When faced with misfortune, there’s almost an instinctive need to seek comfort. That’s why in a grim, Bush-led America people look for almost anything that lets them escape reality. Having witnessed the devastation of Hurricane Katrina firsthand, New Orleans neophyte Baby Boy Da Prince knows about hard times all too well. Still, the last thing he wants to do right about now is dwell on the negative.“I didn’t wanna make any songs about Katrina,” says the 21-year-old MC, whose home was practically uprooted in the storm. “We didn’t have lights, gas, water or shelter. I had to take a bath in a fuckin’ pool! There ain’t nothing entertaining about that.”Providing entertainment has always been one of Baby Boy’s objectives. From clowning with his crew to performing at house parties, Baby Boy was always known for drawing a crowd. In 2001, he gained the attention of resident hot boy Choppa, who put him on with local Take Foe Records, where he gained regional acclaim with 2002’s Like Dat. “I was the best thing smokin’,” Baby Boy recalls boastfully. “[Take Foe Records] took me as a priority because my name was already bangin’ out there.”Spending the past five years as the opening act for superstars like 50 Cent and Paul Wall, Baby Boy signed with the independent major Universal Republic last year. His debut, Across the Water, looks promising, with the video for its lead single, “The Way I Live” featuring Lil’ Boosie, hitting high on MTV’s Sucker Free Countdown. “I’m coming different than the other rappers in New Orleans,” he proclaims. “If I can make something for your grandma, I’ma make it! I’m trying to make something for your whole family.”That’s not to say that Baby Boy is soft. “On my album, I’m pourin’ out my heart, letting niggas know I been in jail with niggas that done killed, robbed, everything,” he reaffirms. “But at the same time, in every other verse, I try to hit you with something comical, ya dig? Something that’s gonna uplift you and make you smile out the blue.” Now, that’s entertainment.
——- Read the rest of our Show & Prove picks in XXL’s May 2007 issue (#91)