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Prince Paul 

Politics of the Business (Razor & Tie)

Politics of the Business could be Prince Paul's revolt against the rap game in the form of hip-hop hilarity, a literal impersonation of an industry gone awry via a bizarro rush-hour broadcast. Its songs are well produced and packaged with some incredible vocal collaborations, but the sense of mockery toward the popular rap lexicon (read: urban radio) is at times overwhelming. From collaborations between Guru and Planet Asia ("Not Trying to Hear That") to Tash from the Liks with the Beatnuts ("Crhyme Pays") and, better yet, MF Doom paired with Chubb Rock ("People, Places, and Things"), the producer spares no effort in gathering an overwhelming slew of upper-echelon guests.

But will listeners grasp the joke? Politics of the Business may lose some of them -- or it could bridge the gap between the hip-hop faithful and the radio-loving masses. No matter the outcome, the album is a ripe, ironic concept by a man from whom we've come to treasure such efforts.

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