Label: Tommy Boy
Prince Paul: “I actually met Dan The Automator over the phone when I was over at Skiz’s house. Skiz was the owner of WordSound, which was the initial label that put out Psychoanalysis. So I’m at Skiz’s house, and he’s like, ‘Yo, I’m speaking with this guy Dan the Automator, and he’s putting out this record called Dr. Octagonecologyst. Y’all should do a tour together. It’d be kind of cool. Psychoanalysis and Dr. Octagon.’
“Then I got on the phone with Dan, and he was just as corky as I was. So we got into a really good conversation. And I heard the Dr. Octagonecologystrecord, and thought it was incredible. So Dan hits me up and asks me to remix ‘Blue Flowers.’ So I remixed it, and I guess he thought I did a pretty good job.
It was a joke. He was talking to Monica, and told her, ‘Me and Paul have this group called Handsome Boy Modeling School,’ which didn’t exist. It was a gag. So after we got offered to sign, we had to make something. We just made it up as we went along.
"He contacted me back, and we talked on the phone, and I mentioned a sample he used on the album from Get a Life, which was a TV show. And he was like, ‘Yo, you know that?’ We then talked about different episodes, and one of them was “Handsome Boy Modeling School.” And we were like, ‘Yo, we should make a group called Handsome Boy Modeling School. Ha, ha, ha.’ We were joking.
"Automator winded up remixing one of the songs on Psychoanalysis, and he meets up with Monica Lynch, and he calls me up from Monica’s office like, ‘Hey, Paul. So Tommy Boy wants to sign Handsome Boy Modeling School.’ I was like, ‘What? You serious?’ And that’s how it happened.
“It was a joke. He was talking to Monica, and told her, ‘Me and Paul have this group called Handsome Boy Modeling School,’ which didn’t exist. It was a gag. So after we got offered to sign, we had to make something. We just made it up as we went along.
"A lot of times for me to act funny were to ease the tension. Life is short—just have fun, and you never know what’s going to happen, when it happens. And I just like to bug out. I’m not going to be overtly stupid, wear a rainbow hat and elf shoes. But if I can create something and make people go, “Whoa!” Then I’m cool with that.
Dan and I pieced together some music, and I threw a mustache on and a suit, we would make a whole bunch of beats and go, ‘Is that handsome?’ ‘Nah, it’s not handsome.’ ‘Is this handsome?’ ‘Yeah, that’s handsome.’
"That’s how it worked with Handsome Boy, man. Dan and I pieced together some music, and I threw a mustache on and a suit, we would make a whole bunch of beats and go, ‘Is that handsome?’ ‘Nah, it’s not handsome.’ ‘Is this handsome?’ ‘Yeah, that’s handsome.’ So we made a ton of beats and deemed whether they’re handsome or not handsome.
“[Laughs.] The name of the album started out with a mutual friend. And I don’t know, somebody left him. It started out as a jab at him. I mean, he doesn’t know until this day. Like, “How’s your girl?” It is just meant to be sarcasm. So we just titled it So… How’s Your Girl?, and we thought it was funny. Plus, it sounded like a handsome title. We were like, ‘Okay, it’s a title you model to.’ [Laughs.]
“A lot of the guys like Kid Koala, DJ Quest, Money Mark or DJ Shadow, I have to credit Dan for their involvement because that was his scene. Whereas, I brought in the Grand Puba, Sadat X and other people, Dan brought in those people. So we got a chance to meet everybody, worked with them, and it was cool for me. It was also the first time Dan met Del the Funkee Homosapien. Dan was a big Del fan, so I hooked that up.”