Hip-Hop has chewed up and spit out many an MC, DJ, artist, and B-boy over the course of history. Still, there are those – because of notoriety, skills, or entrepreneurial hustle – who outwit time and stay relevant while others don’t. Such is the case with legendary DJ and producer, Prince Paul, who recently checked in with AllHipHop.com about his latest projects.
For the younger set, the Stetsasonic veteran was the architect of a rap band long before The Roots. If there were a Rap Bible, it would go something like, “PRINCE PAUL BEGAT DE LA SOUL & SOULS OF MISCHIEF, WHO BEGAT ECELECTIC ARTISTS LIKE KANYE WEST & ODD FUTURE, WHO BEGAT A LOT OF THE HOT STUFF TODAY.”
To stay close to his Hip-Hop roots, last year, Prince Paul and his 19-year-old son, Paul Fresh, created and toured via “Negroes on Ice,” which, when described, sounds like a DJ exhibition on steroids.
“People think, it’s really funny and really bizarre, and my son’s kind of like the main… it’s like a one-man show,” Prince Paul told AllHipHop.com in a recent interview. “But it’s a one-man show we made with my son as the one person, like the one man, and then I kind of score underneath the story he’s telling. Sound effects, video footage, still photos, it kind of enhances the story. It’s like “Adult Swim” onstage; it’s bizarre.”
In recent months, Prince Paul has been on a one-man show of his own, via the Scion car company-sponsored “Prince Paul’s Adventurous Musical Journey.” Scion is onto a good idea, as they invite viewers to “follow Hip-Hop pioneer Prince Paul on his cross-country quest for fresh inspiration.” And, Prince Paul has the kind of wide-eyed enthusiasm and observation needed for a series like his to make it to a larger, non-Hip-Hop audience. Watch this clip of Prince Paul’s first adventure, “Beating Up New York,” where he jokes that he’s looking forward to “biting something” – musically, that is – as he takes a “pause” to laugh:
“The main thing that I learned, and I actually probably said it in almost every episode, ‘I’m not a fan of a lot of that music.’ You know, I went around, and I listened to it, and once you’re in the moment, if you’re in like a garage set, or those different places, you feel an energy from everybody,” Prince Paul said.
“But when you leave or go on, man, I can’t stop thinking about that screeching guitar, get that out my head, you know? None of that. But the thing that I did learn, or that inspired me the most is, those people are really passionate about their music. Like, you know, it kind of reminds me of the way Hip-Hop used to be. It was like music’s first and then the accolades, if it comes…but it was never really about making money.”
Catch “Negroes On Ice” on Jan. 13 in Minneapolis, MN and on Jan. 14 in San Francisco, CA – and check for their live uStream HERE.
Check out all six episodes of Scion’s “Prince Paul’s Adventurous Musical Journey” series HERE, and follow him on Twitter (@DJPrincePaul).