By Mark Thompson, Nzhiphop.com
With Paris' new single "What Would You Do?" still doing the Internet rounds, the man who previously released the classic albums "The Devil Made Me Do It" and "Sleeping with The Enemy," as well as critically acclaimed follow-ups "Guerilla Funk" and "Unleashed" is back in the driver's seat of this thing we call Hip-hop.
He took some time out of his busy schedule to discuss a few points about his past, present and future workings. His feelings toward contemporary Hip-hop are mixed "I loved (and continue to love) the rawness of it. That's why I keep gravitating back to it. It has been, up until recently, honest." He continues, "You notice I said 'up until recently' in the previous question. That's how I look at most hip-hop now - dishonest. I love the Bay Area, but musically, in terms of hip-hop, there hasn't been a lot going on lately. I'm looking to return to a truly honest and socially conscious perspective that I know is relevant and necessary in the game, now more than ever."
Conscious lyrics and perspectives that challenge the status quo are what Paris has been traditionally known for. Paris is set to embark on a war of his own, a war on wack rap with an album aptly titled: 'Sonic Jihad'. "Even people who enjoy the bling shit are ready for a change, they just don't know it. Hip-hop is so commercialized right now that there is little difference between fans of hip-hop and pop music buyers. Hip-hop lovers buy hip-hop, but pop music buyers buy what is celebrated and glamorized by labels and the media. They are like sheep. And right now the 'bling' era is what being glamorized in pop music. There are PLENTY of people out there who are hungering for more, believe me."
He continues "Hopefully people's focus will begin to veer from the bullshit and the superficial. I am not a 'Pro-USA' rapper by any means, as is evidenced by my first single 'What Would You Do? '(http://www.daveyd.com/paristrack.mp3) In fact, it's safe to assume that my viewpoints are in the minority because they are in direct opposition to the media propaganda that we get 24/7." he calmly suggests "We'll see."
It can be argued that Paris' most recent album "Unleashed" was a slight contradiction in terms, as the guest spots from Spice 1, Jett and Nuttso lead the listener to believe Paris had turned 'gangster', but that wasn't the case at all - in theory. "That was an attempt to introduce new artists that I was working with at the time. In retrospect, it was a mistake, because I mixed apples and oranges. Their messages served to dilute mine, and I apologize. I've worked with other acts in the past that didn't share my ideologies, but they weren't featured on my records. So I live and learn."
Regardless, in any event, "Unleashed' housed some of the most relevant social commentary for that era.
For those on the outside, Paris also takes a minute to break down his other albums conceptually: "' The Devil Made Me Do It' was my introduction to hip-hop. It was fast-paced and urgent - all about knowledge to bomb beats. It was released during the height of hip-hop's conscious era. 'Sleeping With The Enemy' was darker and more menacing than it's predecessor, and was designed to be threating on every level, politically and musically. 'Guerrilla Funk' was a switch musically, but not politically. I wanted to try something different - to incorporate funk into the mix."
Before delving into more pressing matters, like the state of the media's inbred wisdom and their attempts to flagrantly distort Hip-hop's course, and of course, the general public while they're at it after I ask whether or not the mainstream boardroom "persons of the industry" will be threatened by his new "Sonic Jihad" release. "They probably will be threatened since I don't buy into the bullshit line they're feeding us. More and more people need to stand us and take note of what's going on. I intend to shine the light on a different point of view and the reasons why a lot of the dirt that's going on is happening. We are witnessing the tail wagging the dog firsthand."
Needless to say, Paris is far from an 'enemy of the state', much rather a patriot in true definition, something the powers that be fear and will be threatened by in some form or another "I will say that most people who are chest-beating with the Amerikkkan flag right now are victims of propaganda. Being a 'patriot' is supposed to mean one questions the system here, not buckles under it. Blind faith in any government always leads to tragedy and hardship."