In July, members of VMP Hip-Hop will receive the first vinyl reissue of Prince Paul’s landmark 1999 album, A Prince Among Thieves. The album comes on red and orange swirl vinyl, and comes with an exclusive stencil. You can read below for why we picked this album for this month.
Andrew Winistorfer, Editorial Director + Classics A&R: This was a record I remember discovering as a teenager, and being blown away by someone making a rap album like this; in some ways, this felt like one of the first rap concept albums, in that this was basically a ’70s blaxploitation movie as told through a rap album. Different rappers play different characters, and there’s this story of music business intrigue that takes you through the album. This album feels so far in the future, and so far on the edge of what’s possible in a rap album, and it came out 21 years ago.
But this was also a record we’ve been circling forever here at VMP; we did a De La Soul record that Prince Paul produced in our Hip-Hop subscription as the sixth album in the history of the subscription (Buhloone Mindstate), and we did editions of two others he produced as Essentials and an exclusive too (3 Feet High and Rising and De La Soul is Dead). And on top of it, we did Handsome Boy Modeling School’s So...How’s Your Girl in this sub last year, too, and it felt like we were working up to doing Prince Among Thieves; it’s this incredible masterpiece that needs to be heard to be properly experienced and we finally made it happen.
I guess this makes Prince Paul the first person ever featured in two records in the same sub, and technically three of them, I guess, but our members can correct me if I’m wrong.
This is a 2LP that comes on orange and red swirl vinyl. The stencil is — of course — of that Prince Paul logo, and as mentioned, this is the first ever reissue of the album on vinyl since it came out. Our Hip-Hop sub’s main goal is putting out records that haven’t been reissued in too long, or have never been put out on vinyl, and that fits this one to a T.