At this point in his career Prince Paul has cemented his reputation as one of hip hop's most creative and innovative producers. His work with Stetsasonic, De La Soul, the Gravediggaz, and 3rd Bass has stood the test of time and generated more than a few classics. Given all that success, it was still surprising to see a label like Tommy Boy give free reign - an albums worth of it - to a producer back in 1996. And the result was some of the most interesting and introspective material to ever come out of hip hop. Starting with the album's title Psychoanalysis you kind of get the idea of what you're getting into. Here's a dude who has worked somewhat behind the scenes in the music business, practically invented the hip hop skit (see Three Feet High And Rising), and has a pretty twisted sense of humor. He takes the opportunity to explore the outer reaches of the genre hitting dancehall, Schooly D and Miami booty bass along the way. There's even some uncomfortable stand-up comedy for good measure. Overall, the beats provide a soothing backdrop for the vocal samples and lyrical content. There are plenty of dark moments on the record along with many funny ones. Look out for the underground rap skewering "Psycho Linguistics". Hooo boy! Psychoanalysis captures the spirit of a producer that is more than comfortable with taking the piss out of the state of hip hop at that time.
- Music Label: Tommy Boy 1996/2012