By: Todd Davis
Hailing from New Orleans, Louisiana, Lawrence “Baby Boy da Prince” Cennett exploded onto the music scene with his chart-topping 2007 anthem “The Way I Live,” an uplifting track that he had written and recorded shortly after surviving the natural disaster, known as Hurricane Katrina, which literally tore his hometown into pieces.
Flash forward nearly three calendar turns later, and da Prince has returned, with his long overdue sophomore offering in hand, to shake up the industry once more.
Let’s jump right into this brand new second album — Has it even been titled yet?
Yeah, the new CD is titled MultiTalented. Basically, I wanted to show all of my talents. You’ll get me rapping, singing, dancing, and probably some jokes. I’m gonna really just let it all hang out, and just do me.
Who all did you enlist in regards to the record’s production?
We kept it all New Orleans on this joint! The bulk of the production comes from a kid named Onset. He’s done some work for B.G., and a few other people. The song with Lil Wayne, and the song with Cassidy, were produced by Paulus Boler of Lighthouse Studios. My first single, “Let’s Go,” was done by Blair Taylor of Taylor Made Music. People are gonna really like the sound of the album. These producers are super-talented, and the world will take notice.
Weezy & Cassidy, that’s big! So, do you have any personal favorite track(s)? If so, why that/those particular one(s)?
All of them are my favorite! *Baby Boy chuckles* I really like this song I did called “Change.” My producer, Onset, actually wanted me to sing on this track. I was like, “WTF!” He said, “It’s gonna be good!” Once I heard the track and we started putting it all together, I was like, “Damn!” This was probably one of the only songs I ever did that made me really think. The song is really deep, and it’s very different for me at least.
So, it’s been nearly three long years since the release of your solo debut, Across The Water — Why such a lengthy delay between projects?
Well, well, well…That’s a complicated answer. Well, first of all, the song “The Way I Live” just wouldnt die. We were a year into the song, and it was still heavy at radio. I was still doing shows, ring-tones were still selling, and things were good. After everything started to slow down, Universal Republic went in a different direction as far as rap was concerned. They dropped basically all the rappers. But, it was cool.
Because of your long abscence, some people chopped you up as a “One Hit Wonder” — What message do you have for the folks who counted you out?
Ha, ha, ha! This is probably coming from people who are “No Hit Wonders!” Trust me, it’s hard enough to get a hit song, and it’s even harder to do it again. But hey, let them say what they want. I had a good time, and made lots of good friends. Trust me, I’ll be back, and in a major way!
Tell me how this whole Baby Boy da Prince thing first got started?
I started out dancing. My brother, Choppa [formerly signed to Master P’s now defunct No Limit imprint], was hott, and was traveling all over the country. I did all the choreography for him, and he had a mean “show” game. As time went on, I had my own fans who liked to see me dance. It got to the point where it was out of control. So, my manager, Big Mel, said, “Man, since all the girls like your dancing, what if you became a rapper?” Once we put it all together, it was like magic! And, I never looked back.
Coming up in the N.O., who all influenced your sound and style?
I was influenced by what was around me; Cash Money, No Limit, 5th Ward Weebie, Hot Boy Ronald, and most of all, Choppa. I’m kind of like a mash up of all those guys.
With that being said, describe for me your overall musical vibe?
My vibe is what I like to call “Feel Good” music. I’m not into that “gangster” stuff, or talking all tough. I’m more laid back. I like talking about women, and keeping people dancing.
So, you never really aspired to become a rap artist, at least not technically speaking?
Nah, not really. I always was a student of music, but didn’t really know that I was going to make it a career. Believe it or not, it kinda of just happened.
Well, where did your moniker originally derive from?
My manager gave me that name. I was always the youngest guy on the road, so they called (me) the “Baby Boy” of the crew.
What do you feel it is that propelled you to that “next level,” considering, initially, rapping wasn’t necessarily something you even wanted to do professionally?
I guess just being me. I don’t fit into any type of box. You can’t say I sound like this one or that one. Being original has its advantages.
I’ve been hearing lately that you do you have some aspirations for the silver screen, correct?
Yeah, I’m actually scheduled to be in a movie that’s being shot in New Orleans in the summer of 2010. So, I guess to answer your question, I’m going to give acting a shot also.
How do you view the current climate of today’s Hip-Hop artists — Are you content with it?
Well, I’m not going to talk about other artists. If it works for you, then do it. Right now things are down as far as sales go, but it will turn around. Labels need to get back to artist development. Fans need time to get to know the artist. That’s the reason cats fail.
Everyone either knows your music already, or will become familiar with it soon, but who exactly is Baby Boy da Prince?
Well, I guess I’m that guy that’s just a little bit different. I move to the beat of a different drum. Believe it or not, I’m more lyrical than most people realize. I just got a different style.
And, what do you like to do in your spare time, completely away from this music?
I’m a real big sports fan! I love playing football, basketball, and running. I try to stay in shape. Oh, and by the way, I’m fast as a mutha!
Ultimately, what is your 5 to 10 year plan in entertainment?
In five to ten years, I just want to be relevant. To still be making money. Getting a 9 to 5 job is not for me.
Your anticipated sophomore solo album is due out when exactly? And, are there any current plans to tour behind it?
The album’s gonna drop in March or April. I’m definitely going on (a) promo tour so I can reach out to all my old markets again. They been waiting, so I gotta give it to them!
What’s that “live” show element (gonna be) like?
My live show is crazy! I kick it off dancing and playing with the ladies. After that, it’s down to business — Hit ’em with the hits!
Are there any mix-tape(s) or cameos on others works to look out for from you in the near future?
I’m not really into the mixtapes, but I do have a few surprises up my sleeve! Stay tuned…
Is there anything else that I may have left out or have forgotten to inquire about?
I just want all my fans to holla (at) me on twitter: @DAREALBABYBOY
I answer as many people as I can.
Sadly, Thursday June 25th 2009, the world lost the greatest entertainer who ever lived — What was your first reaction upon hearing the tragic news? How does Michael Jackson’s untimely passing affect, not only you, but, music in general? And, in the wake of his demise, what does this mean for the future of recorded music?
Yeah, the world lost one of the best. Best musician, best dancer, best everything! Because of his death, I hope cats really slow down and take care of themselves. I know I did.
Do you have any final thoughts?
I just want to say, “Anything is possible if you believe in the Lord!” Oh yeah, shouts out to my label, Extreme Entertainment, and Bossman and O.G. Wil. Also, look out for my label-mate, Rantz. That boy a beast with that R&B!
Thanks for taking your time out with me today, good luck with the album, and continued success to you!