First and foremost, it is important to address the political influence on Paris’s music. He uses his platform to address the hypocrisy within the system, such as in the song “The Devil Made Me Do It” where he says “Food stamps and free cheese/ Can’t be the cure for a sick disease.” He’s bringing attention to the lack of effort from the American government in solving hunger and poverty-related issues that are still disproportionately impacting Black communities. This isn’t the only time Paris called out the effects of white supremacy, in the same song he says “Rape then pillage everyone on the planet/ Then give ’em fake gods/ at odds with Allah/ Love thy enemy and all that hoopla.” Paris is talking about the colonization of Black people, addressing the cultural genocide of Black people by stealing and assimilating them into eurocentric and Christian beliefs. Interestingly, this song was banned by MTV since it seemed controversial at the time but in truth, there isn’t anything controversial about it. The music video had scenes which you could argue that called out Abraham Lincoln for his deceitful stance on slavery while he’s been glorified in American history for abolishing slavery. My initial reaction to this song was to be surprised at how relevant his messages still are, this just puts the reality of these persisting socio-economic issues Black people face in America and there still hasn’t been any form of real reparations to those communities.
The album consists of a raw theme through its intensely honest lyrics which are paired with energetic yet dark beats. In my opinion, Paris manipulates his beats in a way that is reflective of what he talks about in a song. For example, usually when Paris talks about Black pride and his lyrics are focused on uplifting the community, the music is groovy. This is visible in his songs “Break the Grip of Shame” and “Ebony”. When Paris’s tracks are more focused on the Black Panthers, racial injustices, and politics, his music is more ominous. We see this in his songs “Scarface Groove”, “This is a Test”, “Brutal”, “The Devil Made Me Do It” and the commonality amongst these songs is that they all have an appealing bassline that complements the serious concepts he covers. However, “Mellow Madness” stuck out to me the most and is probably why it’s one of my favourite tracks on the album. The saxophone instrumental, groovy bassline and it’s steady relaxed drumbeat all contribute to it’s laid back feel.