Jas Prince: The Music Mogul Who Discovered Drake on MySpace

April 18, 2024
10 mins read

Jas Prince, an entrepreneur including the Chief Executive Officer of Young Empire Music Group (Y.E.M.G), gained widespread recognition for his pivotal role in discovering Drake, an artist who’s emerged as one of the most successful and influential figures in 21st-century rap music. The intricacies of signing Drake to a complex three-way contract involving three labels, showcased Jas Prince’s negotiating skills and determination. This venture was not without its challenges, as it led to a lawsuit, alleging improper compensation. Despite the legal hurdles, Jas Prince continued to make significant contributions to the music scene by discovering and nurturing talents across rap, hip-hop, and R&B genres.

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Early Life, Education, and Family

James Jas Prince, born on 30 October 1987, in Houston, Texas, is the son of James “J. Prince” Prince Sr. and Mary Prince. Growing up in a comfortable household with six siblings, including J Prince Jr., Brandy, and Jay “Baby Jay,” Jas experienced the dynamics of a large and diverse family. It’s worth noting that two of his siblings were from another mother, adding to the complexity of his family structure.

Jas Prince’s father is a highly successful music executive, who founded Rap-A-Lot Records in 1986. This recording label played a pivotal role in introducing numerous rap and hip-hop artists, including iconic names like Geto Boys, Scarface, Bun B, and Z-Ro. In addition to his contributions to the music industry, J. Prince Sr. also managed a boxing management agency, Prince Boxing Enterprise, which successfully handled the careers of professional boxers, including the renowned Floyd Mayweather.

Enjoying an affluent lifestyle due to his father’s prosperous and diverse business endeavors, Jas Prince found himself exposed to a world far removed from the economic challenges his father had experienced earlier in life. Despite their comfortable surroundings, J. Prince Sr. remained committed to providing help and support to those less fortunate. This exposure allowed Jas and his siblings to witness firsthand the economic disparities in Houston, emphasizing the importance of philanthropy and community support over the allure of celebrity glamour.

While Jas Prince keeps much of his educational background private, some sources suggest that he attended Houston’s High School for Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice. Although presumed to have acquired academic degrees by some, there has been no official confirmation regarding his educational achievements.

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Career

Within the Prince family, Jas was recognized as the one who inherited James Sr.’s business acumen and shared passion for music. This inherent talent and interest set the stage for Jas Prince to carve his own path in the music industry.

Early Years Working Under His Father

Before Jas’ birth, James Sr. made a strategic move, relocating Rap-A-Lot Records to New York City, where the rap and hip-hop scene thrived. This decision aimed not only to learn from industry leaders but also to find ways to ensure the success of his newly established music label. James Sr. closely observed Def Jam executives navigating the intricate world of rap artists during this period, and after gaining valuable experience, the company returned to its roots in Houston.

When Jas entered his teenage years and began working for his father’s company, Rap-A-Lot Records had already found success, establishing itself in the music industry. Under the mentorship of one of the industry’s best, Jas Prince received training in artist management, learning the ropes from discovery to the launch of careers.

Discovery of Drake

Jas Prince, determined not to rest on the laurels of being the son of a successful music executive, worked diligently to replicate his father’s success. Recognizing that many Houston rappers focused on local success, Jas aspired to discover and elevate talents for global domination.

In 2006, Jas stumbled upon an unknown rapper, Aubrey Drake Graham, hailing from Toronto, Canada, on MySpace, a popular social networking site of the time. Drake’s music gained attention on the platform, showcasing his rap skills and charisma. Impressed by what he heard, Jas Prince reached out to Drake through email, presenting a compelling vision of making him famous, and guiding his songs to top the charts. Despite initial skepticism, Jas’ persistence paid off, and Drake agreed to collaborate, marking the beginning of a partnership that would shape the trajectory of Drake’s illustrious career.

Pitching Drake’s Rap Abilities to Lil Wayne

Initially, Jas approached his father, presenting Drake’s tape for evaluation. However, J. Prince, not due to any lack of admiration for Drake’s skills but rather associating the genre with a gangster scenario, didn’t resonate with the young rapper’s verses. Undeterred, Jas turned to Lil Wayne’s label to make his pitch. Unfortunately, the founder of Young Money Entertainment wasn’t impressed either, bluntly remarking ‘Jas, don’t ever play this for me again. He sucks!’

Known for his persistence, Jas Prince  bided his time over a few months before reintroducing Drake to Lil Wayne. An opportunity arose when both needed to attend a party, and Jas was asked by the rap mogul to accompany him to Jas’ own jeweler, Exotic Diamonds, on Westheimer. Seizing the moment, Jas played Drake’s “Replacement Girl” during their car ride, noticing Lil Wayne slowly bopping his head. Encouraged, he played another of Drake’s songs. By this point, Lil Wayne was impressed and inquired about the artist. Jas, with a touch of humor, responded, ‘Oh, this is Drake, the one you told me you didn’t like.’

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Drake, at that time, would consistently share his new music with Jas, who in turn forwarded the tracks to Lil Wayne, who was astonished to discover that the budding rapper possessed not only exceptional rap skills but also an impressive singing ability. Intrigued, Lil Wayne asked about Drake’s location, to which Jas responded that he was in Toronto at the time. Without hesitation, Lil Wayne instructed Jas to have Drake fly over immediately, setting the stage for the collaboration that would ultimately propel Drake to global stardom.

Drake Signed Up and History Was Made

When Jas orchestrated Drake’s journey to Houston for a meeting with Lil Wayne, the initial reception was surprisingly subdued, leading Drake to question whether the influential rapper had any liking for him. Jas, puzzled by this silent treatment, reflected on the paradox since, leading up to the encounter, Lil Wayne had been exclusively listening to Drake’s songs. Jas believed that Lil Wayne, with a preference for his own music, might have been somewhat intimidated by Drake’s exceptional skills.

The turning point occurred when Lil Wayne invited them to Atlanta, where Drake showcased his talents through performances. During this visit, Drake recorded notable tracks such as “Stunt Hard” and the original version of “Forever,” featuring Lil Wayne and Nut Da Kidd. A few weeks later, the original version of “Forever” was leaked onto the Internet, rapidly spreading across rap and hip-hop enthusiasts. The song was eventually re-recorded with the addition of Eminem and Kanye West, forming part of the soundtrack for NBA superstar LeBron James’ documentary, “More Than A Game,” released in 2009.

In the subsequent phases of Drake’s ascent, Lil Wayne’s manager, Cortez Bryant and Jas engaged in negotiations to solidify the deal with Drake. As multiple record labels vied for Drake’s contract, rumors surfaced that a deal was being orchestrated in L.A. without Jas’ involvement. Recognizing the potential threat, Jas’ father, J. Prince, stepped in to ensure his son’s interests were protected. Some individuals involved in the L.A. deal were associated with Jas’ father, and after careful negotiations, an agreement structure was established among Cash Money, Cortez Bryant and Jas Prince. In 2009, Drake officially signed with the collaborative efforts of the involved parties, marking a significant moment in music history.

Drake’s First Mixtape Success and Global Domination

Jas Prince revealed that Drake’s initial mixtape was a massive success, offered for free download on the rapper’s website, OVO. The mixtape boasted several Platinum-certified songs, and secured a remarkable No.5 position on the Billboard 200 chart, all while Drake was still an unsigned artist. This extraordinary achievement triggered a bidding war among record labels for his contract, underscoring the astute discovery made by Jas, who attributes it to his discerning ear for talent. Recognizing the potential within Drake’s music and verses, Jas played a pivotal role in bringing this unsigned artist to the forefront of the industry.

In 2010, Drake released his first single, which peaked at an impressive No.14 on the Billboard Hot 100, d earnig him a Grammy Award nomination for Best Solo Rap Performance. Subsequent single releases proved even more successful, setting the stage for the release of his debut album, which became the best-selling album of 2010.

Drake’s growing influence was further evident during a concert at New York City’s South Street Seaport, where unfortunately the event had to be halted by police due to riots. This incident, though disruptive, highlighted the fervor and passion that Drake’s performances elicited from his dedicated fan base.

From that point onward, almost every venture Drake embarked upon turned into a resounding success. His impact on the music industry was profound, solidifying his status as one of the most influential global artists. To this day, Drake remains a testament to Jas’ keen eye for talent and his ability to recognize and nurture potential global icons in the world of music.

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Legal Battle Over the Years

In 2014, Jas Prince found himself embroiled in a protracted legal battle stemming from complex deals and unpaid dues related to the signing of Drake in 2009. The original agreement stipulated that Jas was entitled to receive 22% of the profits through Aspire Music Group, founded by Cortez Bryant, from the funds supposed to be received from Cash Money Records. Notably, Jas had signed Drake to Aspire Music Group, and also negotiated a deal with Cash Money Records, securing Drake’s creative control and a substantial share of his profits.

Jas Prince initiated a lawsuit against Lil Wayne’s record label, alleging unpaid royalties from Drake’s successful releases over the years. Cortez Bryant, in turn, shifted the blame onto Cash Money Records, asserting that they failed to provide Aspire Music Group with their rightful share of the profits. Jas believed that Cortez, also an executive at Cash Money Records, didn’t aggressively pursue the owed amount. While the specific sum owed wasn’t initially disclosed, two years after the case entered the courtroom, reports emerged that a settlement had been reached, with approximately $11 million slated to be paid to Jas Prince. Subsequently, the cases were dismissed as per the settlement between the two parties.

However, in 2019, indications arose that the matter had not been fully resolved. During this time, Drake released new singles under a different label, signifying his departure from their management or label.

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Discovering and Helping New Artists

Amid the legal disputes, Jas Prince’s commitment to fostering new talent remained unwavering. Having gained extensive experience as a music executive while working for his father, Jas went on to establish his record label, Young Empire Music Group (Y.E.M.G), in which he assumed the role of CEO. Under his leadership, Y.E.M.G collaborated with artists such as Travis Scott, Young Thug, and Rich Homie Quan.

Jas’ discerning eye and ear for talent has not only shaped the careers of artists but has also contributed to the ever-evolving landscape of contemporary music. Through Y.E.M.G and with the help of his crew, their collective efforts extend beyond breaking artists into the mainstream; they’re adept at molding emerging talents, ensuring they are well-prepared for success on the grand stage. Through all these, Jas Prince has solidified his position as a key player in the music world.

While the legal battles were ongoing, Jas’ personal relationship with Drake seemed to endure, albeit with a shift in their business ties. They continued with the friendship and it was interesting to note that under Jas’ profile name on his Instagram page, he included Drake’s own label, OVO, along with YEMG, Rap-A-Lot, and Honey Water. It seemed that they were still somehow connected business-wise since Jas would continue promoting Drake’s music on his social media pages.

Other Business Endeavors

While Jas Prince’s primary focus remains on his music label, he’s demonstrated a broad entrepreneurial spirit, venturing into various business interests, including technology startups, real estate, clothing lines, and sports. Here are some notable endeavors:

 

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Tech Investments

Jas Prince has diversified his portfolio by investing in technology startups. Notably, he has backed Rapchat, a mobile app enabling users to create and share rap songs, and Fanbase, a social media platform rewarding both content creators and fans with digital currency.

Real Estate Ventures

In collaboration with his father, Jas co-owns significant real estate. Among them are Prince Island, located off the coast of Belize, envisioned as a future luxury resort, and Prince Tower, a 40-story skyscraper situated in Houston.

Clothing Brands

Jas has also ventured into the fashion industry, associating clothing lines with his music and artists. He introduced brands such as Young Empire Clothing and Loyalty Above. Inspired by his and his loved ones’ growing interest in fishing, Jas launched The Biggest Outdoor clothing line.

Prince Sports Enterprise

While details are scarce, it’s rumored that Jas invested in his father’s boxing company, Prince Sports Enterprise, emphasizing his diversified involvement in various business sectors.

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Slapwoods Cigars

Demonstrating his enterprising nature, Jas introduced Slapwood Cigars, a luxury line of hand-rolled cigars designed for the new generation. The brand, possibly paying homage to or playing off the OG cigar brand Backwoods, gained traction during the pandemic, exceeding initial expectations and expanding into its own merchandise line.

Jas Prince’s commitment to exploring diverse business opportunities showcases his versatile entrepreneurial spirit, constantly seeking new avenues for growth and innovation.

Personal Life

Jas Prince isn’t married, but was engaged to singer Christina Milian in 2013, but broke up in 2014. In 2020, he posted a photo on his Instagram account of a woman lying down on a bed with a baby bump. It was presumed that she was his current girlfriend. Congratulations poured in the comment section and by July 2020, he shared a photo of his baby boy he called Royal. Jas never shared the identity of his girlfriend but the woman graced his social media page a few times.

In December 2023, he posted a photo of Royal along with a baby who wore the same pajamas. Some of the fans believed that he had another baby boy, but nothing has been confirmed yet. Some were skeptical, because Jas was fond of sharing photos of his nephews. He hasn’t shared much of his personal life, so netizens could only assume by looking at his social media pages.

Appearance

Jas holds American nationality and belongs to the Afro-American ethnicity. He is 5ft 7ins (174cms) tall and weighs 165lbs. He has black hair, dark brown eyes, and several tattoos on his body.

Net Worth

According to authoritative sources, Jas Prince has an estimated net worth of $25 million. His earnings primarily came from his music deals but he’s also invested in diverse fields such as technology, real estate, fashion, and sports.

His role as music executive at Rap-A-Lot Records to ascending to the position of CEO at Young Empire Music Group is a remarkable evolution. Drawing on his extensive expertise acquired through scouting, music production, and artist management, he has seamlessly transitioned into a multifaceted entrepreneur in the music industry.

Martha Clifford

As an Author at Net Worth Post, I guide a dedicated team in the art of revealing the stories behind the world's most influential personalities. Fueled by a relentless curiosity and a knack for uncovering hidden stories, I immerse myself in the intricacies of our subjects' lives, weaving together accurate data and compelling narratives. My involvement spans the entire editorial process, from the seed of research to the final flourish of publication, ensuring that every article not only educates but also captivates and motivates our audience.

At Net Worth Post, we are committed to providing thorough investigations into the net worth and life achievements of innovators across diverse sectors such as technology, culture, and social entrepreneurship. My method merges meticulous research with eloquent storytelling, designed to bridge the gap between our readers and the remarkable individuals who redefine our tomorrow. Through spotlighting their journeys to success, the hurdles they've surmounted, and their contributions to society, we aim to give our readers a deep and inspiring insight into the luminaries who are paving the way for progress and ingenuity in the modern era.

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