As one of our favorite artists, it’s never a bad time to pick Prince Paul’s brain. I spoke with Paul some weeks back at length about what else? Records. Specifically, 5 records that changed his life and career accordingly. Read it HERE on egotripland.com.
Paul is a character who equally adds as much character to his projects. He’s hip-hop royalty and has made some of the dopest, most endearing albums ever– most of which have aged so well, especially in the face of rap records that worsen with time. I was stoked to speak with Paul recently for EGOTRIP’s sample flip series (DJ Spinna and Jake One have been recent subjects).
Read/listen to it HERE and check out the Underdog flip at the end! Below is the rest of our rather lengthy talk, touching briefly on his career points and some current items. Thanks Paul!
Of all the revered MCs you’ve worked with, who struck you the hardest?
I know a lot of rappers and they can all rap in their own way. All those dudes I’ve worked with are just so talented. Look, there’s a laymen’s MC and there are MCs of different calibers. Out of all them, Slick Rick impressed me the most; he had a way about him, he just rhymed with no effort. I remember meeting him early in the morning at the studio and he was just sitting down laying down tracks with perfectly delivered lines with a coffee cup in one hand [laughs]. So casual and natural and delivering perfectly. That’s an image I won’t forget of Rick.
What’s your favorite solo release of yours?
None of ‘em! [laughs] Probably Psychoanalysis because it was so dumb! It was made primarily for my friends and I and I was just gonna do like 1000 copies and kinda put it out to see what happens. I think besides 3 Feet High and Rising, Psychoanalysis brought about the most good things for me and is probably one of the more pivotal records of my career.
What do you remember most from the Stetsasonic years?
I just remember being so young and full of ideas and just being in awe. Imagine a time when making hip-hop records wasn’t something everyone did. Back then, you could name like just a few groups that made rap; it was popular but not commonplace. I remember the experimentation and digging and just meeting cats. These days you can type in ‘hip-hop’ and ‘1979’ and find out everything about it. But back then, you had to go through it.
I was listening to old Hiero tapes and realized I was hearing dudes half my age rap. It was “Step To My Girl” by Souls of Mischief whom, says Tajai, were only “15-years-old when we first recorded those songs.” He continues, explaining “Cabfare”: “I didn’t even have a driver’s license let alone a cabbie license! I just laugh at those songs when I hear them but they have a special place because they’ve touched so many people and have the ability to bring me back to that era.”
“Step To My Girl”
I just spoke with Tajai for an upcoming short piece on their new album, Montezuma’s Revenge, produced by Prince Paul. Here are some quick outtakes from that interview—for Hiero fans, and cats that remember seeing “93 Til” on CMC.
When was the first time you heard Prince Paul? How did he get on board with the new album?
Opio and Domino were on a Handsome Boy Modeling school tour with him and he mentioned doing some music with us. What started out as a dream became reality when he came out to record with us in 2006, damn near 20 years after we first were exposed to his wizardry. His projects have been some of the most influential in my progress as an artist and a person so it was a no-brainer to work with him. Continue reading “’93 Til Now: Tajai Outtakes”
We’re huge fans of Prince Paul. So naturally, we were geeked to get our hands on Confessions Of A Beat Junkie, a promo tape Tommy Boy put out in ’97. The 35-minute blend of b-sides, unreleased stuff, famous works, and many skits don’t disappoint—especially if you’re familiar with Paul’s work. Not much info exists, so I wrote Paul and asked him to introduce the tape for us. Here’s his response:
Thanks, I’m glad you enjoyed the tape. I made this for Tommy Boy as a promo item in the late ’90s to reintroduce myself to the public. It was to launch off the reissue of Psychoanalysis and a new project, A Prince Among Thieves. I just wanted to make something different from the old traditional mixtape that was out at the time. I had my friends and mom do little intro pieces to the songs.
I wanted to make it appear like I was this elusive, eclectic guy, and they were describing my work to those who weren’t familiar with me. The photo [on the back] is a picture of my son when he was about 3 or 4. He was always facinated with the turntables now he’s a DJ himself at 17. I put a lot of work into that tape, I’m glad that it’s still being enjoyed. Thanks again.
Hear Confessions Of A Beat Junkie… Continue reading “Confessions of a Beat Junkie: Prince Paul”
I was sitting in the Soho offices of Interview Magazine on a hot July day in 1996, working on one of the most challenging album reviews of my life, MC Lyte’s Bad As I Wanna Be. Its sheer mediocrity was giving me a bad case of writer’s block. A dose of inspiration was required, so I began rummaging through the piles of unopened jiffy envelopes with various promo CDs that were strewn all over the tiny office of my boss, the Music Editor. I was his intern.
I tore one open and out fell a regular 60-minute TDK cassette tape. Hand-written on one side was: “copyright Wordsound Recordings” and on the other: “Prince Paul, Psychoanalysis.” Continue reading “Stacy Gueraseva on Psychoanalysis”