Paris is a Hip Hop artist from the Bay Area that was first noticed in the hip-hop scene in 1990 with his hit single and album “The Devil Made Me Do It.” Over 20 years later, Paris is still in the game. Known as one of the first “political rappers”, he is still speaking his mind and bringing awareness to the world.
We recently got to chat w/ Paris and talked with him about his new project “Pistol Politics.” Check out our full Q&A below:
Explain who you are for those who may not know
My name is Paris, the Black Panther of Hip Hop. Coming to you live from Killa Cali in the Bay Area. My most recent album was “Pistol Politics”. It is a double album and it’s very revolutionary in its content. I feel like it’s time for this type of music to be out there. I’ve been at this since the early ’90s and have over 4 million records sold. It’s been a little while since my last project in 2009 but I’m back now.
How is the weather out there in Cali?
It’s hot. We’ve only had about 5 days of rain in the past few years. We need some of that cold weather.
Your project Pistol Politics has gotten great reviews. Did you expect such a great response to the project?
I’m humbled and appreciative of that. I was hoping the response was going to be that way simply because of the times we are living in. I feel like what I’m talking about in this project is being ignored in the industry.
Do you have any features on this project?
The project features E40, WC, The Eastsidaz, and a gang of others.
Talk to us about your company “Guerrilla Funk Recordings.”
Guerrilla Funk Recordings is a company I started after 9/11 that’s meant to bring knowledge and awareness to the Hip Hop world.
What is your opinion on the government trying to take away our guns in America?
I definitely agree with self-defense. I believe in protecting my family. I’m not as worried about black on black violence as I am for police brutality. I’m not worried about a man of my color doing something to me. I feel like it’s more likely that a cop would try to harm me before that would happen. I understand government tyranny and that cops aren’t mean to serve, they are meant to maintain the government that they are apart of.
When we see these instances where unarmed people are murdered, we see that police tyranny is very real. The gun debate is something people have extreme passions about. Most people who are for gun restrictions have never been apart of or dealt with gun violence. I believe that something should be changed when it comes to some type of restrictions but I can only speak on it from situations that I’ve seen. I’m not the one to suggest what should come or what shouldn’t.
What is your advice to up and coming artists?
Set your self up to where you own EVERYTHING you create. Make sure you get your copyright’s straight so you can protect yourself. Don’t ever give up your publishing and learn to be as self-made in as many ways as you can. The more you own for your self, the more opportunities you’re going to have financially. Get your trademark and licenses figured out, and be knowledgable in simple accounting. You also need to find your own lane, be yourself, and don’t chase trends. If you chase trends, you’re gonna flame out early. Don’t treat it as a hobby, treat it as something you're truly passionate about. If you don’t love the material you’re putting out, you can’t expect me to love it. You have to learn about music, publishing, licensing, merchandising, touring, and all other aspects of the game. There is a certain amount of education in anything you want to do.
Be sure to check out the project “Pistol Politics” on iTunes and keep following the movement.