Billboard Hot 100 Fest

Politics of the Business

Bootleggers beware! The version of Politics that has been circulating illegally on the street is not the same as the official version.

Bootleggers beware! The version of Politics that has been circulating illegally on the street is not the same as the official version. The final pressing has a previously unheard guest vocal by Biz Markie on the wriggling "Crhyme Pays." There are also fresh edits to a handful of cuts, as well as several hidden jams. The additions make for a stronger set. Prince Paul is in fine lyrical form, and he floats his distinctive rhymes over tight grooves that are steeped in retro-funk sensibilities. Perhaps most effective is "Beautifully Absurd," on which a poignant rhyme of lost love is laced into an arrangement of bluesy acoustic strumming by W. Ellington Felton. Elsewhere on the set, Prince Paul is supported by an army of high-profile guests, including Erick Sermon, Chuck D., and Ice-T. They add commercial luster to the set, though it hardly needs it. After 18 years as a pioneering voice of hip-hop, this venerable rapper still has the creative muscle to stand mighty tall on his own.—LF