Though there's never been an official followup to The Adolescence, Prince Ea regularly posts his new material online. Songs such as "The Brain" and his more recent video for "Backwards Rappers" have snagged the attention of everyone from Worldstar Hip Hop to the Huffington Post. When asked if there was any concern that he'd lost his edge in the three years since his last mixtape, he replies, "I've heard people say that before, like, 'He sold out — he's done.' But when they hear 'Bars from Sumer 2,' when they hear these collabs with Immortal Technique and Black Thought, they'll understand the totality of who I am. They'll know how multifaceted I am as a human being. I'm trying to create music that is identifiable to a lot of people. The only way my music's changed, really, is that it's more honest. I speak more about my experiences, so it's more personal."

Perhaps the most noticeable change Ea's recently made is his onstage appearance. Gone are the standard-issue hoodies and wife-beaters, in favor of snug-fitting button-downs and brightly colored bow ties. Anyone who knows Prince Ea knows that this is another calculated move. "Branding and identification are always important," he says. "This image separates me from other people, and since I am a nerd, this was a logical move." Ea's not worried about being dismissed as a gimmick or caricature, because "the thing that will nullify that assumption is me, as soon as they hear me speak."

Prince Ea has built a national fan base on the strength of a quick wit, a sharp pen and a cohesive "Make 'Smart' Cool" branding effort.
Prince Ea has built a national fan base on the strength of a quick wit, a sharp pen and a cohesive "Make 'Smart' Cool" branding effort.

Location Info


The Gramophone

4243 Manchester Ave.
St. Louis, MO 63110

Category: Bars and Clubs

Region: St. Louis - Forest Park Southeast


Hip-Hoppers Holiday With Prince Ea and Many More
2 p.m. Saturday, October 15.
The Gramophone, 4243 Manchester Avenue.
$10 in advance, $15 day of show.

With a double album, a revamped website and multiple endorsement deals in the works, Prince Ea is more focused on his career now than he's ever been. His music, as he sees it, is only one part of a much larger picture. "I'd like to drop a couple of albums then move on. I want to be able to use my degree at some point; maybe to teach or host a [TV] show — I don't want to be rapping when I'm in my forties. I think anyone who only wants to rap is selling themselves short."

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