Rapper's Equipment was Stolen So He Produced His Album at an Apple Store Instead

Josh Mur
July 8, 2015

(ANTIMEDIA) The price a musician pays for recording an album varies in today’s technological world. The cost to record a full-length CD at a local recording studio often sits somewhere between $5-20k, depending on the quality of the studio, producer, and equipment. Meanwhile, DIY home studios aren’t much different in terms of initial investment. The cost of an efficient computer, a digital audio workstation, microphones, microphone stands, cables, audio interfaces, studio monitors, headphones, and virtual instruments adds up.

This creates an obstacle for artists worldwide who are looking to record their music and ideas to share with the rest of the Earth—but lack the funds, skills, or resources to execute an album with quality production. Such is the case with New York rapper, Prince Harvey.

After having two of his own computers crash on him and his equipment stolen while recording his album, the 25-year-old rapper wound up broke and unable to purchase a new computer. But evidently, when passion is infused with art, desperate times call for desperate measures.

Being infected with a bug all musicians contract—one that urges them to constantly play and record—but lacking the means, Prince Harvey hopped on the train every day for 4 months straight and recorded an entire album on a floor computer in an east Manhattan Apple store. By saving his progress on thumb drives and discovering loopholes in the store’s nightly memory wipe, he was able to complete his entire record in secrecy. In an interview with The Daily Beast, the rapper said,

“It wasn’t my plan to record this at the Apple Store. First, my computer died. Then my external died. New York is expensive. I couldn’t just buy another laptop. I just thought, ‘I’m going to die before anyone knows I’m hot.’”

In addition to secretly recording himself at an Apple Store, his album PHATASS (an acronym for Prince Harvey at the Apple Store: SoHo) is composed of beats built on samples of his own voice and the voices of two guests he brought with him to the store.

Naturally, such an unconventional setting created obstacles for the rapper. Prince Harvey and one of the two friends he routinely brought with him had to actively avoid security and employees who would have made them leave had they discovered what they were doing. However, by making friends with a handful of employees at the store (and asking them to bend the rules a bit), he made his task slightly easier. Still, he also encountered slightly unpredictable bumps in the road, such as the store initiating a fire drill and forcing him out before he could save his work on a thumb drive.

Even so, Harvey successfully completed his album and explained his perspective on life to the Daily Beast:

“I don’t think I’m poor. Poor is a mentality. I mean, I can be broke─no money in my pocket─but I’ve never been poor. I’ve been rich my whole life […] But I do want money. I want to tour. I want to perform for different people. Shit, I’ll go to Antarctica for the penguins if they’re feeling it […] I want to reinvent the future and music. I’m just a creator. I want to inspire other people to create─show them that you don’t need all these things to be successful.”

Prince Harvey’s singles, The New Black and Sometimes (video below), are available for streaming and download.

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