Whipper and his wife. Photo courtesy of Prince Whipper Whip
When you watch a movie like Wild Style, ever ask yourself what those guys are up to now? What happened to the generation of 70s park jams? Let’s see, my superintendent claims he was Doug E. Fresh’s DJ. Luckily, the career of Prince Whipper Whip took slightly more interesting turns. After helping invent rap music with the Fantastic 5, he moved to Cali and ran with Ice-T’s Rhyme Syndicate. Then he toured extensively, yes-yes-y’all-ing for hip-hop nostalgics everywhere. To this day, he records alongside the likes of Z-Trip and the Beatnuts. So basically, you’re looking at 40-plus years of keeping it all the way funky.
VICE: What are the things that best exemplify the last three decades of your career?
Prince Whipper Whip: The 70s are my best memories. The city was nice. You could ride your car drinking a cold beer, go to the bodega, get more beer, say hi to a police officer and he wouldn’t stop you. Even on 42nd Street, you would be selling weed and cops would be like, “You need to take that across the street.” It was uninhibited like that. It was all about going to picnics.
In the 80s, we were taking over, doing parties, riding in limos, living ghetto fab. I remember going to the Fever with everybody sniffing blow. Where do you think Kurtis Blow got his name from? Then at five in the morning, if you were a real head, you’d continue on to The Hilltop, where the windows were painted black, and come out the next day like a vampire. New York was ugly; it was cracked out. I was in the elevator one day and some little cutie pie came up to me like, “Let me give you some head for two dollars.” And she was pregnant!
What has hip-hop left you with?
I’m a B-boy for life. I’ll be like this at 75, I don’t care. I tell my kids: just keep me in up-to-date kicks. I don’t want to dwell on it, but there’s nothing for us when we’re old and retired. Now I know why Little Richard’s always talking shit.
Are you all right, though?
Oh yeah, I’m buying my first house, with a matching car and minivan. I live in Monroe, Michigan, with my wife, who runs a dance studio. I test-drive cars and I’m also a porter in a hospital. I work about 16 hours a day. And ever since I got shot in the chest, I do a lot for the church. Most of my friends are either drugged out, brain-dead, or in jail. But I’m still living. And when I’m gone, my young G’s will keep it whippin’.
Email Prince Whipper Whip at princewhipper1@ yahoo.com.