Hello my fellow Grinders (In a British Accent),
This royal wedding madness has sadly gotten to even me. Yes, I watched it too. You see Prince Will and I are similar in many ways: close in age, we both hate PDAs (public displays of affection), we both have thinning hair and the greatest grandmother in the world. Seriously though, I haven’t seen a wedding this royal and filled with pageantry since “Coming To America.” So to salute Prince William and his new bride we big up some other famous princes in music.
There’s many princes in the world but there’s only one Prince and he’s from Minneapolis. Yep, Prince Rogers Nelson has brought you infamous hits like “Purple Rain,” “When Doves Cry,” “If I Was Your Girlfriend,” and “U Got the Look.” The Revolution was televised and in concert as Prince’s back up band. Before this modern era of ‘having your own artist’ Prince put on people like Morris Day, The Time, Shelia E, Vanity 6, Apollonia and The New Power Generation. Like The Godfather of Soul and The King of Pop, there’s only 1 Prince in music.
If you say Prince Will in England your talking royalty. But in America, Prince Will is The Fresh Prince from west Philly, Will Smith. Some of you kiddies only know Will Smith from his blockbuster action flicks. Before he was “Men In Black” he ‘Rocked The House’ with Jazzy Jeff and blazed a new trail in hip hop. His TV show, ‘The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” was a hit and is still in syndication. He married Jada Pinkett when she was one of the hottest new black actresses in Hollywood making the ultimate ‘power couple’, long before Jay and Bey. Will Smith truly transcended being an artist to being just LEGEND. Salute.
Prince Markie Dee is not on the radar of anybody who either wasn’t an 80’s baby or a fan of old school hip-hop. But anybody who is familiar with The Fat Boys knows his name. Most people knew Buffy (R.I.P.) The Human Beat Box. He was definitely the star. But Markie Dee was the light skinned Boriqua cat that got all the ladies. In their songs he was always the first MC to spit. Markie Dee went on to have a successful solo career after the group making the smash hit ‘Swing My Way’. Nowadays he’s big radio personality in Miami but he will always be Prince Markie Dee. Watch “Swing My Way” HERE.
Most people don’t know The Rza used to be a Prince. Long before he acted in films like “American Gangster,” before he scored movies like ‘Ghost Dog,’ before ’36th Chambers’ and all the Wu Tang success he was Prince Rakeem. ‘Ooh I Love You Rakeem’ was his one and only record on the label Tommy Boy. Back in these days of early 90’s hip hop, in NYC, Staten Island got as much respect as Jersey nowadays. So no one knew that Prince Rakeem was going to re-invent himself and introduce us to The Wu Tang Saga.
Last but not least is Slick Rick. Yes Slick Rick’s name has nothing to do with a prince, but MC Ricky D makes this list because of his English roots. Slick Rick was an original ‘Englishmen’ in hip-hop. His whole style was flamboyant and royal from his clothing to his jewelry. His accent was unique in hip-hop and it gave the culture its first true taste of international flavor. Slick Rick’s enunciation of words in his rhymes and his frequent use of ‘The Queens English’ is what distinguished him from every other MC and made him truly an original. Until we read again…..
Brandon ‘TNT’ West —
Producer, A&R, Promoter
Holla at him @tnt718