The entire rap world has been chomping at the bit for Drake to respond to Pusha-T''s scornful diss track, "The Story of Adidon," but only one man was able to stop it from happening: J Prince.
The Houston rap impresario has launched classic albums by Scarface and Geto Boys as the CEO of Rap-A-Lot Records, but his name arguably rings even more bells as one of the most feared men in hip-hop -- someone with bona fide street cred who protects his friends by any means necessary. That includes defending the Geto Boys from alleged racism from mogul David Geffen, resolving a stewing beef between Pimp C and Master P, and, more recently, warding off foes of Drizzy, whom Prince''s son Jas discovered on MySpace in the mid-2000s.
So this past weekend, when Prince told Maryland''s DTLR Radio that he had instructed Drake to not respond to Pusha-T''s "The Story of Adidon," even fans who were eager for more sparring quelled their excitement. What J Prince says, goes.
Still, the drama isn''t over. When J Prince stopped by the Billboard offices to discuss his new memoir, The Art & Science of Respect, he showed off an anonymous text he received earlier that day that told him to "Keep Pusha T''s name out your mouth" and included addresses of significance to Prince. "I understand where it can go, and I''m trying to circumvent it," said a soft-spoken Prince, who wore a black polo shirt, diamond watch, and a pinky ring.
Below, Prince tells Billboard about the decision to keep Drake out of the beef, his relationship with Gangster Disciple founder Larry Hoover, and his response to Scarface''s allegations about his business practices.
What made you decide to release a book?
I wanted an opportunity to share my wisdom, knowledge, and understanding with the world. My wins, my losses -- everything that happened and came in between those episodes. I''m a guy that started with nothing and figured out how to turn nothing into something, and I want to share that. I want to share my blueprint and the trails I blazed along the journey with those interested in having something in life, [those who] want to know a shortcut.
A book is an opportunity to take control of your story. You have a reputation for being fearsome and violent. Are you comfortable with your reputation? And what do you want the book to show that people don''t already know?
I think my book is going to alleviate a lot of nonsense when it comes to where fear is concerned. I feel like I''m a person that deserves respect, has earned respect, and gives respect. I think reading my book will be a source of information to really show that. I''m sharing some intimate parts of my life.
Over the weekend, we learned that you put in a phone call to Drake and asked him to avoid responding to Pusha-T''s "The Story of Adidon." How much convincing did that take?
Me and Drake have a mutual respect for one another. When I speak, he listens. When he speaks, I listen. I spoke in a manner where it made sense. I didn''t use my words loosely or lightly. I had some substance about what I said. Basically, in a nutshell, we have a situation that crossed the line of music. He dissed Drake''s mom, he disrespected his father, he disrespected 40 -- a man that''s dying,