Another reason why we love the net and online publishing. Would people readily have access to this writing, 4 years after it was written, almost shelved and then printed on a small scale in a foreign mag? Do yourself a favor and read this great story about Paul C written by Dave Tompkins. I posted the intro and two very short excerpts, but head on over to the original post for the whole thing.

There’s been some thought ’round these parts about some of the great stories in hip-hop that rarely find their way to the surface. Then some cats on the Okayplayer boards were asking about Paul C- who he was, his legacy, his death. Thought it’d be good to dig in the archives and pull this story out, by Dave Tompkins, the most comprehensive piece on Paul C ever written.

This story’s origins began somewhere in the office of 360hiphop around 2001, those halcyon days of internet-media revolution. The story was published after about three months of work, but the hubris of the site’s upper-management had created a space that few people could actually access, tricked-out computers or not. Luckily DT found a print home for it eventually, with Big Daddy. Still, just wanted to put out the word of where it came from first.

That 360 crew we had was no joke: jeff chang, caramanica, dave tompkins, kris ex, hua hsu, sly stallone (where is you man?), egon, etc. Maybe some more from those archives should go up in the next few weeks.

Anyway, here’s the piece for folks to read. It was absolutely unbelievable to edit; Tompkins was just on some other shit. Enjoy.

“He produced the Ultramagnetic MCs and Eric B & Rakim. He perfected techniques like the “chop” and “pan.” He taught Large Professor everything he knows. And he died in 1989 at the age of 24. Paul C is the most influential producer you’ve never read about – until now. This is a 360 report on a man and his music.” “There Was a Time” and Paul C was ahead of his. It was as if Ced Gee called it when, in ’86, he rhymed over the Dynamic Corvette cowbell stabs of Ultra’s “Funky Potion” and said, “Anticipating laws concerning realized composition.” When Paul C crashed “Funky Drummer” into Dee’s “Time,” isolating the drums in the meantime, it was a profound moment in hip-hop history: the introduction, essentially, of the “chop” and the “pan,” techniques forever repeated that would change the music at the rate Kool Keith turns his Budweiser painter-cap sideways.

Paul C was a master at innovating such production techniques with confining technology, trumping the sound of even today’s advancements. Paul C’s ideas were not in the lab’s job description. His story is a mutation of a theme essential to hip-hop: making the most of limited means. It’s the plug in the park lamppost or taking the two copies of a break and turning five seconds into five minutes of funk.