The righteous chosen name is more than an attribute. It is something the young Black man, who has realized himself, will want to be. Something that is him and that he must be. In today’s life of silent oppression war only exists when one reaches a peace of mind. A most important piece put in a name that flags himself into the battle. Hip Hop music officially became the score of this war when Chuck D opened his letter from the government. The music officially put on the universal flag when Paid in Full came in the name of Rakim Allah. It all continues honorably as J-Love continues his flood with the debut LP from Prince Original, One Life to Live.
Prince Original is an MC that has absolutely no 00’s influence. Every last vowel is 90’s rugged inflection, from the school of Guru, while every consonant has definitive emphasis on the mission of clarity—every verse is his last. His content sums as direct details on his principles—Originality, Realness & Integrity amidst all the contrdictions. In the 90’s, we were spoiled by these debuts of pure declaration. Today, we must welcome. The contradiction of Prince Original’s truth is exactly why today’s sold rap can’t handle such reality. One verse Prince is building, the next he’s scheming to oz enough riches to get his crew out. Yet when one listens carefully one hears a man’s talent articulating it all for a better life that is filled with whatever righteousness they can get. All they can get. A brother’s gotta go get his righteous way. And that’s often the war in the peace, the bars in these song pieces.
Prince is filled with the dexterity for varying speeds and amplified intensity. This is why Hip Hop has a Jazz-like texture in depth. Listening repeatedly to an MC as Prince Original opens up the acknowledgement of his abilities that remain hidden. Touring through Original’s verses on J-Love beats on One Life, “Prince of Steele” has Original riding the rolling drums, often ending bars right on the snare with effortless fluidity. On “Serengeti” his clarity empowers as the break dives in and out emphasizing the trooping. So on the tempered pounds of “Long Way Home,” Prince pensively goes through the daily hells with these beat techniques. The mic presence is absolute with layered bars on the posse cut “Justice League” while, with non-preachiness, kicks it to potential Earths on “Beautiful Queen.” The varying subject matter is the strength of the LP yet the many battle tracks from “Verbal Matrimony” to “Warrior Status” all have that supreme militancy where there is a real enemy from the Man to the inner demons inside. Technically, Original rhymes in phrase fragments that are most noticeable in his extended choruses. However, when traveling through verses as “Dream Chaser” (“…incarceration situations got the mind racing/embracing herbal creations light the mental elevations/move faking lead to physical replacement/enslavement leave you deceased or face in the pavement…”) those gaps of space close and unlock melodic potential. As his content becomes dynamic ideas in concepts blending with his melodic peaks, Prince Original will be even greater than this strong debut.
Now, J-Love’s flood of 5 albums released together is an impossible victory for any beatmaker. Snares, bassdrums and high hats just lose their differentiation after time. Yet J-Love works track by track and each beat laid becomes part of a real song for Prince Original. The harps on sharp 1-2 breaks and high-hat aided snares on “Lost Hour” is exactly the overcoming devilishment theme Prince presents. “Tearz of A Soldier” needs the extended snare, flute wail and guitar’d appearance for the tempered adrenaline Prince Original has already set the tone for. J-Love’s arrangements constantly drops out for isolations nicely because Prince rhymes on the bar every time. And snares. They’re a key on this album. From the intruding elongated ppssssssttt on “Acclaimed Ambiance” or the repeated riff on “Dream Chaser,” Prince Original’s wisdom giving all he has and all within his power to succeed with the crew has a beat bed.
J-Love is famous for his mixtape work yet he continues to put out extremely developed MCs with content, strong talent developing technical skill. All into albums that go deep into their ideas and many builds the MC has had on his mind forever and a break. Prince Original has these tools, the lenses on the street and the principles that go beyond just the righteous name. One Life To Live comes through in the name of his developing abilities, broad subject matter and….that street militant righteously fighting gutter illness…Prince Original.