Never Judge A Book By Its Cover: Checking in with Prada West
Pretty much everyone is fed up with the restrictions brought on by the pandemic, but by now many people have become pros on how to avoid letting COVID-19 slow down their career trajectories. There’s been no overall shortage of new music releases since March, and some artists seem to have been completely unfazed by the changes coronavirus has brought on.
Artists like Prada West pride themselves on their strong worth ethic, and 2020 is already proving to be super productive for the West Coast rapper and entrepreneur.
So far in 2020, he’s released eight official singles, along with a five-track EP called Mob Hitz produced by Buggati Beatz. There’s also been a ton of guest appearances made by Prada West this year including appearing on the Ruthless album by Mr. Lil One and No New Friends album by Kingston, Ontario artist Stax.
He also appears alongside Dirty Doc on the new Stax single “Ww2,” and is also featured on recently released tracks by Illiano (“TruColorz”), Midnight Society (“Covid Cypher”), Matthew James (“Lethal”) and Aiwass (“Walk Away”).
Prada West’s latest releases are the Golden BSP-assisted “Centerfold” single, his new “Options” collaboration with Konfidential, and his new video for “Survival Of The Fittest.” He’s also got an incredible new video inspired by his love for tattoos titled “Never Judge A Book By Its Cover,” which he broke down in-depth during a recent e-mail based interview.
With an endless list of topics to discuss, our new Q&A with the “#1 Hustla” rapper discusses the themes behind his latest releases, his relationship with tattoos, his clothing line P.A.I.D. Apparel, and much more.
Check it all out below.
Q&A: Prada West
HipHopCanada: Your work ethic has always been super impressive and it seems you’ve managed to be even more productive during this pandemic. Can you talk about the concept for your “Survival of the Fittest” video?
Prada West: I’ve had to stay even busier through the pandemic specifically due to not making as much money off of streams as I do live performances. So I’ve had to drop nonstop content to try and pick up the stream revenue. The concept for my “Survival Of The Fittest” video, is a visual look at how a dude like me survives through a global pandemic, and stays strong through whatever hurdles come my way.
HipHopCanada: How did the Mob Hitz EP come together?
PW: The Mob Hitz EP came together with my good friend and producer, Buggatti Beatz, who I’ve made endless amounts of songs with over his production. And him and I just decided we should release an EP together since we’ve released so many singles together. So that is where the initial plan came from, and then I came up with title and concept for the EP myself. I come from Italian decent and I have always been intrigued with mafia and mobster history and films and what not. So that’s where the title and concept came from, more or less just wanted the old school gangster theme to it.
HipHopCanada: Another recent video, “Have Fun” off your double album Unrestricted. Can you touch on the concept for the video?
PW: My video for “Have Fun” is basically just how it sounds concept wise. It was actually kind of cool how it came together because I was in Victoria on Vancouver Island to shoot a video for “Survival of the Fittest,” and then I also had my friend videographer Clicks By Klauss shoot the same day for my “Have Fun” video and leave the footage for that video with me to edit myself… so we did that video in a crunch time kind of thing, and the concept to it is more or less just a walk around the city talking shit, spitting raps, smoking weed, kind of thing.
HipHopCanada: How many more videos do you plan on releasing in support of Unrestricted?
PW: At this point in time I think I might hold off on anymore videos for that project and focus on more upcoming material.
HipHopCanada: “Never Judge A Book By Its Cover” is really creative and well executed. I watched it a few times. What inspired the creation of the video and how has the tattoo community responded?
PW: Yes, I was really pleased with how the visuals had turned out for that spoken word poem. It was exactly how I had envisioned it, and my good friend Edwin Bergson out of Lyrics Studio Victoria helped me bring it to life! What inspired me to create that was jut the simple thought of how tattoos are super relevant and relatable more now than they have ever been in this world. So, I wanted to speak on how I feel as someone who’s covered in them and judged by many for how I look.
HipHopCanada: Can you share a personal tattoo story?
PW: A personal tattoo story I have is, I started at a young age and always knew I was going to be covered so I wanted them to all have a deep meaning. And the meaning that I have with the majority of them is a yin and yang kind of theme. We all have a good and a bad side. So on my back I have heaven and hell with the devil reaching up to the sky to try and pull the angel I have on my shoulders to hell. It’s a thin line and we all have to fight the demons to stay from crossing it.
HipHopCanada: Can you share which tattoo is your favourite and why?
PW: My favourite tattoos are my hand pieces because I can always see them. They just define kind of who I am in a sense because they have graffiti style airy buildings with the words “pain” and “glory” and then “love” and “hate” on my knuckles. And I just really like how they turned out.
HipHopCanada: Is there a particular tattoo artist you like to go to?
PW: No, there isn’t. I’ve been tattooed by several artists.
HipHopCanada: I really like the vibe on your new Golden BSP collaboration “Centerfold.” Will you be dropping a video for that track?
PW: Thank you, I’m glad you like it bro. I was actually thinking we should shoot a vid for that one, so yes, there might be one in future reference.
HipHopCanada: Along with releasing the Breakin’ Borders project with Mr. Lil One, you’re also featured on his RUTHLESS project. Do you guys have any more collaborations in the works?
PW: Lil One is a super dope and down to earth dude, and it’s an honour for me to be in contact and build a musical relationship and friendship with him! Especially for the fact that I grew up listening to him when I was a kid! Yes, we have more videos for songs off of Breakin’ Borders coming, as well as a couple new singles we will be releasing soon!
HipHopCanada: Your P.A.I.D. Apparel is FRESH! I need to cop a hoodie. As you approach the two year anniversary of launching the company, can you speak on what you have planned for P.A.I.D. Apparel for the rest of 2020?
PW: Thanks again for the compliment bro, glad you dig it! Yes, I plan on releasing a couple new logos and items before the year end, and then from there just expanding it more and recruiting new artists and designers to become a pet of the team.
HipHopCanada: What else do you have in store for 2020?
PW: Just to keep steady dropping music, in the ethic of raising my streams, and online following!
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