The Scratch Pad: Prince William Talks Post-Rap And The Dallas Dance Scene

Prince William (Will Boston) has been turning out the Dallas music scene for over ten years. Whether producing, spinning, or just getting the people excited about the state of international music affairs, Prince William stays true to his passion for urban music and continues on a frenetic adventure to discover fresh ways to blend, mix and bend the genre into something new. Calmly riding the resounding crest of the post-rap wave, the Prince offered us some knowledge and buzz about his distinct music style and the city’s surfacing breakout sound.

Tell me about the music that you play.

The music that I play, I always say, is where the club meets the streets. I like really grimy street records but I like to remix them for the club. Tons of bass. I used to call it "expensive techno" as a joke because all my records are from the UK or France. They’re all imported and not distributed here. I’m real into the urban music from other markets. I try to blend it all together.

What are you listening to at home right now?

I’m obsessed with this genre from the UK called bassline. It’s 140 bpm and really, really high energy. It’s all about these really beautiful tranquil melodies and then they just flip, they just drop this ruthless bass line. It’s like this real pretty vocal, then [creates bass sounds with his voice]. It’s so exciting to be surprised. I like surprising music. I like the track to surprise me.

So, you’re involved in the Dallas hip-hop scene?

Yes, definitely. Not necessarily what they call hip-hop. I would say the rap scene or the urban music scene.

Tell me how you perceive the urban music scene in Dallas?

It’s kind of like the New York of the south. There are real lyricists here. There is a real sort of lyrical content here that you don’t find in a lot of southern music. I think MCs here are just a little more thoughtful…a little more…I don’t know the right word. It’s kind of difficult because it’s like the middle ground between classic hip-hop and the body music from the south, you know like booty records. I think people here want to talk about their experiences and help people deal with life, but do it in a way that you can do it at the club and it’s not depressing or too heavy. I think we (Dallas) have this middle ground that is really going to flourish--this new generation.

So, there’s a lot of excitement in the scene right now?

Yeah, there’s a lot. Did you go to The Cool Kids' show? There was like 3,000 people there. A lot of them were under 21. There was a full spectrum of diversity and the kids were all dressed up--like wearing throw back sneakers and big chains and glasses. They had high top fades. There is a whole new scene of kids that in two years are going to be coming to our shows when they turn 21. And I know there are a lot of rappers in that generation because I see them on Myspace. So, this whole new level of hip-hop is about to be the predominate style. It’s really exciting. It’s what we’ve wanted hip-hop to be for five years, you know…ever since the radio ruined it.

And Dallas has some good talent, yes?

Yeah, Dallas has the answer. And The Party helped those kids to find their places. They were all feeling alienated by the hip-hop that’s played on the radio. But, at the same time, The Party was embracing the hip-hop getting played on the radio. I think the kids embrace dance rap, like "My Dougie" more than, like, Jay Z. I think it’s the lighthearted party rap that everybody’s moving towards. Dark times make that energy-music so appealing. I’ve been saying this for a while: I think that there’s going to be a big breakout act like Nirvana for hip-hop. I think that we’re in this post-rap stage.

A new genre is surfacing…

Yeah. So, whoever thinks of that name…whatever that name is going to be. I think the new hip-hop sound is going to be really international. You look at M.I.A.’s records sales, they far outweigh what used to be popular artist like Nas or these mainstream rappers; they’re not selling near at the volume as she is. And, the thing is, she still sells her first record. Her first record still gets huge numbers. You can’t ignore that. There’s really a change in the market. I think that the UK and the international hip-hop sound is going to step up into the American market.

That’s got me excited.

Yeah, and that’s a real key element of my sound. I love to play hip-hop and urban music from everywhere…

So, you’re mixing that sound with…

Hip Hop, a cappella, club remixes, R&B songs and stuff like that. That’s exactly what you’ll here. Maybe a remix of a classic R&B song like SWV or something, with maybe a new remix of a dirty south song. The whole time it’s like a 120 to 140 (bpms.) I’m a real high-energy DJ. I always say that I’m not versatile, because if I’m supposed to open up for somebody, I still just go full energy. I can’t calm down. When I DJ, I just go all the way. I’m no good at holding back. I always say that I’m a good DJ because I kind of, eternally, have no idea what I’m doing. It’s like eternal beginner’s luck. I can just turn off and pretend like I’m somewhere else and tap into my intuition. I’m really good at that.

Well, I think that’s what makes a good DJ.

I do, too. I absolutely agree. It’s like, when you are comfortable enough with your devises, you don’t have to think about what you’re doing and you can just let go. That’s what makes a good artist period. Michael Jackson always said that if he thinks while he’s dancing, he messes up.

Prince William will be spinning his international flavors Saturday at the D Town Booty Bounce at Fallout Lounge. --Krissi Reeves

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Krissi Reeves