Paris hails from the San Francisco Bay Area and was catapulted onto the national Hip Hop scene in 1990 with his hit single and album The Devil Made Me Do It, after earning a degree in economics from the University of California at Davis. Originally released on Tommy Boy Records, his first single from that album, “Break The Grip of Shame,” was banned by MTV. Since then, his uncompromising stance on political issues and biting social commentary have become his trademark, endearing him to legions of supporters who rightly feel messages of positivity are underrepresented in Hip Hop.
When his second album, Sleeping with the Enemy was ready for release in 1992, Paris was dropped from now-defunct Tommy Boy Records and distributor Time Warner when they discovered its incendiary content – content which included fantasy revenge killings of then-President Bush and racist police officers. Rather than buckle under pressure, he released the LP himself on his newly-formed Scarface Records to major sales and national acclaim.
Paris signed a major artist and distribution deal with Priority Records for himself and Scarface Records in 1993 and released his third LP, Guerrilla Funk, and several then up-and-coming groups, most notably the Conscious Daughters. Paris and Priority formally severed their business relationship due to creative differences in 1995, and in 1997, Paris signed a one-off deal with now-defunct Whirling Records (distributed by Rykodisc), for the release of his 4th LP, Unleashed. Released in limited numbers, the LP went largely unnoticed due to lack of focus and funding.
In 2003, Paris returned with a vengeance, injecting a much needed dose of reality and consciousness into an industry which by then seemed to only reflect corporate Hip Hop sensibilities. Sonic Jihad was released to strong sales and critical acclaim, with Paris emerging with his new label and website, Guerrilla Funk Recordings. Born out of necessity, it’s a musical organization that provides a home for projects and material whose messages are generally avoided my mainstream music, featuring material by such notable acts as Public Enemy, Kam, dead prez and The Conscious Daughters, among others.
Paris has never been one to shy away from controversy. In 2006, his Guerrilla Funk imprint released three projects, the first being Rebirth of a Nation, the long-awaited Paris-written and produced collaboration with Public Enemy. Receiving robust sales and critical acclaim, the album features dead prez, Kam, MC Ren, The Conscious Daughters and Immortal Technique.
He also released Hard Truth Soldiers, Vol. 1, the first in a Paris-produced compilation series that is a collection of material that goes against the grain of commercial hip-pop by providing content of substance, touching on subjects ranging from war and police brutality to black on black crime and domestic violence. It showcases contributions from Public Enemy, The Coup, dead prez, Paris, T-KASH, Kam, The Conscious Daughters, Mystic, MC Ren, Sun Rise Above, and The S.T.O.P. Movement (Mobb Deep, Tray Deee, Soopafly, KRS-One, Defari, Daz, J-Ro, RBX, Bad Azz, WC, Dilated Peoples, Mac Minister, The Alchemist, Mack 10, Evidence, Defari, Everlast, and B-Real), among others.
Also in 2006, Paris introduced the world to former Coup-member T-K.A.S.H. and his stellar debut offering, Turf War Syndrome.
In 2007, Paris released the follow up companion piece to Rebirth of a Nation, the Public Enemy collaboration Remix of a Nation, and began laying the framework for the film division of Guerrilla Funk Recordings.
Paris inked a distribution deal with Fontana/Universal for Guerrilla Funk (with movies through Vivendi) in late 2008, and released his newest album, Acid Reflex, featuring Chuck D. and George Clinton.
In 2009, Paris released Hard Truth Soldiers, Vol. 2, the sophomore project from T-K.A.S.H., Brains All Over the Streets, and the latest offering from The Conscious Daughters, The Nutcracker Suite.
In 2011, Paris was featured in the musical documentary, Sounds Like a Revolution, and was featured on the Insane Clown Posse’s Featuring Freshness LP. He performed at that year’s Gathering of the Juggalos, and later at the Amsterdam Hip Hop Festival in Amsterdam.
Paris’ production continues to be in high demand, and lately his original material has been featured in various Hollywood productions, his most recent being End of Watch, starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Peña, and Kill the Messenger, starring Jeremy Renner.
Paris is currently wrapping up production on his next studio album and associated videos, as well as new albums from Thang/George Clinton, T-K.A.S.H., and DJ True Justice.
In November of 2014, he released a video single, “Night of the Long Knives,” calling for increased unity in black and brown communities and embracing eye-for-an-eye resistance against racist police aggression and brutality in the wake of the tragedy in Ferguson, MO and other high-profile killings.
His forthcoming album, Pistol Politics, will be available globally September 11, 2015.