Prince Paul Plotting Solo, Rarities CDs
Producer Prince Paul is at work on a host of additional projects.With his second album as half of Handsome Boy Modeling School having just been released yesterday (Nov. 9), producer Prince Paul is at work on a host of additional projects. In addition to his next (and potentially last) solo album, Paul has put the finishing touches on an EP/DVD with the new group the Dix and is also raiding his rich vaults for a career-spanning rarities collection.
"I'm embarking on my last solo attempt," he tells Billboard.com. "That's in the works right now. It will be more or less like how I put together [his previous group] Gravediggaz. I'm going to get a bunch of like-minded people and make my last attempt to change the world. After that, that's it."
Asked why this as-yet-untitled disc may be his last, Paul points to the mixed reception afforded his 2003 solo affair, "The Politics of the Business," which itself seemed to be a commentary on the difficulty of following up its predecessor, 1999's "A Prince Among Thieves."
"I had so many problems with that last solo record," Paul admits. "People hated me after I made it. It's like, don't you get the concept? I thought it was pretty brilliant if people could get beyond the exterior things."
In January, Paul will release the DVD/EP "The Art of Picking Up Women" as part of the group the Dix, on Mr. Len's label Smack Records. "It's very, very interesting," Paul says. "It has a '50s flair to it. People are coming in and out, no pun intended. I think there are eight of us all together."
But perhaps of greatest interest to fans will be what Paul describes as "an album of unreleased material all the way from the '80s to the present day; the stuff that gets the green light and then the red light for some reason, so now it's gathering dust." The artist is in negotiations with several labels to release the album, which he hopes will be the first in a multi-volume collection.
"It involves almost everything I've worked on, like demos from artists who are popular," he says of the album. "It will also have records that came out that I'm sure a lot of people haven't heard. There's a De La Soul song and Gravediggaz stuff. But this is a small portion of it -- I have tons."
Despite his diverse body of work, Paul is still perhaps best known as the producer on such seminal De La albums as "3 Feet High and Rising" and "De La Soul Is Dead." Asked if he's ever approached the trio about collaborating again, he acknowledges he's broached the subject.
"I always extend to them that we should really do at least one more record together -- just us how we originally used to do it, producing and writing together," he says. "But I don't think they're feeling that concept. I think it would be pretty brilliant, but it may have grown past us."
"Still, I think it can be done," he continues. "If you go in with the concept and the feeling of what's good is good, and not think of external marketing, you get back to the reason you got into music in the first place. If you do that, it's limitless. But then you get pressured into thinking about things like, will Funkmaster Flex play my record? That just hinders the whole process."
For now, fans will have to settle for the track "If It Wasn't for You" from Handsome Boy's new album, "White People," on which De La Soul guests.