CyHi The Prynce has long been a rapper on the rise, but it seems as though this summer might be the 26 year-old's real moment to shine. The ATL native combines a controlled flamboyancy with an impeccable knack for making verses about average life extremely entertaining (see his feature on YelaWolf's "I Wish" remix) -- a talent that caught the attention of Kanye West, who signed Prynce to his G.O.O.D. Music imprint in 2010.
But where some of his contemporaries' fame flickers, CyHi's star has only grown brighter over time, and with a new mixtape -- "Royal Flush 2" -- and tour alongside his mentor on the way, Prynce is primed to get the royal praise he deserves. Billboard.com caught up with CyHi while he was in Atlanta rehearsing, and The Juice now exclusively presents the artwork and June 14 release date for "Royal Flush 2."
The Juice: You're about to go on a Heineken-sponsored tour with Kanye and Pusha T. For those who've seen you before, how will your live show be different this time around?
CyHi: I have a budget on this show! [Laughs] I get to have little props and banners and lights and different things of that nature. Dancers. And I get to bring my friends out so they get to see what I do, and we're all going to be able to promote a lot better because I get to bring my street team, my promotional team with me. It's going to be big fun, and it's my chance to be on a major tour. It's the first one that I've ever done, so... let's get it.
Can we expect any surprises?
Absolutely. We gonna keep it exciting and suspenseful at the same time. We got special guests and everything. You know how I do, I might bring out Michael Jackson! You know what I'm saying? [laughs] "Bring out Mike!"
How's working with Kanye West and co. changed how you make music?
I get better tracks, get better music, and he teaches me how to create. It ain't even that he teaches me how to create songs -- I watch him do it and he assumes that I can imitate him in my style and my own songs. A lot of times we rub off on each other. It's like playing with Jordan: If you're Scottie Pippen and you see Jordan do a move, it's like, 'Yo, I'm gonna integrate that into my game,' you know what I'm saying? So I might not tell him, but you know...
Your music seems to be a cross between the fun, arrogant aspects of rap and the everyday ails of hip-hop.
I love hip-hop more than rap, because rap is just like... The whole thing of it is party music, swag music, versus real life music, everyday music. Rap is like Friday and Saturday. Hip-hop is Sunday through Thursday. But I rap sometimes, sometimes when I have to brag a little -- Kanye gave me a $30k chain, you know what I'm saying? So I can brag a little bit. I got in the studio with Jay-Z, you know I got nice clothes and nice tennis shoes, so I brag a little bit. But I don't overdo it. I say I got a G.A.T. in the Pathfinder [on "So Appalled"]. I didn't say Mercedes Benz, I said my Pathfinder, because that's what I was driving.
Your upcoming mixtape, "Royal Flush 2," features Playaz Circle's Tity Boi. Talk a bit about how that collaboration came to be.
Tity Boi is actually, to me, one of the best Atlanta rappers we have. Not just Atlanta, just down-South rappers -- like you have rappers who swag it out, but he actually can rap. Like, he actually can put lyrics together. If you haven't heard, he and I did a record called "Standstill," and he goes bananas on some hip-hop shit, like on a hip-hop beat.
He was one of the first guys to come get me to do a song with him -- you know all them other rappers with a lot of money, they weren't really [approaching me].
Tell us about the look and feel of "Royal Flush 2."
The actual visual is a more aggressive version of the first one. The first one was more laidback; it was wintertime music because it was wintertime so I wanted it to feel wintertime-ish. This one is more summertime, more energetic, more show-driven music, more aggressive, so you know that's what Royal Flush II is- it's the flipside of Royal Flush I. The artwork is self-explanatory: It shows a prince in all six forms and fashions, and the music displays that as well. And you know, the visuals, everything we do around it, is going to display the "Prince of America", and that's who I am. So when I go to these other countries, I really represent America and I really get to sit down with these other princes and politicians and try to change the world.
Any stand-out tracks you want to discuss?
Well I have a song with Yelawolf called "Bulletproof," and it is incredible, so be looking out for that. That right there is just a lot of South. I got a song with Big Sean called "Whoopdi-do." I don't wanna give them all away, but it's gonna be dope because the last time I didn't get any features, so this time I wanna get the features on it.