knows' well tell us some real work that got put in by him or in his name?
    suge, there are bodies in the gracveyard behind ? with suge, plenty of ? got they heads stomped in.
    baby, he and his brothers really put work in.
  • _Lefty
    _Lefty Members Posts: 6,564 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited February 2015
    You ain't just compare prince to suge knight did you? Suge knight was just a figure head bruh. Death row was Harry o's and he went to jail and left it with suge. J prince is Harry o's peer. And for the record. Boosie was on a......well, he was allegedly on a killing spree. You think he on j prince level because you know about some work that was put in?You askin about ? who know what work he put in. ? if the world know about the work you put in, you're u either dead, in jail, or indicted. If you a street ? at all, you can see all you need to see from afar. J prince ain't nothin to be ? with, not to discount his counterparts because I'm sure they strong too. But I'll say it again, 78 blocks, red handed, courier didn't flip, and prince was never indicted. The Feds can damn near indict anything with a conspiracy charge, all you have to do is acknowledge the dopes existence, and this man who was sought like he was houstons bin laden never even seen a court room. Yall gotta wake up.