Artwork by: Nycslur
“I dont plan because lifes already planned for you, you just gotta go through the roads the way your about to see it”
KINGGS: What’s up man?
Prince Ali: Yo, what’s good my dude?
K: Chillin… You just released your EP called “I Miss 1994”, tell us what the title means to you?
PA: I Miss 1994 just means I personally miss the era of making music that had that raw and gritty sound to it. Not to say Hip Hop is Dead or i’m bringing it back or anything like that. That’s just the way I feel personally and my music is a reflection of me as a person. I just miss 1994 in general. Televison was hot, you had shows like Family Matters, Ghostwriter, Wonder Years, Fresh Prince…and all that good shit.
K: Well that pretty much leads into my next question, how do you feel about the Hip Hop is Dead “movement”?
PA: Hip Hop is Dead is a good marketing strategy similiar to my “I Miss 1994” title. It grabs the “purists” attention right away. Hip hop is definitely alive but what we see on television isn’t hip hop, it’s more on some jingle bells pop music vibe. Hip Hop is definitely alive but it’s not as accessible as the radio friendly music.
K: I know what you mean. So tell me more about this topic. How do you feel about the music thats representing Hip-Hop right now? Do you like the direction its going in?
PA: I hate that shit to be honest man. I gave up on hip hop in 1998. I think hip hop is definitely being raped and abducted right now. The time will come when people will get tired of the cliche shit and stop purchasing albums, whcih is already starting to happen. On the flip side, hip hop is also coming back to the front lines with some new shit thats out right now.
K: My thoughts exactly, like your I Miss 1994, I just heard about your EP a few weeks ago, I’m going to be honest I slept on it for a little, then I started seeing it everywhere and I couldn’t ignore it any longer and I’m happy I didn’t, its real ill. So far, what other responses have you been getting from this joint?
PA: Honestly, I put that shit out as a free for download online like whatever. The reaction is real humbling, everyone is hitting me up with they way they feel about the album and its definitely reaching alot of ears. I feel as though it’s a gift and I gotta present it to the listeners…so I couldn’t just keep it to myself and wait for people to purchase it… I’d rather give it out for free..
K: I know alot of people I talk to who really liked it. On the record you worked with some pretty popular names, how did you hook that up?
PA: That came about through mutual respect, for emcees of that status to put there name next to someone the world hasn’t seen or heard of is risky business. It was a blessing to receive the co-sign from cats you have a great respect for. They are great humble individuals. Hip hop is all about showing people respect and humbling yourself.
K: I feel you on that. On your MySpace it says you have another record coming out called “I Miss 1993″, what kind of sound should we expect from this, will it be similar to your 1994 record?
PA: The sound 1994 has is a little more smoother and even goes up until ’96 some would say with joints like Rap Author and On Our Way. However, the I Miss 1993 EP will be pure 1993-94 flavor from the production to the style of rhymes…It will have that hard hitting percussion with the jazzy yet gritty sound. The production on I Miss 1994 was done by the talented producer Incise and the I Miss 1993 EP will be done by my man D-Fonic. So it’s definatley something different considering the vareity of talent on the boards differs on this next joint, but still the same essential ingredients.
K: How many more new names can we expect from I Miss 1993 in terms of features?
PA: The ‘I Miss 1993” EP will be solely myself and the beats. I got future projects with some features coming but I feel I should put more solo shit out to give the listener more of what I’m trying to bring to the table, but the future projects will definatley have more features on them.
K: Good idea, lots of people try to come out on the power of there features and alot of careers die fast from things like that. I know you said you have an album coming out later this year, but after that what more can we expect to see from Prince Ali?
PA: I honestly don’t like making plans, I just enjoy making music and will be making music from the heart for a long time, just expect more music and whatever happens is gods will. I dont plan because lifes already planned for you, you just gotta go through the roads the way your about to see it.
K: Since I brought up your album, how’s that coming along and what can we expect from it?
PA: That’s gotta be done propper like I’m taking my time on that shit. Even though we do this for the love, this ones got to have alot of planning put into it from a marketing standpoint and the distribution has gotta be right. The album will definitely be alot more personal and will be sure to please the listeners. Everything im dropping on ya’ll is just a build up for the album. I’m just trying to build my resume so I can drop the LP officialy.
K: Yeah, you’ve been getting a pretty good buzz so far so that shouldn’t be very hard. Do you have any plans on doing anything in-between the release of the 1993 EP and the album?
PA: [I] Just [want to] do more videos and promotion through any means. I was just out in Chicago in December at the Imams Poetry Cafe, I was out in NYC, out by your side of things, at the Bowery not to long ago. Just trying to form some sort of links without sucking any dick. And just trying to get the music to people who want to hear it.
K: You were born and raised in Toronto. I’m very ignorant towards the hip hop scene over there, so tell me some more about how things go down over in T dot.
PA: In Toronto man, the scene itself is very ignorant and they dont respect the hip hop culture, it’s pretty much the same as the USA. Toronto is about 40 mins away from state of New York. Its actually like a city of the states, same shit. But yeah man, alot of politics and bullshit out here just like any other place but theres some dope shit out here to. Suakrates is one of them. You dont hear about alot of the dope canadian talent from T. Dot because theres to much politics out here.
K: Thats sad to hear, maybe you can help change that. How did growing up in Toronto influenced your take on the music that was fed to you growing up? You being from away from all the bias, how did that effect your music taste?
PA: I honestly never paid attention to our scene because its not as accesible as other types of music. I grew up listeneing to what any average hip hop fan listened to, like the Rakims, O.C.’s, Special Ed’s, Pete Rock’s, etc.
K: So, it’s about time we wrapped up the interview, thanks again for the interview. Before we go, do you have any shout outs?
PA: Shouts out to the illRoots fam for showing me mad love. My man Mike and nycslur. All of ya’ll up there in Jersey, Brick City. Hopefully will be able to come out there sometime. Just everybody trying to rep the hip hop culture and humble people everyday trying to stay positive with what they have. Just real people, because thats what the music is, self realization, dont fall for the hype because alot of clowns spit that fake righteous shit and in person there character symbolizes the devil becase they feel they are higher than hip hop and dont understand hip hop. So just keep it real and honest and humble and show love to everyone.
We would once again like to thank our homie Prince Ali for taking the time out of his day to do this interview with us. Look out for our review on his new EP, I Miss 1994 coming soon, which is available for download on our page here.
Check him out at http://www.myspace.com/pamusiconline.