Friday, June 26, 2020

Paul Ray Featuring 33 1/3 ‎- More Emotion / Long Dayz - 1997

12" - 1997 - PR Records 

Back in 1997 with this More Emotion b/w Long Dayz 12" which is consider as a classic nowadays, released by the Chicago-based MC Paul Ray aka Paul Ray the Perilous, now known under the name of Ray Pee Emm. The wax came out on PR Records (Pē-äR) which was an imprint Paul Ray came up with, and was fully produced by DJ 33 1/3 from Chicago, IL. The photos above come from the Japanese re-issue version released in 2008. 
No doubt that both tracks of the record are really good but "More Emotion" is definitely the best track. The sample used for the instrumental comes from the song "I love Music" released by Ahmad Jamal Trio in 1970.  

Photo courtesy of Paul Ray 

- Could you tell me how and when you started music ? 

Paul Ray : "I actually started getting into hip-hop when I first heard Kurtis Blow, Run DMC, LL... So that was 1982-1985.  But TV and radio weren’t hip-hop dominant especially locally in Chicago.  But by the time 1986 rolled around, I noticed there was a big Chicago infusion of the hiphop culture and leaving the house music stigma behind.  So I wanted to rap at that time. Didn’t make any recordings or get serious until high that was in the early 90s."

- Which part of Chicago were you from exactly ? 

Paul Ray : "Born and cut my teeth on the Low End, near Robert Taylor and CHA establishments. Then moved to the East Side / South Shore around Stony Island and Jeffrey. If you see the D 2 Tha S (Legendary Traxster and KayTone(RIP) of Illstate) “Doomsday” video where they were on the metra train tracks and battling in front of Track One Records, that was my neighborhood over east."

Notorious Big & Paul Ray - 1994 (B.I.G. Mack promo tour @ Track One Records) - Photo courtesy of Paul Ray 

-  Could you tell me how the connection happened between you and DJ 33 1/3 ?

Paul Ray : "He was a DJ very young and went to the same high school I did, but graduated 2 years prior.  I heard his name before but didn’t realize he was “him”.  Because in Chicago most dudes that deejayed at that point were cocky and flashy.  He was a laid back dude and I saw him spin and was like “yo, that’s 33?? I know him from school”.  Then around the time I was 19, I started working at Track One records where he was working at and we connected.  He was initially Ang13’s DJ, and I was working on demo material with the 1st installment of The Molemen but I wanted some other beat variety and heard 33 had heat."

- Were you affiliated with a group at that time ? 

Paul Ray : "Always solo.  But the crew I ended up being part of was Rebel XD’s crew....Double Xtraordians, not to be confused with XX Posse. lol"

- Why is there no more official release after that 12" ?  What happened with the album ?

Paul Ray : "Nah no issue... There were plans on putting more out.  I think the landscape of radio had changed.  Local radio in Chicago started telling me my music wasn’t gangsta enough or hot (Party music).  Plus 33 was getting a lot of club gigs and wasn’t making beats no more.  So I had to make a choice...I finished college... Learned how to make beats ... Learned how to deejay...
But My sound was too gritty for the watery 2000-2010 era and I felt underground hip-hop was still my heart...but, I would only lay verses here and there for folks..."

If you don't have this More Emotion b/w Long Dayz 12" in your collection yet, I think you should try to find it asap... and if you're looking for more info about Paul Ray, his official biography is definitely a good resume :

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