By Ismael AbduSalaam, Allhiphop.com
After years of being shunned by mainstream media outlets, militant Bay Area rapper Paris has secured an unlikely supporter in MTV for his latest album Acid Reflex.
The network finalized a deal last week to prominently air Paris' revolution-based video "Don't Stop the Movement," which features an uprising of American citizens storming the White House in response to police brutality.
The video also showcases pointed criticism of America's political media outlets, deftly dubbed in the 5-minute plus drop as "FoxsNBCNN."
In an exclusive interview with AllHipHop.com, Paris expressed that politically conscious Hip-Hop's return to the mainstream is long overdue and want the public needs.
"I appreciate MTV's support to the fullest. It's amazing to me that MTV would finally get on board and support a project like this, though not entirely surprising," Paris explained to AllHipHop.com of his first mainstream support since being "blacklisted" following the controversial 1992 album Sleeping With the Enemy.
"Listeners have been thirsty for more balance in mainstream media for Hip-Hop for a while, and the trend is definitely changing," Paris observed. "Everything can't remain artificially young and artificially dumb forever, and at least some of our music has to reflect politics and concerns in our communities in an environment where everything is political and conditions are worse then they've ever been."
Although the album was released in September, MTV's backing gives the project new life and exposure while coinciding with this year's historic presidential election.
For Paris, he feels that his music perfectly reflects the disenchantment the country felt during the Bush administration which spearheaded President-elect Barack Obama's landslide victory.
"The timing of the project and the election is perfect, the mood of the country is fed up and beat-down, and yet more and more people are hopeful now because of Obama," Paris detailed. "This ties into the dual moods of disgust and optimism, because we have to do better, and we have to demand more from our country's leaders and from those who represent us in the media. Regardless of how you feel about Obama's politics, he's better than the alternative, and he is extremely inspirational to millions of young people who almost always see only negative or escapist imagery of black people in the media."
The activist/emcee is aware of the great opportunity the MTV coverage presents for his successful underground label Guerrilla Funk (distributed by Fontana/Universal).
In 2009, Paris plans to market a newly created film division to coincide with his music projects.
"There are still plenty of people out there who demand more from their entertainment and who want to hear material that is uplifting and reflects real-life experiences," Paris told AllHipHop.com. "We also have a film division that will feature DVDs of documentaries and full-length motion pictures, starting early next year."
Paris' new album Acid Reflex is available now in stores and through his website www.guerrillafunk.com.
The video "Don't Stop the Movement" debuted on MTV on Saturday (November 22) and will now be in the network's regular Hip-Hop rotation.