After a three year absence, Prince Paul has returned to prove once again that it's possible to make an intelligent and addictive rap album. Prince Paul's new album Politics of the Business, which drops May 6, delivers on the substance of that topic. As on the De La Soul producer's previous releases, Paul keeps a healthy respect for the beat and rhyme backbone of the art form while addressing the danger and destruction he has witnessed from within the industry.

The familiar female croon of "Get that money, gonna make that money" on "Chryme Pays," and the omnipresent baritone, "This is a Razor & Tie exclusive," repeated throughout the album are conscious nods to the limited content of urban radio. Every sound on the album is just familiar enough to be comfortable upon the first listen, but listen again and the orchestration of each element becomes ingeniously evident. The rapper yelling "What I Need" is asking for a "fat-ass per diem," not a bitch and a Bentley. In eleven songs and nine skits, both serious and satirical, Paul and a host of not-flossing heavyweights like Chuck D and underground voices like Mr. Len and Jean Grae add needed self-criticism to the much-discussed Current State of Hip-hop. Prince Paul makes you want to listen to his Politics while making sure you're thinking about them.


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