Prince Paul - A Prince Among Thieves  
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written by Hugo Lunny    
Prince Paul was basically the guy that started this interlude trend and over time it's become something which most hip hop albums feature. He came with originality and he has come with that again with this album. The idea for this album is to give birth to a new genre - the 'Hip-Hopera.' The 'Hip-Hopera' is what it sounds like, a different type of opera with a strong hip hop involvement.

The storyline is pretty simple; Tariq (played by an emcee named Breeze) is an unsigned emcee who really wants to make it as a rapper. Near the beginning of the story, you hear his mother pressurizing him to get a job, she also compares him to his best friend True(played by an emcee named Sha) who to her is a man who earns well legally (the truth is he's an infamous drug dealer). Now Tariq has created a brilliant demo and has arranged to meet with RZA about being signed to the Wu-Tang record label. The only problem is that Tariq needs $1,000. He tries to get True to lend him the cash and when he gets signed, Tariq will pay him back. True won't just lend him the cash so instead, he decides to get Tariq to do some hustling for him for 5 days.

Tariq gets his girlfriend to lie for him about not showing up for work, though she doesn't want to and is upset about doing it, she does it but isn't happy with it. Now, True wants Tariq to be safe so he takes him over to Crazy Lous (played by Kool Keith) to get a gun. After they've got the gun they head over and Tariq gets introduced to Mr Large (played by Chubb Rock) to officially get him known as a part of their drug dealing division, amongst the group Tariq meets with Count Mackula (played by Big Daddy Kane) who basically tells him that if he has any sexual needs come to him. Mr Large basically interviews Tariq about become a drug dealer and being able to shift the product. Tariq gets in.

Now I could spoil the rest of the plot but that's half of the appeal of the CD. There are a lot of tracks which work both in the story and outside of it and considering I've had this album about a month and have listened to it about 25 times, I'd say it's appeal does last for a while.

Overall, Prince Paul has created an original concept and perfected it. Everyone on here performs really well and it all fits in perfectly. By the way, I'm pretty sure you will be surprised by how it ends...

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