Sunday, November 30, 2008

Hip Hopera Example II

Prince Paul's ‘99 classic, A Prince Among Thieves, sets the bar for concept albums. It possesses and exhibits all the major traits; basically playing like a movie throughout its entirety. The thirty five track opus, of which there are a considerable number of skits are pure genius. They feature a stellar cast of rappers including the likes of Big Daddy Kane, Sadat X and Xzibit (Just some of the names) matched with Prince Paul's cinematic musical backdrop.

It tells the story of Tariq, played by Breeze of the Juggaknots, who needs to get some money to record a demo tape for RZA. Almost naturally he turns to his boy True, portrayed by Big Sha who lures him into drug dealing. In his effort to secure this money Tariq encounters brilliant characters portrayed by an improbable list of rappers. Ultimately, it is a musical-like story of betrayal that is propelled by interesting story telling from different crafted styles. Every single song is a part of the story as is every skit. Collectively they help the tale progress; proving why A Prince Among Thieves should be the standard by which every artist who intends to undertake the difficult task of making a concept hip-hop album should adhere to; truly "Hip Hopera" at its best.


Prince Paul feat. Breeze- Steady Slobbin

Prince Paul feat. Kool Keith- Weapon World

Prince Paul feat. Big Daddy Kane- Macula's Theory

Prince Paul feat. Xzibit, Sadat X, Kid Creole- Handle Your Time

Prince Paul feat. Everlast- The Men In Blue

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