A Prince Among Thieves

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A Prince Among Thieves
Aprinceamongthieves.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedFebruary 23, 1999
Recorded1997–1998
StudioPaul's Coffee Shop
(Long Island, New York)
GenreHip hop
Length77:11
LabelTommy Boy/Warner Bros.
01210
ProducerPrince Paul
Prince Paul chronology
Psychoanalysis: What is It?
(1996)
A Prince Among Thieves
(1999)
Politics of the Business
(2003)
Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic4.5/5 stars[1]
Chicago Sun-Times4/4 stars[2]
Los Angeles Times3/4 stars[3]
NME8/10[4]
Pitchfork8.7/10[5]
Rolling Stone3/5 stars[6]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide4.5/5 stars[7]
The Source4/5[8]
Spin9/10[9]
The Village VoiceA[10]

A Prince Among Thieves is the second studio album by hip hop artist Prince Paul. A Prince Among Thieves was well received by music critics. Music essayist Robert Christgau has called it "the closest thing to a true rock opera you've ever heard".[10]

Background[edit]

The concept follows the story of an aspiring young emcee named Tariq, played by emcee Breezly Brewin, who needs to collect money to record a demo tape before a meeting with Wu-Tang Clan leader RZA. The story follows a desperate Tariq, who skips work at his low-paying job and turns to his friend True, played by emcee Big Sha, who introduces him to drug dealing. The two make their way through the drug world, a police ambush, jail, and, finally, a deadly showdown.

The album features cameos by Kool Keith, Big Daddy Kane, Chubb Rock, Biz Markie, De La Soul, Everlast, Sadat X, Xzibit, Kid Creole, Special Ed, Chris Rock, RZA and Buckshot.

While recording, Prince Paul tried to get Vanilla Ice to appear on the album delivering a verse as one of the convicts in the jail scene, but was turned down by Ice's manager.[11]

A single version and video in the style of a film trailer was also produced. Although conceived as a story that would be filmed, a movie never came about. In an interview, Prince Paul said:

"That was the intention. When I first made it I was inspired by Master P's I'm Bout It, I was like this movie is so poorly shot and it's popular. I could do that with more star power. I tried to pitch it to Tommy Boy, and they apparently didn't see the vision. I was like we could make so much money, but they were like 'Yeah, yeah Paul, we're going to put this million dollars in whatever group' that they had. Then at some point Chris Rock bought the rights to it, but he didn't do anything with it. So it sits and it sits. If I had the opportunity, if somebody said hey I have a small budget or wanted to get a Kickstarter going, I'd love to put that together."[12]

Track listing[edit]

# Title Producer(s) Performer (s)
1 "Tariq's Dilemma (Intro)" *Interlude*
2 "Pain" Prince Paul Sha, Breeze
3 "How It All Started" *Interlude*
4 "Steady Slobbin'" Prince Paul Breeze
5 "Just Another Day" *Interlude*
6 "What U Got (The Demo)" Prince Paul Sha, Breeze
7 "The Hustles On" *Interlude*
8 "MC Hustler" Prince Paul Horror City
9 "The Call" *Interlude*
10 "The Other Line" Prince Paul Breeze, Heroine
11 "Crazy Lou's Hideout" *Interlude*
12 "Weapon World" Prince Paul Kool Keith
13 "My Big Chance" *Interlude*
14 "War Party" Prince Paul Horror City
15 "Count Macula" *Interlude*
16 "Macula's Theory" Prince Paul Big Daddy Kane
17 "Mr. Large" Prince Paul Chubb Rock, Biz Markie
18 "Can You Handle It" *Interlude*
19 "Put the Next Man On" Prince Paul Breeze, Sha, Superstar
20 "I Was In" *Interlude*
21 "My First Day" *Interlude*
22 "More Than U Know" Prince Paul De La Soul
23 "Room 69" *Interlude*
24 "Mood For Love" Prince Paul Newkirk, Sweet Dee, Breeze
25 "The Bust" *Interlude*
26 "The Men in Blue" Prince Paul Everlast
27 "Central Booking" *Interlude*
28 "Handle Your Time" Prince Paul Sadat X, Xzibit, Kid Creole
29 "The Rev" *Interlude*
30 "Sermon" *Interlude*
31 "Showdown" *Interlude*
32 "You Got Shot" Prince Paul Sha, Breeze
33 "Every Beginning Must Have an Ending" *Interlude*
34 "The New Joint (DJ's Delite)" *Interlude*
35 "A Prince Among Thieves" Prince Paul Sha


Sample credits[13]

Personnel[edit]

The cast[edit]

The DJs and VJs[edit]

  • DJ Evil Dee
  • Bobbito
  • DJ Mecca
  • Bobby Simmons
  • Andre (Bless Me) Smith
  • Ken (Special K) Spellman
  • DJ Atlas
  • Artist
  • Lynn Gonzales
  • Rotimi Rainwater

Background extras[edit]

Charts[edit]

Album
Year Album Chart positions
Billboard 200 Top R&B/Hip Hop Albums Top Heatseekers
1999 A Prince Among Thieves #138 #46 #5
Singles
Year Song Hot Rap Singles
1999 "More Than U Know" 45

References[edit]

  1. ^ Huey, Steve. "A Prince Among Thieves – Prince Paul". AllMusic. Retrieved May 3, 2016.
  2. ^ Kyles, Kyra (June 13, 1999). "Prince Paul, 'Prince Among Thieves' (Tommy Boy)". Chicago Sun-Times. Archived from the original on June 14, 2017. Retrieved May 3, 2016.
  3. ^ Baker, Soren (April 3, 1999). "Prince Paul, 'A Prince Among Thieves,' Tommy Boy". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved May 3, 2016.
  4. ^ Crysell, Andy (February 3, 1999). "Prince Paul – A Prince Among Thieves". NME. Archived from the original on October 16, 2000. Retrieved May 3, 2016.
  5. ^ Aku, Timmhotep (February 10, 2019). "Prince Paul: A Prince Among Thieves". Pitchfork. Retrieved February 22, 2019.
  6. ^ Stovall, Natasha (March 18, 1999). "Prince Paul: A Prince Among Thieves". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on October 2, 2007. Retrieved May 3, 2016.
  7. ^ Miles, Milo (2004). "Prince Paul". In Brackett, Nathan; Hoard, Christian (eds.). The New Rolling Stone Album Guide (4th ed.). Simon & Schuster. p. 657. ISBN 0-7432-0169-8.
  8. ^ "Prince Paul: A Prince Among Thieves". The Source (114): 196. March 1999.
  9. ^ Kulkarni, Neil (March 1999). "Prince Paul: A Prince Among Thieves / The Roots: Things Fall Apart". Spin. 15 (3): 142. Retrieved May 3, 2016.
  10. ^ a b Christgau, Robert (March 23, 1999). "Consumer Guide". The Village Voice. Retrieved May 3, 2016.
  11. ^ https://www.complex.com/music/2011/12/prince-paul-tells-all-the-stories-behind-his-classic-records-part-2/prince-paul-a-prince-among-thieves-1999
  12. ^ Yohance Kyles (2013-11-07). "EXCLUSIVE: Prince Paul Discusses His "All Purpose Show," Art vs Business & Refusing To Sell Out". AllHipHop.com. Retrieved 2014-08-14.
  13. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7qWlKaeX348