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Prince Paul – Itstrumental

Aside from Kanye West, there are few producers in the game who are as prolific as Prince Paul; Paul just doesn’t have the bling to match his bangin’ tracks. Though Prince Paul will probably be remembered most for his groundbreaking contributions to De La Soul’s classic LP 3 Feet High and Rising, or more recently, the latest Handsome Boy Modeling School album—White People—the astounding collaboration he put together with Dan “The Automator” Nakamura, it should come as no surprise that the pivotal producer of hip hop music has several classic disks that are all his own.

The latest in his string of mind-blowing musical masterpieces is People Searching for Peace of Mind through…ITSRUMENTAL (as conducted by Prince Paul). Featuring the mad geniuses ever present sense of humor (check the running MVU skits which satirize the popular television series Law & Order: SVU), the record also comes suited up with vintage breaks, television, radio and movie snippets, turntable tricks, kitchen sinks and a steady stream of ill-consciousness that takes the place of traditional lyrics.


Beginning with the old school mash up “It’s A Stick Up”, a bouncy boom bap replete with voice samples and live performance, the album quickly moves into the meat of the mix with such gems as the 60’s inspired “Flattery”, with its vintage keyboards that wouldn’t seem out of place on an episode of That Girl. “My Friend The Popmaster” might remind diligent heads of the latest MF Doom record, while “Inside Your Mind” mixes rapped verses with video game sounds, sirens and a strange mosh pit styled chorus.

“I Want You (I’m an 80’s Man)”, arguably the albums best track, brings back that Ready For The World/ Full Force sound with a sing-songy chorus that deftly brings the days of yesteryear into the present.

Paul can get a little repetitious with his “mob guy/ Italian gangster” skits. But, his otherwise dopey comedy works most of the time. And, for sheer imagination and creativity, there are few albums out that show this side of an artist. The man deserves props for bringing back the deejay/producer showcase; it’s been a really long time since we’ve seen one of those albums. Of course, this record isn’t for everybody. However, for those who can take a joke and still have fun with the art form that has taken over popular culture, this could be the record you’ve waited your whole life for…or, at least the last several years. It’s not going to win any MTV awards, but it will offer some pleasurable moments for the sense of hearing.

(And, if this one doesn’t satisfy that music lover in you—fear not, Paul is probably already finishing up his next project! Take a moment to support the hardest working man in musical production.)


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