Album: On Fire
Label: Tommy Boy
Prince Paul: “What’s weird is that when the first record came out, I think I was still in high school. I was working on a demo and stuff. And I had no concept of what was going on. I can honestly say that I was just there having fun. I didn’t know what a demo was, and I didn’t know anything.
“All I know is that before I joined the group, Stetsasonic members were like, ‘Hey, we won this thing called Mr. Magic Rap Attack.’ It was some sort of a contest to get a record deal. I think it was with Sugar Hill. They won that, but apparently the deal was really bad. So they wanted to make a demo, and that’s around the time when I joined the group.
Making a record was just so far outside of my reality. Like the only people that were making records were Whodini, Fat Boys, and Run-DMC. So when they said they were making a record I was like, “Yeah, whatever.”
“They just told me to come in and put some scratches on a demo. I mean, I had a concept of what a demo was, but making a record was just so far outside of my reality. Like the only people that were making records were Whodini, Fat Boys, and Run-DMC. So when they said they were making a record I was like, “Yeah, whatever.”
“Next thing I know, I’m at Tommy Boy signing a contract. Actually, they were signing, but I wasn’t supposed to sign. I was like 17. I was naïve until the record came out. I was just like, ‘Oh, I got a record out.’ You know? I never took it seriously. So that’s how my earlier records just randomly came about.
“I think all my early records were collaborations. Whether it’s Stetasonic or De La Soul, I don’t even know. That’s a good question. I get BMI statements, and writing credits for all the songs I’ve made. And I never realized that I made hundreds of songs.
“I remember the first record getting played on the radio was “Just Say Stet.” And I was like freaking out. Like, “Mom! Check this out!” I was like 18 at the time. First record, first single, and boom it was on WHBI. I really don’t remember who played it, but I remember turning on the radio, and it was like, ‘My record’s on. Oh, my God. I have a record on the radio.’”