If you would use your Google search engine and type in the word Paris, Most likely what you’re gonna see pop up is Paris Jackson, Paris Hilton or even Parish Smith from the legendary group EPMD. But what people don’t know that if you truly will dig, You’ll also see that there was a politically conscious rapper that went by the name of Paris. This man was probably one of the most fearless artists of our time and at one point was possibly one of the most FEARED rappers by the United States next to Ice Cube, Public Enemy and Tupac Shakur.
When it came to delivering aggressive political content, Paris was definitely up there with Ice Cube, Public Enemy, X Clan, KRS, and the rest of his peers from that era. Paris also like his peers was very unapologetic, he risked his career to fight for the truth and the truth was that he spoke on behalf of the suppressed. The angry black male who needed a voice and felt no one was listening, Paris’s content was a reflection of how many felt during that period which is how the Devil Made Me Do it was made. The Content was so powerful and heavy hitting that Tommy Boy had to ban the album’s first single.
Paris’s 2nd album titled Sleeping with the Enemy had controversy stimulated from the time before the album was even released, Mainly due to the fact that the cover implicated Paris in the background awaiting behind the tree to Assassinate George Bush Sr. The Controversy further ignited when he released Bush Killa which described how he wanted to assassinate Bush for trying to promote a “New World Order” and starting wars for financial gain.
There were also songs such as Coffee and Doughnuts which talked about killing crooked cops, A song for a Assata which was dedicated to the black Panther refugee in Cuba and Guerillas in the Mist that covered that represented the true nature of how black America felt. Especially when this was released post Rodney King.
Paris’s Brash and fearless approach into his music was what made him one of the most respected rappers/activists of the 90s. But when the mid 90s emerged and Gangsta rap started to really blow up, Paris slowly started to get lost in the shuffle because by that time, no one wanted to hear Political rap anymore. Pop Rap which was ushered b Sean P-Diddy Combs soon followed so seeing the writing on the wall, Paris faded out and focused more on community organizing throughout his state.
The climate within the country was taking a turn for a worst in 2004. George Bush Jr had just won a second term as President, The Country was at War with Afghanistan and Iraq at once, Jobs were being lost, Heinous war crimes committed by the Country were getting exposed left and right and Police Brutality with the Crime Rate were on the rise. The Rap Game became nothing more than a modern-day Minstrel Show so this was the perfect time for Paris to make his return to the Rap Game, This time He wasn’t coming alone.
Paris knew in order to make an impact and grab a new generation of listeners he had to reach out. He reached out to all of the freedom fighters, gangster rappers, activists, Conscious rappers from the North, South, East, And West in an attempt to unite to fight against the machine.
West Coast rapper Kam makes a surprise appearance on the album’s intro title Can’t Break Me which sets off the theme of what to expect from the compilation. Kam lets it be known that despite law enforcement, government or the prison industrial complex’s attempt to destroy him that he’s not gonna bend over backwards or sell out his religion or his music to please others.
This compilation is great at accomplishing its message to spreading the Sound Message thats sorely missing in today’s music. Paris rallied the troops to rally against the corrupt Bush Regime on the Anti War songs Down With Us and Dear Mr President respectively. Everyone from KRS One, Everlast, Dilated Peoples, RBX, Mack 10, WC, Alchemist and others all pen personal letters to the President with express of personal disdain, anger, and concern with the direction the Country took. This was a great way of showcasing true unity among hip hop.
MC Ren still shows that he’s that same OG on the song Niggas Still Aint free where he talks about how Blacks in America are still slaves(Way before Kanye)despite having money and fame. Many people would think Mc Ren would talk about gangsta topics would probably be surprised that Ren is tackling heavy issues in regarding to the community and the world Still Aint Free is vintage Ren as he even criticized the United States soldiers with lines such as:
“These house niggas, Go fight in Iraq, Crying to that mama that they want to come back, Should have never took your black ass to Service”
Public Enemy’s Cant Hold Us Back is one of the albums main highlights because it shows that Chuck D’s voice is still prowess as before and that he’s not giving up on the fight for justice and exposing the truth.
Dead Prez’s Throw Ya Handz up is surprisingly upbeat because it comes across of commercial but it doesn’t take too much away from the message that their trying to covey. They still reflect and talk about how real the battle within Black America is. Stic Man also talks about his run ins with the law and how the police tried to invade his home.
Even though people expecting some “They Schools” or “Police State” type shit from the group may be dissapointed.This is still the same Dead Prez we know and love. Paris’s verse on here was possibly one of the hardest on the compilation.
The Conscious Daughters and Mystic featured track titled Woman’s World gives a great insight of the struggle from the black woman’s point of view. I also loved the fact that they expressed self-love along with admiration for their own men and their natural hair.
Paris himself does a great job of producing this whole album. He also has a cold chilling delivery that can grab your ears when you hear him expressing his real talk throughout the whole album. Even though the songs he produced don’t hit as hard as Bush Killah or Sleeping with the Enemy or have that chill effect like that of The Days Of Old. The sound doesn’t come across as dated and long as he has his soldiers providing the sound message then its no major issue.
I wish he would have featured What Would You Do which was a song talking about the New World Order and who’s truly pulling the President strings but he decided to leave that for his Sonic Jihad album. There are times where you wish to hear more from guys like Ice Cube, Killer Mike, Nas, or Mos Def because they would have gave the album more of a punch as well.
Overall this was a project that was needed during this serious time period. This is straight rebel rap to the core and anybody that isn’t with the top 20 billboard pop hits aren’t gonna really rock with it. Definitely worth picking up!
Vic Rating: 9.0 outta 10