“We don’t make Northwest music, we make worldwide music.”
When I met up with Prince Charmn and his manager, Jae D, at Momentum Studios in Portland, I really wasn’t sure what to expect. The 28 year old rapper from Spanaway, WA by way of Augusta, GA doesn’t consider himself a “Northwest rapper”; and that’s not so say he doesn’t claim his region, but rather that he doesn’t feel that he makes Northwest music. In fact, much of his strategy – by design – goes against the grain.
In the words of Jae D, Prince is looking to make “endless classics with mass appeal. It’s important not to put him in a Northwest box.” They have little concern with competing for local honors. His album, The Swayside Bachelor (which drops today), touts high-powered, club-friendly production paired with creative, energetic and often explicit lyrics on a variety of topics. In addition to his self-explanatory single, The Real Me, Prince discusses the ills of mistaking lust for love on semi-ratchet banger, Just 2 Hit It, and easily flips his mode from aggressive to introspective throughout the 7-track EP.
In more dramatic move to differ in the way they market, physical copies of The Swayside Bachelor will be available for FREE at select music stores in the Northwest, starting with 2nd Ave Records in downtown Portland, while digital copies will be available for purchase online. The thought process here is to treat music as something to get out of your house for, something worth the personal engagement.
Keeping with this theme, Prince is also serious about his live show, which his team unanimously described as “high energy”. When you meet the man in person, this is not hard to imagine. Prince came off as extremely energetic yet impressively focused. Rapping for the better part of 16 years, he knows who he is and what it is he’s trying to accomplish with the music. He’s not here for per validation or pictures with the cool crowd; he’s here to fill his lane and satisfy his fans.
With a refreshingly different perspective from a rap artist, I’m interested to see how the marketing – which is heavily focused in Portland – pans out. Prince Charmn is a solid rapper, still working to build his image and is chasing his goals via a path less taken. The way he and his team see it, doing the same things as everyone else will get you the same results as everyone else. Besides, even if the approach is somewhat different, they are confident that the music will speak for itself. Says Jae D, “I feel like he’s the hottest rapper in the world.”
Tonight, to celebrate the release of the album, he is performing at the All Ducks Everything post Civil War party in Eugene. If you’re in the area, be sure to check it out.
For booking information please contact A. Wright at (360) 241-1757.