Interview: Beau Young Prince

As 2012 grows closer to an end and 2013 is around the corner, music might be at its most exciting stage. Why do I say this? Because there are so many genres, styles, influences, and with the technology at hand more amazing artists and producers are being heard. If you do not think it is a great time for music, you need to pay more attention to blogs (this one in particular, insert winky face) and other music outlets online. I think one genre that is starting to really have new life breathed into it is hip hop. For a few years, as Nas had proclaimed, hip hop is, was dead. Yet, now artists like Danny Brown, Das Racist, Blu, Mr. Muthafuckin' eXquire, Kendrick Lamar, and more are changing the game for the better. Yet, there might be one artist from the DMV area who takes his art form into a different direction than most and is still on the rise in hip hop. Beau Young Prince is unique, not only in his music, but his style and approach to everything he does. Read our interview below and see why this kid is going to make it in this tough industry.

When did you start getting into hip hop and actually wanting to make music?
My mother always played music in the house. When I was younger I remember hearing everything from Stevie Wonder to 2pac. I always had a love for instruments, and this grew into a love for performance. I didn’t actually try to rap until high school though. Even then, it was just for fun, but once I got booked to open up for big artists I began to take my music career seriously.

Where did you come up with your rap moniker and what does it represent to you? 
I am one of four children. I am also the only boy in my household. As a result my mother would always call me ‘Prince’. My real name is Beau Young, so I just added a Prince at the end and thought it was groovy. Musical identity is something that will constantly change for me, so it is possible that my moniker my change again. I never want people to figure me out completely, I always want to evolve.

You have a different style than most rappers on the come up, how would you describe it?
I don’t have a specific style. I like to experiment and try various beats to keep it interesting. I am a human being. I experience all types of emotions and moods so I want my music to reflect that. With me you will get whatever I am going through or what I am feeling at the moment. 

What artists in the past influenced you musically? Any current artists? 
Andre 3K, Big Boi (Outkast), A Tribe Called Quest, Souls Of Mischief, Digable Planets, 2pac, Nas, Lupe, Cudi, Pharrell Williams.

You aren't afraid to try something new when it comes the type of beats you rap on. Lately you've rapped over an XXYYXX beat, Purity Ring, and TNGHT, etc. Are different styles something you are looking to explore further? 
Certainly. Like I said before, I listen to everything. This is MUSIC. Music embodies all walks of life. I do realize that I can’t be everything to everyone, but I am trying to reach as many people as possible with my music, and that means using different styles. 

"A lot of whack talent is put in the lime light. I just wish people supported the underground a lot more. It is hard for an independent artists to make waves these days without a financial backing or a gimmick." 

What has been the hardest part about getting your music out there for people to hear? 
The hardest part is getting people to accept variety. Today in hip-hop people want to hear the same, or want you to be similar to everyone else. I refuse. I end up losing a couple listeners here and there, but the real ones stay. It is just really hard to get people to pay attention when your not a big star. Even bloggers give you shade from time to time. I just keep doing me.

Any surprise reactions or opportunities you never expected?
I never expected touring all these colleges. I never expected wanting to rap as a career. I never expected the Dope Collective growing into what it is today. We started this in my side room for fun. Now Dope Collective is life.

Where are you hoping your music will take you in the near future?
I want to be one of the big rappers in the game. I am not a college rapper. I am a musician. My music is here to stay and so am I. I don’t want a quick rise, I just want what’s planned for me.

Speaking of the future, any new projects and/or performances coming up?
Expect some festival appearances, and a tour coming soon. As for projects, I have many on the way, but will speak on that later.

In current hip hop, who do you think is the most overrated? How about the most underrated?
It is hard to say. A lot of great talent is constantly overlooked. A lot of whack talent is put in the lime light. I just wish people supported the underground a lot more. It is hard for an independent artists to make waves these days without a financial backing or a gimmick.

If you were not making music, what do you think you'd be doing or maybe what would you be pursuing instead? 
I would be speaking to people. Maybe a politician, maybe an activist or community organizer. I am about to graduate this spring with a degree in criminal justice and political science so I plan to do something with all my talents.

Any last thoughts or shout outs you want to give? 

Connect with Beau Young Prince: Facebook | Twitter


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