Label: DreamWorks

Prince Paul: “I used to see him at a lot of events, but I never talked to him. Since he was down with Rush, everybody gravitated towards that office. Having some dealings with Russell Simmons. But it wasn’t until one day I wrapped up Psychoanalysis, and I get a call on the answering machine, like, ‘Hey, it’s Chris Rock. I’m working on this album, and I’m thinking about having you to produce a couple songs for me. Why don’t you give me a call?’

"I was like, ‘Chris Rock? What you doing calling me? This is a joke. This got to be De La.’ So I called the guys at De La, and they were like, ‘What are you talking about?’ So it took me a while for me to call Chris back, because I was trying to debunk the joke. And I finally called Chris, and was like, ‘Yo, this ain’t a joke?’ He was like, ‘Nah.’ But he did get a kick out of it, like, ‘You thought De La Soul was impersonating me?’

 

I get a call on the answering machine, like, ‘Hey, it’s Chris Rock. I’m working on this album, and I’m thinking about having you to produce a couple songs for me. Why don’t you give me a call?’ And I was like, ‘Chris Rock? What you doing calling me? This is a joke. This got to be De La.’ 

 

“So we started out with couple tracks, but it ended up being a whole album because we got along so well. And as Chris always said, and I would quote him, ‘Yo, you get it.’ You know how you have your friends, and you see something is funny, and nobody else gets it, but you see it? So that’s how Chris and I were. We can see the humor in something, and kind of extract the humor, record it, and giggle. And in the process of that, him and I became pretty good friends. We talked about family, work, and jokes.

“What would happen is, Chris and I would get on the phone, and we would get into a conversation. In the midst of the conversation, while we were joking, I would write down a list of things we talked about. So we would have a list of stuff, and go, ‘Let’s do this.’ And sort things out. Then he would get his guys like Ali, Wanda Sykes, and the guy who played Pootie Tang named Lance Crouther. And we would just record things. It was kind of how it went.

“Those were some of the best sessions to be in. If I could do comedy records for my whole life, I would definitely do it. It’s fun, man. It’s relaxing. MCs come with certain amount of tension, and certain amount of divaness. But comedians just want to sit around and make people laugh. Plus, budgets are nice, the food is nice, we’re just joking, and they leave it to your work.

"Chris trusted me, seeing all those records we did winning Grammys it just made us appreciate the relationship. And it was real. It wasn’t just a fluke. The first one we won a Grammy for, it’s like, ‘Maybe it’s popular because Chris is popular.’ And Adam Sandler is funny all the time, and his albums are incredibly funny, but we beat him. The second year, it was like, ‘Okay…’ The third time, I was like, ‘Oh, there’s something to this formula.’ So working with Chris was just easy and it was fun.”