MODERN POETS, ANCIENT KINGS
Rapper Prynce P Releases “Sons of Cyrus” Video
By: Masa Zokaei
His last album “14” represented the number of years he was in the music industry.
“14” was quite a project. With 34 rappers, singers and producers, musicians such as Grammy rapper Paul Wall, Platinum rapper, Lil Flip and many more, the 2 1/2 year project managed to get five of its most popular tracks on the radio. One of which was dedicated to Dallas, Texas — the rapper’s hometown.
“Two things I hold dear to my heart,” Prynce P says.
“One is I’m from Dallas. And two, I’m Persian.”
We caught up with Prynce P on the eve of the release of hisvideo project for the track “Sons of Cyrus”, featuring rappers Miladic and Motian to see how the project came together.
Javanan: What inspired you to create a song about a figure in ancient Persian history?
Prynce P: It’s powerful to do a song about Cyrus. I felt like nobody had really done anything like this, especially in English. When we were recording, other people in the studio went to Google and started searching who Cyrus the Great was. That’s why it’s great to do it in English, you can connect with even more people about it.
It’s for anyone who likes history and the truth about history, because the movie “300” made us look really bad. You ask people about Persians and they think of 7-foot bald man with a deep voice (in reference to the movie, “300”).The movie didn’t really do us any justice.
This song is a tribute to Cyrus the Great. A great king who many have forgotten about.
There are many metaphors in our song, overtime when you listen to it, you’ll learn something new
There’s a line where Miladic says, “The ghost of Ferdowsi exposed.” Ferdowsi was a legendary poet who wrote The Shahnameh, which saved our language [Parsi]. He’s saying that we are reliving his legacy; we are the new poets and we are bringing theircreed back to life again.
Another line is “Conquer the body/Can’tconquer the mind/When they conquered, we still kept our language alive.”Many countries invaded us but they could never kill our minds. We still have our same language from thousands of years ago. Our love and pride is key in our culture.
So everytime you listen to it, you’ll learn something new.
Javanan: You flew down the rappers to Dallas. Why was it important that you have the rappers be physically present to work on the track instead of having them send their respective parts of the song to you?
Prynce P: It’s all about the vibe. If we don’t have the same chemistry, it won’t work.
It’s more than sending the song and recording in the studio. I had to make sure that they were the right musicians for the song. I already knew that they were dope musically, but I needed to learn about themas I had never met them in person before.
I am very OCD and not easy to work with so I have to make sure we vibe. I let you be creative and I won’t control your creativity but I willcontrol the overall song.
I work with some of the most respected sound engineers in the business but I have to have the final touch on every song. They may hate working with me but when they hear the final product,they give me that happy smile.
Javanan: What do you want people to know about Cyrus and Persian history who aren’t familiar with it?
Prynce P: If it wasn’t for politics, Persepoliswould be a wonder of the world.
A lot of people don’t know that Cyrus wrote the first declaration of human rights, he was talking equality thousands of years ago and it’s somethingthat we still struggle with.He was one of the only kings that said don’t bury me with any gold.
Music is a universal language and if you can make it really catchy people will want to listen.
Javanan: Why did you decide to create the video in Los Angeles?
Prynce P: We headed to Los Angeles where AZ Productions created the video for ‘Sons of Cyrus”. I chose AZ mainly because they’re Iranian and they knew the direction we were going with. They also have their own studio, so it was easier to go where they had everything instead of going to New York or Texas.
I didn’t come up with the idea for the video. It was their idea. I said I’m not a director I just give opinions on parts that I like or dislike.Here is my song and here are the lyrics, you tell me what you think about it.
We all loved the video. It has that ancient type of feel. If you notice, it goes from black and white (ancient times) to color (modern time).
Javanan: Tell me about the concept of the video.
Prynce P: The concept of the video is a tribute to the king of all king, from three modern poets. Each of us with ourown verse.
AZ Productions said we’re going to the studio and we want to show this to non-Persians mainly who don’t know our true history. We want to show what Persepolis and who Cyrus is and show this on a projector with visuals. It’s almost like a documentary of Cyrus the Great and the Persian Empire
If you’re not Persian you can learn something about who we are, our history.
Javanan: Are there things you found out in creating this project, in the process?
Prynce P: Miladic is actually a history teacher in Queens, NY, and he knew a lot about our history.
Me and Motian didn’t know much but this song moved us to do more research. We are Persian-American and we didn’t know too much about Persian culture but Eid [Nowruz], jumping over fire and kabob. These were the 3 things we really knew [laughs]
It has us go back in our history. Knowledge is power.
The more you read the better your lyrics, The more you read the more things you can write about.
Check out Prynce P’s album “14” and the video “Sons of Cyrus” out now.