I recently picked up the new Souls of Mischief album, Montezuma’s Revenge. The album was co-produced by Domino and Prince Paul. Overall it’s a decent album, nothing that really stands out. The best part is that it includes a bonus disc of all the instrumentals. While nothing spectacular, the beats are pretty good, but it did get me thinking about what a great producer Prince Paul is.
Over the years, Paul has always been one of my favorite producers, from his work with De La Soul and Gravediggaz to his solo work, he has always impressed me and he is arguably one of, if not, the best producers in Hip-Hop. He may not have sold as many records as or broken as many new artists as some other great producers, but he has always brought originality and creativity to his work.
There are two elements to his work that really set him apart from other producers: his eclectic range of sample sources and his bizarre, and sometimes disturbing, sense of humor. Wither he’s sampling some wacky children’s fairy tale record, a rare Funkadelic track or Johnny Cash, he flips the sample in an original way. Where many producers limit themselves to Jazz, Funk or Classic Soul, Paul has never met a song he wouldn’t sample. As far as his sense of humor, just listen to MC Paul Barman’s debut album or look for his Popmaster character that shows up on many of his records.
Here are a few of my favorite tracks produced by Prince Paul:
De La Soul – Potholes in My Lawn
It’s hard to choose a De La song, partially because De La contributed probably as much as Paul did. But regardless, this is my favorite track from 3 Feet High. The War & Funkadelic samples are blended to create a dope track with a vaguely countryish sound.
Gravediggaz – Defective Trippin’
This was a hard choice. Musically, Six Feet Deep is one of the best albums. The production, handled mostly by Paul, is solid throughout. Defective Trippin’ like much of Paul’s work is relatively simple. A baseline, drum loop and a piano loop, with a dope guitar line for the chorus and a few De La samples.
Cypress Hill – Latin Lingo (Prince Paul Remix)
The original was one of my favorite tracks off their debut, but Pauls remix stepped it a bit. While keeping the Cypress Hill sound, he added a little Prince Paul vibe to it.
Prince Paul – My Friend the Popmaster
This is just a great example of Paul’s sense of humor, basically its 4 minute of Popmaster talking trash.
De La Soul – Millie Pulled a Pistol on Santa
One of my favorite De La songs of all time! Over another Funkadelic sample and a simple piano loop, De La flips verses about a friend who kills her molester father. The beat is simple but it fits the track perfectly.