Working with Kanye is "like working with Jordan or Kobe."
CyHi is a 28-year-old rapper from Atlanta, GA, who looks ready for big things. After a surprise verse on Kanye’s My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, declaring he would be on God’s iPod, and working on Cruel Summer, The Prynce has a few projects coming up. TSL got at Cy in Athens, GA before his show at the TEP house about his career, GOOD Music and what’s next.
TSL: So I heard you studied at Princeton back in the day?
Cyhi: Oh, no I didn’t actually.
TSL: Do you know how that rumor got started?
Cyhi: (laughs) No, but I’m glad it got started. It’s [a track from] the Ivy League mixtape that I did called Prynceton, and I just used it as a thing for promotion. I feel like I’m a smart individual, like one of the smartest from where I’m from, so it was just a metaphor of being in the upper echelon.
TSL: Do you know people at Wikipedia you could get to update that? Both they and BET.com say that you went there from 2002-2006.
Cyhi: For real?! (Entire crew laughs) Yes! We made it to Wikipedia! That is crazy. Got ‘em!
TSL: I also read Beyonce convinced Kanye to sign you to GOOD Music. Is that true?
Cyhi: Yes that actually is true. It was something where Kanye was displaying some of the music on My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, and he asked me to do a hook on the record, and I did the hook and I decided to write a verse [on So Appalled], and I put it at the end of the song so it wouldn’t mess up the song and as the song was playing he didn’t press stop, he was just talking, and then my verse just came in and Jay-Z was in there too, and he was like, “Yo,” so that’s how I ended up on the record, so that was pretty cool.
TSL: What’s it like working with Kanye?
Cyhi: It’s incredible, man. It’s like working with Jordan or Kobe. After practice you’re ready to go home and they’re still in the gym shooting and you’re like “Dang I know I’m supposed to be in the gym shooting with ‘em.” It’s like you just work overtime, you work harder and you know there’s a lot of money involved, so you take it seriously and it’s a real job when you do it for someone of that magnitude, it’s not just a dude doing shows, this is a guy who has 19 Grammy’s, you know what I mean? It’s a profession; it’s a real job now.
TSL: For Cruel Summer you were surrounded by all kinds of great artists, what was that whole experience like, were you just vibing, bouncing ideas off each other?
Cyhi: Yeah, yeah that’s mainly how it is. It’s a bunch of different rooms. You have rooms with writers, rooms with producers, rooms with rappers – so we were all just coming up with ideas and just mixing and matching and rapping verses to each other, like, “that part’s dope or that part might not be that strong.” We were just critiquing each other and making it the best album it could be, and I think that was the greatest part, just being around all those artists and all those creative minds.
TSL: How do you think it turned out?
Cyhi: I think it turned out great. I think it’s the best because it’s not all the same, we have different variety of music on there due to the different collaborations and different types of artists that’s there just trying to give it an organic feel to the album. So it was great, and we got the deluxe package coming out soon with a lot more artwork and different things like that.
TSL: So when you mentioned bouncing ideas off each other, how much of the freestyle on Funk Flex, how many of those lines had you come up with before?
Cyhi: It’s like piecing everything together. You know you have a bunch of raps that you thought of and you think about and it’s like Tetris, like you gotta fit it in, like when you fittin to fall off Oh throw that right there! So you just piece it together, that’s all it is.
TSL: So what’s next for you? Is there an album in your future?
Cyhi: I have three things coming, I’m gonna do Ivy League Homecoming, I’m gonna do Royal Flush III and I’m working on my album that’s gonna come out first quarter next year. So I’m just getting everything together and just building my buzz right now.
TSL: Who are you working with on the album?
Cyhi: It’s gonna be executive produced by Kanye West, but I have a lot of secrets and I don’t want to give too many away. We’re just in the fetus stage of it, like just gathering what producers we’d like to work with, what artists, where we wanna record it, what musicians, just different things like that. So, that’s where we’re at at this moment, but right now it’s just real fresh.