Yesterday I saw CyHi the Prynce announce on Instagram and Twitter than his long-long-long delayed debut album on G.O.O.D. Music was finally underway with Kanye West at the helm.
If we're keeping it 150 I was interested, but not that interested. CyHi's been on my radar for years now, I was impressed by his more recent BHP projects, I'd certainly listen to a CyHi album when it dropped, but I wasn't exactly circling my calendar in anticipation, especially with how many times I've seen the gap between "I'm working on the album" and the actual album release take months, if not years.
But then, because the internet, I just so happened to click on the image and get the full text exchange between CyHi and Kanye, and in the three sentences that were cut off in that image above is a story I'm very interested in. Check this out:
When I first read "Kanye West is producing the whole entire project" and "Kanye West and I are currently working on my album" I naively had this vision of CyHi and Kanye locked away in a studio in Hawaii, but apparently the truth of "working with Kanye on the album" is less like late night studio sessions and more like "email me a folder of what you have."
Those intimate studio sessions will likely come, and they need to come if CyHi's going to make the "greatest hip hop album ever heard," but it feels like this small window into what it's really like to be signed to Kanye West. For as many years as CyHi's been on the label, for how often CyHi's been involved in helping create Kanye's albums, without exaggeration one of the biggest moments of his life, the moment his project finally gets a green light, doesn't come over a face to face meeting, there's no conference in the G.O.O.D Music headquarters where a detailed strategy is hatched, it comes via a late night text and an email.
It reminds me of another Kanye protégé, Kacy Hill, who's been called a Kanye protégé because she was recently signed to G.O.O.D Music, but in a recent interview it's clear that Kanye's had almost no involvement in any of the music she's working on so far. And it reminds me of Makonnen, who it looks like left OVO just a year after Drake grabbed him out of relative internet obscurity.
The dream of being signed to a superstar artist like Kanye, or Drake, is that they'll mentor you, really sit down and help you craft a career, but the reality is often more like the occasional text while they're getting ready to play their own sold-out shows, and understandably so. But imagine watching Kanye tweet for hours while you're also waiting for him to green light your album - when someone holds the key to your career in their hands it has to be incredibly frustrating when they're too busy with other stuff to turn on the ignition. That's what prompts a track like "Elephant in the Room."
In the words of Cousin Stizz in the wake of a Drake co-sign, recognition from a superstar artist is great, and signing to them could be greater, but ultimately "Everything's up to you," and these texts are a powerful reminder of just how true that is.