Drinking from Puddles on 09/17/08
Paris hails from the San Francisco Bay Area and was catapulted onto the national hip-hop scene in 1990 with his hit single and album The Devil Made Me Do It, after earning a degree in economics from the University of California at Davis. Originally released on Tommy Boy Records, his first single from that album, "Break The Grip of Shame," was banned by MTV. Since then his uncompromising stance on political issues and biting social commentary have both aided and hindered his quest to bring solid music and messages to the masses. When his second album, Sleeping With The Enemy was ready for release in 1992, Paris was dropped from now-defunct Tommy Boy Records and distributor Time Warner when they discovered its incendiary content - content which included fantasy revenge killings of then-President Bush and racist police officers. Rather than buckle under pressure, he released the LP himself on his newly-formed Scarface Records to major sales and national acclaim. Paris signed a major artist and distribution deal with Priority Records for himself and Scarface Records in 1993 and released his third LP, Guerrilla Funk, and several then up-and-coming groups, most notably the Conscious Daughters. Paris and Priority formally severed their business relationship due to creative differences in 1995, and in 1997, Paris signed a one-off deal with now-defunct Whirling Records (distributed by Rykodisc), for the release of his 4th LP, Unleashed. Released in limited numbers, the LP went largely unnoticed due to lack of focus and funding. In 2003, Paris returned with a vengeance, injecting a much needed dose of reality and consciousness into an industry which now seems to only reflect corporate hip-hop sensibilities. Sonic Jihad was released to strong sales and critical acclaim, with Paris emerging with his new label and website, Guerrilla Funk Recordings. Born out of necessity, it's a musical organization that counters the corporate stranglehold of censorship currently plaguing the entertainment industry, providing a home for projects and material of such notable acts as Public Enemy, Kam, dead prez and The Conscious Daughters, among others. He also released deluxe remixed and remastered editions of his first three albums in '03. Paris has never been one to shy away from controversy. In 2006, his Guerrilla Funk imprint released three projects, the first being Rebirth of a Nation, the long-awaited Paris-written and produced collaboration with Public Enemy. Receiving robust sales and critical acclaim, the album features dead prez, Kam, MC Ren, The Conscious Daughters and Immortal Technique. He also released Paris Presents: Hard Truth Soldiers, Vol. 1, the first in a Paris-produced compilation series that is a collection of material that goes against the grain of commercial hip-pop by providing content of substance, touching on subjects ranging from war and police brutality to black on black crime and domestic violence. It showcases contributions from Public Enemy, The Coup, dead prez, Paris, T-KASH, Kam, The Conscious Daughters, Mystic, MC Ren, Sun Rise Above, and The S.T.O.P. Movement (Mobb Deep, Tray Deee, Soopafly, KRS-One, Defari, Daz, J-Ro, RBX, Bad Azz, WC, Dilated Peoples, Mac Minister, The Alchemist, Mack 10, Evidence, Defari, Everlast, and B-Real), among others. Also in 2006, Paris introduced the world to former Coup-member T-K.A.S.H. and his stellar debut offering, Turf War Syndrome. His anti-war anthem "What Would you Do?" on his most recent Sonic Jihad album questions the official account of 9/11, and has been embraced by activists and music lovers worldwide for its condemnation of the Bush administration's actions in response to and surrounding the events of that day.