This interview with Prince Yahshua ran in the November issue of AVN magazine as part of a cover story on African American men working in the adult industry. to see the whole issue online.
Home State: Illinois | Age: 46 | Started in 2003 | Twitter: @PrinceYahshua | Website: PrinceYahshua.com
What inspired you to pursue a career in adult film?
I was doing porn in my hometown of Chicago for two years before I actually came to Southern California. The girl in question that I was doing a lot of this porn with was a black girl by the name of Malibu that actually had this big dream of going to this place called California. ... To make a very long story short, I took a photo shoot of her and I sent it to 10 to 15 of the major companies at that time, and also with those pictures I sent an eight-minute video of her and I ... fucking.
To my surprise every last one of these companies hit me back. Zero Tolerance, Third Degree, Black Ice, West Coast, Evil Angel—what was the other one back then? Red Light. But all of them pretty much said the same thing. They were, like, “Hey, beautiful girl; we really like her look. But unless she’s physically here in Southern California we have no use for her. We get beautiful girls who look like her all the time.” ...
I read all the emails. The last one was by a company called West Coast Productions, which is all black, by James Alexander. It pretty much said the same thing. But at the end of that letter [he asked], “Who’s the guy in the video fucking the girl?” [Alexander said], “If you can actually do that in front of me with a girl here, I think I may have a job for you.” Three days later they flew me out there first class to Chatsworth ... they put me on a three-day trial basis and after my third shoot they signed me to my first $100,000 deal.”
Who are your biggest influences?
There were actually two. Somebody current and up-to-date that people still know of was Justin Slayer. I’d seen one of his trailers that he did at Evil Angel and like myself I saw that he wore Timberlands in some of his scenes. And I said, “Hey, that guy wears the same boots I wear.” ... [I thought], “What the fuck did this guy get so famous and I’m sitting here in Chicago?” Yeah, it was kind of funny. My second contract that I had out in California is when I signed with Justin Slayer International. And right after I signed the contract, he exhaled and said, “Wow, I’m glad that’s over. ... Everybody really wanted me and you to go against each other but now that you’ve signed I don’t have to worry about that because you work for me.”
The other person who gave me inspiration is an old legend by the name of Ray Victory. He’s one of the originals from the early ’80s.
What are the most challenging aspects of your job?
Being black is the most challenging part. The business today is still so racist. To navigate your way through the business without kicking anybody’s head inside out and maintaining your dignity and your cool is the most challenging part. I’ve done it very, very well. ... I remember when I first got in the business West Coast [said], “Just give us a list of girls you want to be with and we’ll hire them all.” So I gave up a 10-page list and for four girls on this list, [they said] “We’d love to get you these girls but we can’t. ... They don’t do interracial.” And I said, “Inter-racial? Please, expand on that. What do you mean?” They said, “These are girls in the industry that don’t have sex with black men.” I was kind of stuck for a minute. I said, “You’re telling me there’s people in a business that because of somebody’s color won’t do anything with that person?” I never heard of anything before like that in my life.
What is the most rewarding part of your job?
Let me just make it about who it was supposed to be about when I first started. Let’s make it about the fans. Pleasing fans. If you guys are happy, I am too. Without your fans there’s nothing. ... I always give love to the fans.
You were molded by Doc Johnson—have fans gotten their hands on this product yet?
My new dildo just came out [in October]. People have been tweeting to me. Some of the tweets—you don’t want to know what I’ve seen. People are definitely having fun with it. It is out, it is live, it is doing extremely well and I am tickled pink about it.
It seems there are fewer ethnic titles out now. Do you see that as well?
Absolutely. What the companies and directors will tell you is that there’s not a market for black-on-black product. I was told that when I was at Justin Slayer International ... I ended up putting $2,700 of my own money in my own movie, called Black Out, and that became my highest grossing movie to date. When you hear things like that, these are things that are not accurate at all. These are things that company owners have decided to say ... so they will not have to shoot ethnic people. What porn has done today is taken us from each other. What do I mean by that? I just saw Jenna Foxx—I was so excited to see her, and well as her with me, and she ... said, “Prince, why am I so excited to see you?” And I was, like, “Because these companies don’t shoot us with each other.” Now it’s almost taboo to shoot black people together. But you want me to be with every little white girl ... you want to see the big black guy with a small white woman.
You have criticized the AVN Awards in the past. Can you talk more about your perceptions?
What I always thought in my mind was [the AVN Awards were] based on your performance, your character and the way you present yourself, not only to the media but to the public. ... I go to the AVN Awards year after year after year after year and I hear people’s names other than mine. [Fans ask], “We really don’t understand when we had an ethnic show, the Urban X Awards, you were a landslide [winner] every time, but with AVN you’re not really recognized at all.” And I tell them what I’ll tell you: The one big difference is only this: Urban X Awards was based on the people who actually buy the product. Those are the people who voted ... not a group of people that don’t know me, that don’t sit with me, that aren’t on my set. ... [They’re] passing judgment on what they see, not by what all of us know, as the true porn stars who work with each other every day, and with the general public. ...
I have a passion for this business. This business took me away from the very bad lifestyle I was living before it. So I give this business much praise and much respect. But when I’m giving my all and I’m getting pretty much nothing back—I mean, am I getting my money? Yeah, I’m definitely getting my money. But at the end of the day, I want to be in the record books. ... Porn has been viewed since the early ’30s, and from the ’30s until today there’s only been one person who has brought new moves to porn. ... I don’t know if you’ve ever heard or seen me do the F-150. I don’t know if you’ve ever heard or seen me do the Atom Bomb or the Sidewinder or the Oil Well—these are moves that I have brought to the table.
What is the most common misconception about adult?
The biggest misconception that the fans have is that we’re having wild coke parties and orgies. I’m sitting in my house with my wife cooking dinner and my son doing his homework ... A cop when he’s on duty, he wears a blue suit and a badge, but when he’s at home he takes that off. He’s not Officer Michaels; he’s Mike. Same thing with us. At work, I’m Prince Yahshua. When I’m at home I’m just Prince. I’m Daddy. ... I’m not a partier; I don’t go to porn karaoke or the bars or social clubs like everybody. I’m a family man.