Baby Boy da Prince: Surivor

For most Americans, August 12, 2005 represents a dark day and that’s not just describing the clouds that brought death and devastation in the name of Hurricane Katrina. The storm and resulting displacement of thousands along the Gulf shore became real life reminders of the inequities and challenges still facing poor people in our country. Often times, tragedy spawns triumph, and that is clearly the case with Baby Boy da Prince.

Born and bred in the West Bank, Baby Boy da Prince is no stranger to the rap game. It’s reported that he’s the younger brother of Choppa (of 2003’s Choppa Style fame). He has experienced several ups and downs in his rise to Hip-Hop stardom, and is willing to discuss them all. After witnessing the awesome power of floodwaters and the governmental neglect that followed, Baby Boy da Prince decided to pen his narrative, and that story is an example of perseverance and survival. So he sat down in his FEMA trailer and wrote the entire Across the Water album. Notwithstanding the obvious difficulties undergoing such a project, his music transcends that struggle and is as uplifting to the scarred spirit as a New Orleans funeral.

His first major-label release is replete with the determination, humor, confidence and skill required of survivors of tragic events. Across the Water is a testament of his triumph. The first single, “The Way I Live”, drives home the point by informing listeners that he’s “…a West Bank rapper, and I’m one of the baddest.”

If determination, discipline and dedication make one “the baddest,” then Baby Boy da Prince has nothing else to prove. This is an MC whose positive outlook and humor are as welcoming as the bouncy grooves that take listeners Across the Water. You represent the West Bank area of Louisiana throughout the first single. Why do you differentiate yourself from other New Orleans MCs?

Baby Boy da Prince: Well, a lot of cats rep the N.O., I’m from the West Bank and we haven’t been heard. I wanted to be the first to let the world know how we live. How was it like writing the album from your FEMA trailer?

Baby Boy da Prince: Man, you can’t imagine. You sittin’ in a lil’ box where you can’t close the bathroom door to take a s**t ‘cause it’s so small that you don’t have room to put your feet in front. You gotta keep the door open so that your feet can hang out. It was messed up! So, I just started writing. You know, just to get s**t out [of] my head. Man, people hurtin’ down there. I just wanted to give them a voice. What made you drop “The Way I Live” as the first single?

Baby Boy da Prince: We wanted something that was gonna catch ‘em off the top. It’s the real deal, man, that’s how we live down here. WQUE broke the song and it got big respect locally. How can heads outside of New Orleans feel the song?

Baby Boy da Prince: Music is universal. Every hood has a story and a lot of those stories are the same. By hearin’ me tell mine…people can see about gettin’ up after being knocked down and everybody can dig that. Back to the FEMA trailer, how did you feel upon completing the album?

Baby Boy da Prince: Just like the city. Man, I felt like I was on the way back! Through tragedy comes triumph. Why did you decide to not make the entire album about the Hurricane Katrina situation?

Baby Boy da Prince: [Surviving] the hurricane’s not my only struggle. I been through a lot. I been locked up and seen murderers cryin’ about missing their girl or wanted to be with people that you love. People think that cats are hard and all of that. Naw, man, people just tryna’ live. I could feel that and wanted my music to reflect more joy than pain. What would you have done if the rap thing didn’t work?

Baby Boy da Prince: I’ve always been a[n] entertainer. I’d probably be doin standup [comedy] if I wasn’t rappin’. I just wanna do something in entertainment. Would you be Red Foxx, Richard Pryor or Eddie Murphy in terms of comedy?

Baby Boy da Prince: Probably a lil’ of all three but my way. I seen some things in my life that are funny as hell. Even some things that a lot of people might not find funny at first. Just like brothas locked up. Man, there are some funny dudes in there. I have always used my sense of humor to cope. S**t, sittin’ in that trailer, you have to be able to laugh or you’ll go crazy. How can fans hear your music?

Baby Boy da Prince: They can check me out on Myspace and the new single, “Naw Meen” should be droppin’ soon. I’m gonna be on the road supportin’ the album too.

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