Hub City, better known as Compton, California, is home to some of the most legendary rappers, athletes and stars known the world over. Aiming to make a place at the table himself, Prince Charlez, has already cultivated the rep as the man with the golden pen. After creating hits for Usher (“More”), Rihanna (“Needed Me”) and soon-to-be mother of two, Beyoncé (“Ring Off”) — Prince Charlez next feat is to introduce his brand of theatrically hypnotic trap-infused-soul on the masses.
Black and Gold is the result of said experimentation. Produced by the legendary Drumma Boy, the eight-track effort is impossible to shake from the ear drums, as Prince Charlez exhibits excellent wordplay and gravitas. “In my mind, Black and Gold represents royalty. I just felt like I was in the place to create some darker stuff and Black and Gold was appropriate,” PC told us during a brief chat. With that in mind, we’re ecstatic to premiere the music video for his focused track, “Bitty,” which builds a syncopated hook upon his sharp and nuanced bars that is incredibly addictive. “[‘Bitty’] shows a different side, a different player of urban music because people aren’t used to seeing that visual with that type of song,” Prince Charlez told us in an exclusive quote.
“It is something different and my goal is to have a non-traditional approach with evolving in the trap music [genre].”
With influences ranging from Aretha Franklin, Billie Holiday and country music (yes, don’t forget, we started that too!) — we broke bread with Prince Charlez so you can learn a bit more about him. Peep the rundown below, then press play on the video and have yourself a litty, bitty good time.
Okayplayer: As a “Hub City Original,” you represent a long line of talented artists from Compton. As you’ve risen through the ranks — what was the best advice you’ve received that you’ve taken to heart and from whom?
Prince Charlez: The best advice I ever received would have to had been from Mary J. Blige. “Stay preserved. Be wise and stay true to the essence of who you are and have fun, but be very aware what’s going on with your business,” she told me. That is probably the most genuine advice [that] I’ve been given in a while.
OKP: Your live performance here in New York was positively attended. Was it your first time ever getting busy live in the Big Apple?
PC: I have always recorded there [in New York], but yes, it was my first time in that setting as far as performing music in front of people.
OKP: The song “Bitty” is hella catchy + gets the body moving. What was your inspiration behind that song? And did you help to conceive the song’s music video?
PC: [Laughs] I’ve been really deep into trap music recently and I’m trying to figure out ways to bridge it with R&B and Top 40. I have really been indulging in the melodics for a while. That’s what inspired me to want something heavy on the bottom end and have people hear that in their trunk when they’re driving down the street. That gutter sound. I wanted that sound, so I went down to Atlanta to get that.
As far as the “Bitty” video, it was a collective effort with my choreographer Richard Brickus. We would always sit and brainstorm with the songs from Black and Gold and we thought about a warehouse. We then sat down with Rite Media Group and we thought it would be dope to have this performance in a graffit’d warehouse with choreography and nice attire. A nice, clean look, but in the gutter.
The video, to me, represents the reintroduction to the performing arts into urban music. I wanted to give the people something new to look at. It’s not me trying to be a trap star, it’s not me trying to be a trap rapper—it’s just me evolving in the trap music as myself. Visually, it is a bump for street music because people aren’t used to seeing choreography to trap music.