July 17, 2011

Paul C Biography

Today marks the anniversary of the death of Paul C in 1989 (it also would have been Guru's 50th Birthday!).
Any respectable hip hop head who was 'living hip hop' in the late 80's and very early 90's will now know who Paul C was (if ya don't know, then this is a must read).  I say 'now know' because at that time he wasn't a big name commercially.  He was the guy behind the scenes, the man behind the desk, the dude whose name appeared in the small footnotes in the bottom corner on the back of the album cover.  He was largely unknown.
How someone who was so instrumental in progressing the art of production and taking things to that next level could be so overlooked is beyond comprehension.

It was only later on, after his murder, that ordinary folk really started to understand just how talented and influential Paul C was.  He was completely ahead of his time, he was an innovator and creator, and he fully deserves his place in hip hop history alongside Herc, Bambaataa, Flash, Marley Marl etc.  Many of the artists he worked with at that time knew of his skills and recognised that he was a pioneer, but this respect and recognition didn't really extend to the record buying public.  Mainly because his name wasn't always shown in the credits. 

Fortunately, in 2001 Dave Tompkins spent 3 months researching the story of Paul C and put together this fascinating, absorbing and compelling narrative.  This has got to be the most concise collection of facts and recollections about someone who is largely undocumented.
With contributions from Ultramagnetic, Rahzel, Large Professor, Pharoah Monch, Prince Po and many more, this is about as close to a biography or written documentary as we're ever likely to get.

I'm not going to dwell on this any further as Tompkins' article tells you everything you need to know and a lot more besides.  He sets the scene, he takes you right back to that time and he puts you in the mindset of those who were there.  It's not a quick read, so grab a drink and a snack and absorb yourself in some classic hip hop history.  You're hip hop knowledge will be expanded by the end of it!


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