Prince Paul

Prince Paul rules on Itstrumental.

Prince Paul doing an official turntable album is a little like Steve Vai, or any of the other guitar gods that Paul and his peers supplanted, doing an official guitar album: It was always the point -- the only difference is that he's admitting it. So here's Prince Paul sans MCs -- no De Las, or any of the other voices that have salted his seamless creations since the late '80s. Just the maestro, his record collection, and the voices in his head, including, unfortunately, unfunny skit characters such as Black Italian ("a black man's dick and an Italian man's brain") clouding up the concept. But there's enough here to neutralize the distraction. From the lilting, jazzy "El Ka Bong," to the hard funk-meets-industrial noise of "Gangstas My Style," he takes snippets of thrift-store junk and rare groove alike, and pastes them into elegant, hooky essays that recall the golden age of instrumental exotica.

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