Anyone can believe in their talent, but not everyone can call themselves royalty. Even back when J.I. the Prince of N.Y. was a child in elementary school, he recognized his talent at an early age since he was skilled at writing stories. Middle school saw him setting time aside to really focus on writing and rapping, with 12 years old being his true starting point. Years of rapping led to J.I. feeling he needed a bigger platform, like Jermaine Dupri's The Rap Game, the reality TV competition show he ended up competing on in 2016.

While he didn't win The Rap Game, the young MC would set out on his own and find traction outside of the show. 2019 is the year he really took off with his music. Between his two projects, Hood Life Krisis Vol. 1 and Vol. 2, along with the success of his song "Need Me," which has over 8 million streams on Spotify, alongside five different videos with over 4 million streams, J.I. might be the prince of more than just the city one day.

Learn more about J.I. the Prince of N.Y.'s journey in this week's edition of The Break.

Age: 18

Hometown: Brooklyn, N.Y

I grew up listening to: "I grew up listening to DMX, Nas, Big Pun especially. Jay-Z, of course, Eminem, Tupac. I'm a big Tupac fan. I am heavy on the DMX right now. Music is universal, and it never dies out. I have always been a DMX fan. I just always listen to him."

My style’s been compared to: "When you come out as an artist, the fans they try and put you in a category as far as what type of artist you are. Like when I came out, everybody was like, 'A Boogie [Wit Da Hoodie], Lil Tjay,' this that and the third. I am just like, I am not aiming for that. I am aiming for Elvis. I am aiming for Michael Jackson. These people are cool and now I understood where it came from, but I am not looking like the next man."

I’m going to blow up because: "I feel like I wouldn't have gotten this far. You know, this is how I see it, 2016, I got a little bit of exposure. I thought I was going to pop off from there and then it just died out for two years. 2019 comes. I am like hotter than I was in 2016. So it's like, I don't feel like this is happening for no reason. I feel like... my name is already talked about, like people know I am out here. It's just about letting everyone know I am out here now. I feel like certain people know. I just want to let everybody know."

What’s your most slept-on song, and why? "'When You Cry' is the song off my second project and it's about pain, nobody can relate to that. I feel like that shit is too hard. Maybe I could have, I didn't really like it. It's not something that you can dance to, it's just like a record you go to listen to and understand the pain. I feel like maybe I could have made it more catchier so people could really bump to it and it could get a bigger response."

My standout records to date have been: "'Need Me,' 'Blame on Me,' 'Love Won't Change.' I'm just going off views and response I get when I perform these records on tour. Those are probably my most successful."

My standout moments to date have been: "I don't feel like I've had it yet. But my career right now, as far as where I am right now, my biggest will probably be signing a deal. We had flew out to California, Warner Bros. had flown us out [and we met with them], but we ended up signing with Interscope. It was dope. I was anxious, I was nervous. I was trying to work. I got a lot to prove. I feel like and it's almost there, it's almost that time."

Most people don’t know: "I am very antisocial. I normally stick to myself. I like being alone. I am a weird person, I like being by myself. People tick me off easily; I don't really like being bothered by people. I don't really like other people's opinions."

I’m going to be the next: "I feel like I am going to be the next street entrepreneur. Mentally, I am just too smart to fail and if I do fail, I did it to myself, but I feel like I can always pick back up. Music is temporary. I want to make enough music to the point where I don't have to make any more music and then I can go out and really change the world."

Follow J.I. The Prince of N.Y. on Instagram and YouTube.


"Need Me"

"Own Shit"

"Love Scars"

Hood Life Krisis Vol. 2

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