Jay Z and Cyhi the Prynce, photographed backstage during the Atlanta stop of the “Magna Carter World Tour” on December 27, 2013.
In a recent interview with Billboard magazine—conducted ahead of the release of his debut album No Dope on Sundays—Cyhi spoke on his relationship with the God MC, who he sees as his mentor: “I grew up idolizing this man. I shouldn’t have idolized him, but it is like, JAY-Z felt like my second father. The thing that JAY-Z did for me was the ability to listen to him on songs, and he then he would solidify the things my OGs would tell me. I’d have these old dudes tell me, ‘Maybe you should do this,’ then I’d go and listen to a JAY-Z song, and he’d say the exact same thing. Those are the moments that felt like, 'Yeah! Okay, these are cardinal rules. I am not going to do this.'
Then, when I met him, he was kicking it with me like I already knew him. I remember getting invited to Easter Sunday dinner, or coming to his house. You’d see Blue running around, Beyoncé, and it’s just like, 'Wow! Where am I at?’ It is surreal. You would think I’d need a million dollars, and I would have to be a super-duper successful artist in order to be able to have this kind of conversation or to share dialogue with somebody of this magnitude, and he treats me like I am family. Jay will tell me, ‘Bruh, come on over.’ We can go to the basement and kick it, share a cigar, and I feel like, ‘Man! I am at JAY-Z’s house.’ It still feels crazy.
He’s the god of Black people, to me. It is just like, JAY-Z is what Martin Luther King Jr. would have been if they did not take his life. You know MLK didn’t get to reap all the benefits he should have. Back in the day, different kings from different countries used to try and send MLK crowns. There were these all gold crowns with rubies, and diamonds in them … So, I believe JAY-Z is the poster child for what every young Black man who came from the struggle went through. I think that is who JAY-Z is. So, that is why he is a big mentor to me.”