Friday, July 23, 2010
Ear Drums Pop: July 2010...The Prince Paul Edition
Since I just ran a two-part interview with Prince Paul, I wanted to let his music be the focus of this month's edition of Ear Drum's Pop. My goal in compiling this list was to shed light on some gems from Paul that you might have missed. I ended up unearthing songs that I was completely unaware he produced until a few days ago. This includes the J-Live song "The Day I Fell Off", which I can't stop listening to. I am constantly amazed by the diversity of artists he has worked with and the quality of songs from his catalog.
I hope that you enjoy these songs as much as I do.
"My Friend the Popmaster"- Prince Paul
Paul's maniacal creation The Black Italiano gets the royal treatment with this unforgettable track off of the excellent Itstrumental album. Paul's haunting instrumental, which is primarily composed of dusted string and piano samples, gets layered with bizarre vocal samples and hilarious dialogue from Paul "playing" himself and The Black Italiano.
"The Day I Fell Off"- J-Live
A very reflective, heart-felt song from J-Live about losing your love for the rap game. Crisp drums and somber, minimalist production from Paul are a perfect compliment to J-Live's verses.
"Drug Dealer"- Boogie Down Productions
I'll be honest...I had no idea this song was produced by Paul until I started composing this post. Let me take it one step further. I've owned Sex and Violence for at least a decade and I didn't know Paul produced ANY songs on it until a few days ago. Vintage KRS doing some very musically sound social commentary.
"Breakdown"- Handsome Boy Modeling School feat. Jack Johnson
What looks like a recipe for disaster on paper turns out to be one of the highlights of the White People album. Only Paul and Dan The Automator could make something as random as Jack Johnson singing over scratched samples work.
"Everybody Needs Love (Prince Paul Mix)"- Marvin Gaye
Paul does a fine job of breathing new life into this track while respecting Marvin's original version. I'm surprised there wasn't more hype around the re-release of Here, My Dear that this was featured on. There are some really nice remixes by people like Salaam Remi and Easy Mo Bee and the remastered O.G. version sounds great.
"Secret Wars (Prince Paul Remix)"- Last Emperor
Last Emperor's imaginative lyrics that pit super heroes against rappers comfortably ride Paul's piano based production. The amount of creativity in this song is mind boggling. I wonder how long it took Last Emperor to write these lyrics.
"Macula's Theory"- Big Daddy Kane
Big Daddy Kane devours this beat with an intensity and clarity rarely heard on his more recent output. After listening to this song, one wonders why Kane and Paul have only recorded a handful of songs together.
"Tattle Tales"- Horror City
A sadly overlooked, never (properly) released gem from Amityville rapper Superstar a.k.a. Horror City. Paul recorded an entire album with dude right after The Gravediggaz dropped 6 Feet Deep. How labels were not intrigued enough to pick up this duo is beyond me. As Sam Hockley-Smith of Fader Magazine put it, "How insane is it that dudes are just sitting on albums like this?" To download the entire album for free, compliments of Paul, click here.
"Mommy, What's A Gravedigga (Prince Paul Mix)"- The Gravediggaz
This interesting alternate take from the group's 6 Feet Deep recording sessions has a completely different feel than the final version. Although I prefer the album version, Rza's insanely amped verse helps make this well worth a listen.
"Blue Flowers (Prince Paul's So Beautiful Remix)"- Dr. Octagon
The pairing of Paul and Keith on a remix for one of Keith's more bugged projects is a match made in heaven. While I love the original version, this one takes the cake.