Read the Foreword Drake Penned For J. Prince's 'The Art & Science of Respect'
Years before inking a deal with Lil Wayne's Young Money imprint, Drake was an up-and-coming rapper who was discovered on MySpace by Jas Prince Jr., son of Rap-A-Lot CEO James Prince, a man that has become a highly respected figure in the music industry. Now, Prince is gearing up to unveil his upcoming memoir The Art & Science of Respect on June 22 featuring a foreword written by Drake himself.
In the foreword, Drake reminisces about the role James Prince played in his career since Jas Prince Jr. discovered him on MySpace and the gems he learned from being in Prince's presence over the past few years. "He’s a complicated man, and it takes time to learn how to read him, even for me," Drake writes. "Through our ears, he reinforced the importance of being self-contained, how to build a team, and how to respect and value their unconditional support to the movement that you’re creating."
J. Prince also shared an audio of Drake narrating the foreword in a video on Instagram. "My book begins with the foreword by Drake. The picture above shows the first time we met and it's been a beautiful journey ever since," Prince captioned the video that shows an old picture of the music mogul, Jas Prince Jr., and young Drake.
He continued: "You can tell a good tree by the fruit it bears. That’s why I’m proud to be Pops to both of these young men @champagnepapi and @jas.prince. I had no idea Drake would evolve into the superstar he is today but Jas did. Now we shall continue to deal with all haters and weapons that plot against us. 'After all it's God's Plan [sic], even when the enemies fall in my hand.'"
Read the full foreword below.
I honestly don’t remember meeting James Prince. It was years ago and a lot of life has happened since then. What I do remember is like scenes from a movie, being in Houston, on our way to a nightclub escorted by a motorcade, seas parting everywhere we went. Waves, handshakes—all blatant signs of respect and admiration and maybe even fear to be honest.
But it all equaled up to a man straight out of all my favorite movies about power, loyalty and respect. My story from Degrassi until now has been pretty well documented. Everyone has heard how Jas Prince found me on MySpace, reached out, brought me to Houston and introduced me to Lil Wayne. But not much has been said about the things I witnessed from the Prince family during those early years in that city.
There’s a common thread throughout the careers of mine and many others. And that is that no one becomes great on our own. Not even me or Pops. You know me, Jas, Jr., Baby Jay, those are my brothers, so I call him Pops. He’s a complicated man, and it takes time to learn how to read him, even for me. Through our ears, he reinforced the importance of being self-contained, how to build a team, and how to respect and value their unconditional support to the movement that you’re creating.
Our parallels became clearer and clearer. At a time where Toronto was as unlikely to succeed as a former car salesman out of Houston, at a time where rap was either East Coast or West Coast, here we both are. He helped pave the way by building a Third Cost the same way we established the North.
The challenges of creating a movement from scratch are indescribable. Everyone is different and no one has the cheat codes. We’re all just feeling our way through, relying on instinct, using whatever tools we’ve been given. And what James Prince did, from rap to boxing, was build a movement. And he did it for his city.