BABY PRINCE ON NEW EP ‘PURPLE RAG PRINCE’ & MAKING FRIENDS BEFORE MUSIC
Once an early innovator of trap and melodic rap in Australia, Baby Prince enters his Purple Rag R&B era on his latest EP.
Some five years ago, led by the likes of BLESSED and Manu Crooks, the Brisbane/Meanjin artist helped turn a fresh wave of young and diverse talent into the scene. Whether you’re familiar with his ongoing and impressive feature run (see ‘Pretty Pearl’, ‘DOWN UNDER’ and ‘2 Phones’), or his recent placement in Acclaim’s 2023 Allstars, Baby Prince has been a long-standing champion in the country’s new age.
In the time passed since his official debut in 2018, Baby Prince cultivated a network of close collaborators, polished and expanded his sonics, and established himself as a dominant local force. Regardless of the accolades and experience, the Zimbabwe-born artist says he feels he’s still only warming up.
Proceeding his long-awaited and heavily collaborative Spriteschool sequel, Prince launched into 2023 with ‘P.T.A.B’. Although the short melodic rap song finds him far from settling down, the lead single is but one of the many different relationships and emotions Prince depicts across the latest project.
“Purple Rag Prince EP is my experience of love. My intrusive thoughts, my true self, a window into my life.“Baby Prince on AUD’$ (2023).
Released on March 30, Baby Prince’s third project contains six tracks – all produced, mixed and mastered by his close friend and frequent collaborator, Liam Thomas. On the first offering, ‘SOMEONE LIKE U’, he interpolates Nico Segal and Chance The Rapper’s ‘Sunday Candy’, a song dedicated to Chance’s grandma and her love for church. While last year’s momentous single ‘Zimbabwe’ saw Prince directly pay homage to his heritage and growing up with his grandmother, the piano-led intro delivers a subtle yet similar ode to his upbringing. Graduating from the muddy trap sounds showcased on Spriteschool Vol. 1 & 2, Prince continues PRP with the Afrobeats song ‘MOTO MOTO’, and the more lowkey track ‘SAFETY’ that’s thematically reminiscent of 2021’s ‘OVER SEX’.
In stark contrast to the heavier feature list on his last project, he braves the track-listing alone for the most part and reaffirms his star power as a promising and emerging global act. He’s one part Chance The Rapper’s melodies, Young Thug’s cadence, Lil Baby’s work rate, and a generous splash of the Purple Rag Prince’s irreplaceable presence.
While he credits the penultimate ‘BLOOD ON THE CANVAS’ as his most toxic stage in the EP, ‘ISSUES’ featuring Kedus finds him the most in love. Evoking the feeling of what if, the lead single is about realising how good you have something until you no longer do. Speaking to Prince on their collaboration, he recounted first meeting the fellow Brisbane artist four years ago.
“We’ve known each other for a while but we mostly hang out more than we actually make music. I think it’s good having that friendship and then making music off of that.”Baby Prince on AUD’$ (2023).
Throughout his career, he’s surrounded himself with close friends and collaborators including the likes of Creed Tha Kid, Khi’leb, Mason Dane and the aforementioned BLESSED. Prioritising friendship over music has seemingly become the winning formula for Baby Prince, and resulted in some of the best songs from the last few years. As his inner circle expands and welcomes upcoming local acts like AMAR and Drippyk, there’s a good chance this network of creatives will play a formidable role in the scene for years to come.
Purple Rag Prince showcases Baby Prince’s prowess as a solo artist and sees him stepping into new sonic territory of R&B and Afrobeats. Despite releasing his second EP in eight months, he’s already looking forward to his next drop – teasing 2-3 projects almost in completion and unreleased tracks with BLESSED and Drippyk. If the incredible last three year run is any indicator, it’s safe to say we’ are too’re excited too.