Prince Paul Reminds That 3 Is The Magic Number, With DOOM, Chubb Rock & Wordsworth (Audio)
There were no new DOOM tracks this week, despite a promising “Missing Notebook Rhymes” series roll-out. Based on what’s been reported, that series may have halted. In any case, the masked villain more than sprinkled fans with the full-length Westside Gunn collaboration, “Gorilla Monsoon.” Beyond that, Prince Paul remixed an MF DOOM joint from the catalog that absolutely deserves greater attention, and a refreshed second look.
In early 2003, Paul dropped his third solo effort, Politics Of Business. After great success with Stetsasonic and mentoring De La Soul, Paul’s break from Tommy Boy Records (he’s since returned) is often thought of as a bitter—if not angry record. True to trademark form, Paul poked fun at himself, with cover art of him hustling CDs on the sidewalk. While the early 2000s ushered in a strong crop of new producers-making-albums, the Grammy Award-winner had not fallen out of popularity. From Handsome Boy Modeling School to Baby Elephant to The Dix to Dino 5, the Long Islander had new ideas and was looking for pure recognition—not constant comparison to his legendary past.
Following up Prince Among Thieves would be a challenge, given that film-by-album’s status as a cult classic. On a new label, Paul maintained. He assembled a host of talented MCs, developed concepts, and poked fun at ’80s artists clawing for relevance in the Internet-era. It was not bitter; the LP was savvy, sophisticated, and sardonic.
“Chubb Rock Please Pay Paul His $2200 You Owe Him (People, Places, and Things)” was just that. The title built its name on a recurring joke about “Mr. Large” (Chubb’s P.A.L. character) being a true Crooklyn dodger, of debts. The song featured MF DOOM and Wordsworth (Punch & Words/eMC). The subtitle of the song is where its magic lives. Each MC goes to town (literally), playing with MCs, geographic locations, and items associated with each. The concept neither panders nor operates on pretension. Chubb offers up a “map to the stars” of New York City Hip-Hop. Words’ gets downright GZA-like in his ability to seamlessly weave in a list to a slick flow. DOOM goes off the rails entirely, flipping through the channels of TV, his stream of consciousness, and memoir.
The original track featured sounds familiar to De La kids. Meanwhile, the just-released remix thumps. It has harder drums and a deeper, less whimsical groove for the verses. Words (who just dropped Our World Today), Chubbsta’, and Metal Face all sound brand new for 2017 in a song that demands re-visitation. It’s merely a splash of things to come on Paul’s upcoming Redux project too.
Like great Jazz, Soul, and Rock musicians, the music (and mind) of Prince Paul warrants revisiting in time. The charts, much of the music criticism, and all other distractions really don’t tell the full story. For those catching up, ’16’s BROOKZILL! project (with Ladybug Mecca, Don Newkirk, and Rodrigo) is a fine place to begin, in reverse.
In other early 2000s-to-now news, Rah Digga’s shelved 2003 Everything’s A Story album hit the web, and sounds delightful.
The original 2003 version:
This features a great Chubb Rock answering machine message intro.