James Prince

James L. Smith (also referred to as James Prince or J. Prince) (born October 31, 1964) is an American music executive and promoter. He is the CEO of the Houston based record label Rap-A-Lot. He is best known as the person who had originally introduced Canadian rapper Drake to Lil Wayne and helped him get signed to Young Money Entertainment in 2009.

J. Prince
James L. Smith

(1964-10-31) October 31, 1964 (age 57)
Houston, Texas
Other names
  • Lil J
Years active1986–present
Musical career


On January 30, 2007, Houston Mayor Bill White and the City Council honored Prince for over 20 years of commitment and dedication to the city.[1] The result of the proclamation named an official James Prince Day in Houston. The recognition came on the heels of the groundbreaking for a new recreation center Prince built in Houston’s 5th Ward. "The new facility is located across from the Prince Boxing Complex in the 3000 block of Jensen. The multi-million dollar recreation center will serve as a hub for the community’s children…providing various services from computer courses to athletics." One week later, he led the charge on educating youth about HIV/AIDS prevention and testing with the launching of Strapped, in coordination with a string of initiatives and events set up to address the issue of AIDS in the black community. "Talking about something is one thing, but having something to offer is another," J. Prince said. "We promote abstinence first for those that are strong enough not to have sex. I wasn't one of those. And we can't realistically just tell them not to have sex, so we are telling them to 'strap it up'"

On June 7, 2010, J Prince was honored alongside Master P, Jermaine Dupri, Timbaland, and Slick Rick at the VH1 7th annual Hip Hop Honors Awards for both his creative contributions and his philanthropic ventures.

On February 13, 2015, J released the diss track "Courtesy Call" in response to recent drama involving Young Money artist Drake.[2] On the track he disses Diddy and Birdman.


  1. ^ City Council Chamber, City Hall, Tuesday, January 30, 2007
  2. ^ "Rap Label CEO Fights Drake's Battles; Threatens The Families Of Diddy, Birdman + More". The Urban Daily. 2015-02-13. Retrieved 2015-02-15.

Further readingEdit

  • James Prince; Jasmine D. Waters; Pilar Sanders (2018). The Art & Science of Respect: A Memoir by James Prince. N-The-Water Publishing. ISBN 978-0-9998-3701-6.