Label: Wordsound Records; Tommy Boy Records Re-Release (1999)

Prince Paul: “That record was supposed to be a small, amongst-my peers-type record. Just for fun. It was made after the Gravediggaz time. A friend of mine has a small label called Wordsound Records, and he wanted to put a record out. I was like, ‘What should we make a record about?’ He was like, ‘Yo, just do what you do best. Make a concept up.’

“So I was randomly looking through records, looking through stuff and books, and I see Psychoanalysis. I was like, ‘Psychoanalysis? People think I’m crazy. Let’s do an album about that.’ So I took out my psychology book from college, I found a psychoanalysis record, and just decided to base the album around this concept. I made a few calls to MCs, and people I’ve worked with in the past, and as it would be known, people didn’t want to mess with me.

 

I was like, ‘Psychoanalysis? People think I’m crazy. Let’s do an album about that.’ So I took out my psychology book from college, I found a psychoanalysis record, and just decided to base the album around this concept.

 

"Nobody wanted to come to the table, and I felt like I was getting dissed. And I was like, ‘I’m going to really reach back, and just get all my friends I grew up with.’ I got with Popmaster, Smiley G, Newkirk, and we just came and made this silly record. And it was a reckless record because we talked about date rape and things of that nature.

“It was kind of like getting your college buddies together. You sit around with a bunch of beer, and you just talk reckless. That’s what that record was. It wasn’t a huge record, but I didn’t think it was going to go as far as it went. I thought it was going to be one of those bargain-bin-at-wherever-type albums. I thought it was one of those buy-this-Gang-Starr-record-and-we’ll-throw-this-one-in-there-for-free-type records. [Laughs.] But it kind of built up its own little steam. Until this day, people will come up to me and say, ‘Yo, I love Psychoanalysis. That record changed my life,’ which is crazy to me.

“That was when I was like, ‘Yo, F my career.’ I wasn’t working with De La any longer, my Gravediggaz album wasn’t being received well, and I couldn’t even get people to record. So if I’m going to seal my fate, I’m going to record this album. I’m going to make it as stupid as I can possibly make it. And ironically, the stupid record got me to work with Chris Rock, got me to put Handsome Boy Modeling School together, and got me a deal to do A Prince Among Thieves.”