On “Squabble,” the opening track of Los Angeles rapper Price’s latest project, The Price EP, Wyclef Jean sets the scene by putting listeners in the middle of an underground rap battle. The crowd buzzes with excitement before Price storms through the doors with a rapid-fire flow reminiscent of a voracious MC eager to steal the show.
“I love that era,” Price said from the confines of his home. “I watch Smack DVDs, and I love that rap, you know? I started the project like that because I wanted to figure out the best way I can stay true to myself and continue to tell a story in ways that I haven’t done.”
Underground battle rap is just one of the ways the former Audio Push member continues to tell the story that first started on his second album F.O.E.S. To make the E.P. fresh and new, Price experimented with different sounds and expanded his voice on tracks such as “Without You,” “The Price,” and “Burnt Out.” He even stepped outside his comfort zone and joined forces with high-octane lyricists Big K.R.I.T. — who he’s currently co-headlining the Digital Roses Tour with — and Wale.
“This is the transformation chapter,” he says. “Spiritually, creatively, business-wise, just humanly as a person, I’m just transforming. I’ve been doing a lot of reading, you know, a lot of meditating and just studying some of the greatest minds in human behavior. I’m truly becoming the person my 12-year-old self wanted to be across the board, and that’s all with intention.”
The Price EP also signifies his new deal with the legendary Motown Records, after spending time on the independent circuit.
“Signing to Motown is a legendary, groundbreaking moment for me,” Price said. “I told that journalist C.L.R.D. is the millennial Motown without even thinking I wanted to sign there. I was intentional in saying that, and look what it manifested into. I’m going to own a piece of Motown one day, if not all of Motown.”
Price called upon the right people — and won’t say who — to help bring his vision to life with his upcoming third studio album, and it’s the culmination of his beginning of his solo career. But before he gets there, he wants listeners to know where they’re going first. Price considers The Price EP to be the appetizer to the bigger, full-course meal he’s cooking for fans with his forthcoming album.
“My first two projects, C.L.R.D. and F.O.E.S., are the bread and butter they serve you in a restaurant,” he said. “The Price EP is the calamari you ordered to get your meal started, and it’s another intro to my growing story before we get to the album, which I’m so excited for.”
And while Price is a big fan of manifestation, he wants his fans to know it’s impossible to do that without coming up with a plan of what you want out of life. With his newest EP, Price is angling for an even splashier album, and knows he can rely on his Day Ones to get him to the rap mountaintop.
“People are going to say, ‘I love Price, and we stand with this. I stand by him, that message, and I stand by what he’s doing. I believe in him. We support and we as a people, we got him.’ That’s my goal,” he said.