Paris hails from the San Francisco and was catapulted onto the national hip-hop scene in 1990 with his hit single and album The Devil Made Me Do It, after earning a degree in economics from the University of California at Davis. Originally signed to Tommy Boy Records, he chose the political direction he wanted his music to go in after becoming steeped in Black Panther Party and Nation of Islam ideology while in college. He assumed the name "Paris" professionally as a result of wanting to "steal something associated with European identity and turn it black," - an interesting reversal of a trend which has seen black culture all-too-often co-opted by whites.
It was while on Tommy Boy that his first single from that album, "Break The Grip of Shame," broke on the Billboard charts, and its accompanying video was banned by MTV. Since then, his uncompromising stance on political issues and biting social commentary has become his trademark, endearing him to legions of supporters who rightly feel messages of positivity are underrepresented in hip-hop. When his second album, Sleeping with the Enemy was ready for release in 1992, Paris was dropped from Tommy Boy Records and distributor Time Warner when they discovered its incendiary content - content which included fantasy revenge killings of then-President Bush and racist police officers. Rather than buckle under pressure, he released the LP himself on his newly formed Scarface Records to major sales and national acclaim.
Paris signed a major artist and distribution deal with Priority Records for himself and Scarface Records in 1993 and released his third LP, Guerrilla Funk, and several then up-and-coming groups, most notably the Conscious Daughters. Paris and Priority formally severed their business relationship due to creative differences in 1995, and in 1997, Paris signed a one-off deal with now-defunct Whirling Records (distributed by Rykodisc), for the release of his 4th LP, Unleashed. Released in limited numbers, the LP went largely unnoticed due to a lack of focus and funding.
In 2003, Paris returned with a vengeance, injecting a much-needed dose of reality and consciousness into an industry which by then seemed to only reflect corporate hip-hop sensibilities. Sonic Jihad was released to strong sales and critical acclaim, with Paris emerging with his new label and website, Guerrilla Funk Recordings. Born out of necessity, it's a musical organization that provides a home for projects and material whose political messages are generally avoided by mainstream outlets, featuring material by such notable acts as Public Enemy, Kam, dead prez and The Conscious Daughters, among others.
In 2006, his Guerrilla Funk imprint released three projects, the first being Rebirth of a Nation, the Paris-written and produced collaboration with Public Enemy. Receiving robust sales and critical acclaim, the album features dead prez, Kam, MC Ren, The Conscious Daughters and Immortal Technique.
He also released Hard Truth Soldiers, Vol. 1, the first in a Paris-produced compilation series that is a collection of material that goes against the grain of commercial hip-pop by providing content of substance, touching on subjects ranging from war and police brutality to black on black crime and domestic violence. It showcases contributions from Public Enemy, The Coup, dead prez, Paris, T-KASH, Kam, The Conscious Daughters, Mystic, MC Ren, Sun Rise Above, and The S.T.O.P. Movement (Mobb Deep, Tray Deee, Soopafly, KRS-One, Defari, Daz, J-Ro, RBX, Bad Azz, WC, Dilated Peoples, Mac Minister, The Alchemist, Mack 10, Evidence, Defari, Everlast, and B-Real), among others.
Also in 2006, Paris introduced the world to former Coup-member T-K.A.S.H. and his stellar debut offering, Turf War Syndrome.
In 2007, Paris released the follow-up companion piece to Rebirth of a Nation, the Public Enemy collaboration Remix of a Nation, and began laying the framework for the film division of Guerrilla Funk Recordings.
Paris inked a distribution deal with Fontana/Universal for Guerrilla Funk (with movies through Vivendi) in late 2008 and released his album, Acid Reflex, featuring Chuck D. and George Clinton.
In 2009, Paris released Hard Truth Soldiers, Vol. 2, the sophomore project from T-K.A.S.H., Brains All Over the Streets, and the latest offering from The Conscious Daughters, The Nutcracker Suite.
In 2011, Paris was featured in the musical documentary, Sounds Like a Revolution, and was featured on the Insane Clown Posse's Featuring Freshness LP. He performed at that year's Gathering of the Juggalos, and later at the Amsterdam Hiphopfestival in Amsterdam.
Between 2012-2014, Paris' original material was featured in various Hollywood productions, including the movies End of Watch, starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Peña, and Kill the Messenger, starring Jeremy Renner.
In November of 2014, Paris released the first video single from his Pistol Politics album, "Night of the Long Knives," calling for increased unity in black and brown communities and embracing eye-for-an-eye resistance against racist police aggression and brutality in the wake of the tragedy in Ferguson, MO and other high-profile killings.
In August of 2015, Paris released his second video single, "Buck, Buck, Pass," a commentary on gun violence, its often ignored racial implications, and its after-effects, providing a spotlight on what he considers to be the real enemy - the corporate and political machinery that benefits from the steady diet of death of mainly young people of color.
His album, Pistol Politics was released on September 11, 2015. It was named one of the Best Hip-Hop albums of 2015 by SPIN magazine and received an "A-" rating in VICE.
Paris' third single and video, "Hard Truth Soldier (Redux)" was released in November of 2015, and features the trademark snarl and aggression that have made him a revolutionary hip-hop stalwart. It is a general statement of purpose, emphasizing the principles of self-love, self-reliance and self-determination.
Paris became an official contributor to Vice Media in June of 2016, beginning his ongoing relationship with that outlet to provide political and entertainment insights on current events from an urban perspective.
In March 2016, EA Sports released UFC2, the second installment of its popular UFC mixed martial arts fighting video game franchise, featuring music produced by Paris.
On September 5th of 2016, Paris performed at Hiero Day in Oakland, CA - hip-hop collective Hieroglyphics' annual block party celebrating Bay Area indie music, food and culture.
In October of that year, Guerrilla Funk released videos for "Lethal Warning Shot" and "Power," the 4th and 5th singles from Paris' acclaimed Pistol Politics release.
Paris rounded out 2016 with contributions to Level 33 Entertainment's mystery/suspense thriller, Blood in the Water.
2018 found Paris' productions included in several movie and television offerings, including Get Shorty on the Epix network, Champaign ILL on YouTube Premium, and Netflix's Flint Town and Hip Hop Evolution, the latter of which featured an in-depth interview by Paris.
In 2019, Paris' music has been featured in USA network's The Purge, HBO's The Deuce, CBS' The Unicorn, multiple episodes of CBS Sports Network's The Jim Rome Show and Between Two Ferns: The Movie on Netflix, starring Zach Galifianakis, Matthew McConaughey, Keanu Reeves and Will Ferrell.
Netflix's All Day and a Night started off 2020 with featured music by Paris, starring Ashton Sanders, Jeffrey Wright, Isaiah John and Regina Taylor, among others.
In August of that year, "Baby Man Hands" was released - a scathing indictment of Donald Trump's presidency and the first single and video from Paris' latest album, Safe Space Invader.
On September 11th, Safe Space Invader's second single and video, "Nobody Move" was released, a stylistic homage to Black Panther Party artist Emory Douglas that calls out police brutality, gentrification, and more.
Safe Space Invader was released on September 25th, 2020.