label: Female Fun

production: Prince Paul

year of release: 2005
MVU (Act 1)
It's A Stick Up!
My Friend The Popmaster
Inside Your Mind
El Ka Bong
MVU (Act 2)
Yes, I Do Love Them Ho's!
What Are You Afraid Of?
I Want You (I'm An 80's Man)
12. The Boston Top
13. MVU (Act 3)
14. And The Winner Is?
15. Gangstas My Style
16. The Night My Girlfriend Left Me
17. Live @ 5
18. MVU (Final Act)
19. Think Or Die

My Friend The Popmaster

It's fair to say that Prince Paul is one of the more creative folks out there. Not only is he said to have invented the skit/interlude in the form that they are now cluttering every rap album between Brooklyn and Compton. Nope, he also made several De La Soul records an adventure, made the good Gravediggaz, of course released a couple of albums with Stetsasonic and for all you diggers out there, you can also hear a beat by him on Groove B Chill's "Starting From Zero."
But Paul's biggest success and maybe the least heralded in the rap circles is his contribution to the Grammy winning "Roll With The New" album by Chris Rock. And considering everything that Paul has done - including his "Psychoanalysis: What Is It?", the Handsome Boy Modeling School, the genius "A Prince Among Thieves" and the much lesser "Politics Of The Business" and all those other projects, that Chris Rock collabo made a whole lot of sense. Humor has always been important in Paul's work and it's not missing from here.
So when this record opens with a little spoken something called "MVU (Act 1)" where it's explained that mental crimes are especially horrible, the theme is already set and you realize that Prince Paul cannot just do an instrumental record (none the least as there's rapping on "Inside Your Mind" by Mr. Dead of Metabolics fame). There has to be way more going on than just that, like a robbery ("It's A Stick Up!").
But then there's of course just the odd more or less instrumental or ready to spit over song like "Flattery," "El Ka Bong," "What Are You Afraid Of?", "And The Winner Is?" and "The Night My Girlfriend Left Me." And listening to these songs it's obvious how many people are - well, to put it kindly - are 'borrowing' from Paul's book of schemes. And studying Paul's beats, you're hard tempted to call him the most complex and technical producer. He really is mainly about sounds, what allowed him to loop stuff and get away with it. So listening to a "My Friend The Popmaster": it's a nostalgic pleasure 'cause the beat sounds dope, even if it is nothing extraordinarily complex.
But Paul finds nice little dialogue or monologue samples, he finds really cool sample bits (hence J-Zone is kinda like a modern day Prince Paul) and uses them in effective ways: that's why he gets away with a "Gangstas My Style." What does not prevent him from putting together some serious stinkers: "Yes, I Do Love Them Ho's!", "I Want You (I'm An 80's Man)," "Profit," "Think Or Die" and the horrible "The Boston Top" are tracks you can easily skip or listen to once and then forget about 'em for the rest of your life.
What in many ways means that this record does not live up to Paul's full and real capability. You gotta wonder if Paul is ever going to be able again to fill the shoes of his reputation. And even though there are really nice tunes on here and you can tell that Paul hasn't lost his touch - he just doesn't find it on every song.
review: tadah
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