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A Prince Among Thieves

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A Prince Among Thieves
Studio album by
ReleasedFebruary 23, 1999
StudioPaul's Coffee Shop
(Long Island, New York)
GenreHip hop
LabelTommy Boy/Warner Bros.
ProducerPrince Paul
Prince Paul chronology
Psychoanalysis: What Is It?
A Prince Among Thieves
Politics of the Business
Professional ratings
Review scores
Chicago Sun-Times[2]
Los Angeles Times[3]
Rolling Stone[6]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide[7]
The Source4/5[8]
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]


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 a 2013 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) Length
1 "Tariq's Dilemma (Intro)" *Interlude* 0:38
2 "Pain" Prince Paul Sha, Breeze 2:14
3 "How It All Started" *Interlude* 1:19
4 "Steady Slobbin'" Prince Paul Breeze 2:55
5 "Just Another Day" *Interlude* 2:19
6 "What U Got (The Demo)" Prince Paul Sha, Breeze 2:29
7 "The Hustles On" *Interlude* 1:38
8 "MC Hustler" Prince Paul Horror City 3:51
9 "The Call" *Interlude* 0:52
10 "The Other Line" Prince Paul Breeze, Heroine 2:51
11 "Crazy Lou's Hideout" *Interlude* 1:49
12 "Weapon World" Prince Paul Kool Keith 3:27
13 "My Big Chance" *Interlude* 1:54
14 "War Party" Prince Paul Horror City 3:10
15 "Count Macula" *Interlude* 0:22
16 "Macula's Theory" Prince Paul Big Daddy Kane 2:36
17 "Mr. Large" Prince Paul Chubb Rock, Biz Markie 1:06
18 "Can You Handle It" *Interlude* 0:21
19 "Put the Next Man On" Prince Paul Breeze, Sha, Superstar 3:46
20 "I Was In" *Interlude* 0:41
21 "My First Day" *Interlude* 2:29
22 "More Than U Know" Prince Paul De La Soul 4:24
23 "Room 69" *Interlude* 1:49
24 "Mood for Love" Prince Paul Newkirk, Sweet Dee, Breeze 3:16
25 "The Bust" *Interlude* 0:45
26 "The Men in Blue" Prince Paul Everlast 3:33
27 "Central Booking" *Interlude* 2:04
28 "Handle Your Time" Prince Paul Sadat X, Xzibit, Kid Creole 3:53
29 "The Rev" *Interlude* 0:29
30 "Sermon" *Interlude* 1:01
31 "Showdown" *Interlude* 2:56
32 "You Got Shot" Prince Paul Sha, Breeze 3:07
33 "Every Beginning Must Have an Ending" *Interlude* 1:43
34 "The New Joint (DJ's Delite)" *Interlude* 0:56
35 "A Prince Among Thieves" Prince Paul Sha 4:42
Sample credits[13]


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]



Chart (1999) Peak
US Billboard 200 138
US Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums 46
US Top Heatseekers 5


Year Song Hot Rap Singles
1999 "More Than U Know" 45


  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. ^ "Prince Paul Tells All: The Stories Behind His Classic Records (Part 2)". Complex Networks.
  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. ^ Archived at Ghostarchive and the Wayback Machine: Discover Samples Used On Prince Paul's 'A Prince Among Thieves'. YouTube.