Prynce MINI

Selected by: Yemi Abiade
Photography: Ibrahim Kamara

Name: Prynce MINI

Where He’s From: South East London

When He Started: 2012

Genre: Dancehall/Bashment/Rap

File Next To: 808INK, Cadenza, Gaika, Coco

Sounds Like: “High energy dancehall with touches of rap and grime.”

First Music That Inspired Him: “Dizzee Rascal’s Boy In Da Corner and Kanye West’s 808s & Heartbreak.”

Soundsystem culture has been a permanent fixture in the UK since our parents were in cots. The richness of what was a Caribbean export in the 1950s and ‘60s has become embedded in Britain via cultural phenomena such as the Notting Hill Carnival and Red Bull Culture Clash, and the crystallisation of dancehall, ragga, and grime. Prynce MINI is the living embodiment of this storied tradition. Hailing from Peckham, South London, with roots in Portland, Jamaica, the rapper/producer is the product of the bold, bright and multicultural area he resides in.

With his music, Prynce captures his emotions and influences growing up as a black boy of Caribbean descent, mixing reggae, ragga, dancehall, grime and rap to create a sound that nods to previous soundsystem generations but with a modern edge, instantly danceable and reloadable. “My music represents the people around me,” he says, “and I tell my stories and my peoples’ stories through my music, to write our time in history.” The son of a sound man, MINI was enamoured by the soundsystem from early, “whether hosting and emceeing or just putting a needle to a vinyl,” he says. This interest soon shifted to music, which he started making at the age of 13. It wasn’t until his grandmother’s unexpected passing five years later that he decided music was the road he was destined to walk.

Vocally, MINI shifts from screeching energy to self-assured calm as he rides a multitude of beats, trading English for patois at ease and switching dancehall flows for rap flows throughout, and his delivery dominates the mood of each and every track. 2016 mixtape 11 Nyghts, made in just 11 nights, showcased his penchant for melody, bars and infectious hooks that drill a hole into one’s head. He has since worked with the likes of 808INK, Last Japan, Scrufizzer, Cadenza and even produced Nadia Rose’s 2017 anthem “Skwod”. It is clear from the offset that MINI makes inter-generational music; tunes that can transport the older generation to their halcyon days and the youngers to a pre-internet era of a musical foundation that has funnelled through into UK black music today.

Prynce MINI serves as a conduit through which musical connections between the past and present can be made. Almost an anomaly for his wholly original approach, the sky is the limit for him, but MINI remains humble in his goals: “I want to continue to be consistent and just live it. Identify with my community and grow with them.” From Peckham to Portland, Prynce is going places fast.

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Posted on March 06, 2019