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A Prince Among Thieves
Studio album by Prince Paul
Released February 23, 1999
Recorded Paul's Coffee Shop
(Long Island, New York)
Genre Hip Hop
Length 73:11
Label Tommy Boy
Producer Prince Paul
Professional reviews
Prince Paul chronology
Psychoanalysis: What is It?
A Prince Among Thieves
Politics of the Business

A Prince Among Thieves is the second studio album by Hip Hop artist and producer Prince Paul. It is considered an apex in the hip hop world, and was one of the most acclaimed concept albums of its time. The concept follows the story of an aspiring young MC named Tariq, played by rapper Breezly Brewin, who needs to collect money to record a demo tape before a meeting with Wu-Tang Clan leader RZA. The story follows, as a desperate Tariq quits his low-paying job and turns to his friend True, played by rapper Big Sha, who plugs him into the world of drug dealing. The story sees the two making their way through the drug world, a police ambush, jail, and finally, a deadly showdown.

The album features cameos by Kool Keith, Big Daddy Kane, Chubb Rock, Biz Markie, De La Soul, Everlast, Sadat X, Xzibit, Kid Creole, Special Ed, Chris Rock, RZA and Buckshot.


Track listing

# Title Producer(s) Performer (s)
1 "Tariq's Dilemma (Intro)" *Interlude*
2 "Pain" Prince Paul Sha, Breeze
3 "How It All Started" *Interlude*
4 "Steady Slobbin'" Prince Paul Breeze
5 "Just Another Day" *Interlude*
6 "What U Got (The Demo)" Prince Paul Sha, Breeze
7 "The Hustles On" *Interlude*
8 "MC Hustler" Prince Paul Horror City
9 "The Call" *Interlude*
10 "The Other Line" Prince Paul Breeze, Heroine
11 "Crazy Lou's Hideout" *Interlude*
12 "Weapon World" Prince Paul Kool Keith
13 "My Big Chance" *Interlude*
14 "War Party" Prince Paul Horror City
15 "Count Macula" *Interlude*
16 "Macula's Theory" Prince Paul Big Daddy Kane
17 "Mr. Large" Prince Paul Sha, Chubb Rock, Biz Markie
18 "Can You Handle It" *Interlude*
19 "Put the Next Man On" Prince Paul Breeze, Sha, Superstar
20 "I Was In" *Interlude*
21 "My First Day" *Interlude*
22 "More Than U Know" Prince Paul De La Soul
23 "Room 69" *Interlude*
24 "Mood For Love" Prince Paul Newkirk, Sweet Dee, Breeze
25 "The Bust" *Interlude*
26 "The Men in Blue" Prince Paul Everlast
27 "Central Booking" *Interlude*
28 "Handle Your Time" Prince Paul Sadat X, Xzibit, Kid Creole
29 "The Rev" *Interlude*
30 "Sermon" *Interlude*
31 "Showdown" *Interlude*
32 "You Got Shot" Prince Paul Sha, Breeze
33 "Every Beginning Must Have an Ending" *Interlude*
34 "The New Joint (DJ's Delite)" *Interlude*
35 "A Prince Among Thieves" Prince Paul Sha

Samples Used

  • "Steady Slobbin'" is a parody of Ice Cube's song "Steady Mobbin'", and both contain a sample of Average White Band's recording "Reach Out."
  • "What U Got" contains a sample of Albert King's recording "I'll Play the Blues for You."
  • "Macula's Theory" contains a sample of Syl Johnson's recording "Wind, Blow Her Back My Way."
  • "More Than U Know" contains a sample of Rockmaster Scott & the Dynamic Three's recording "The Roof Is On Fire."
  • "You Got Shot" contains samples of Whodini's recording "It's All in Magic's Wand" and Les McCann's recording "North Carolina."
  • "Just Another Day" contains portions of the 1942 Bugs Bunny cartoon "The Wabbit Who Came to Supper."

The Cast

  • Tariq: Breezly Brewin
  • True: Big Sha
  • Mother: Monkey
  • Officer O'Maley Bitchkowski: Everlast
  • Crazy Lou: Kool Keith
  • Mr. Large: Chubb Rock
  • Breakneck: Special Ed
  • Diehard: Biz Markie
  • Hooker: Sweet Dee
  • Crackhead: Chris Rock
  • Crackhead Girl: Queen Bee
  • RZA: RZA
  • Count Macula: Big Daddy Kane
  • The Reverend: Dom Dom
  • Convicts: Sadat X, Xzibit, Kid Creole
  • Buckshot: Buckshot
  • Thug Group: Horror City
  • Paramedic 1: Rodd Houston
  • Paramedic 2: Wendy Day
  • Tariq's Sis (Star Keisha): Karima
  • Police Officer 2: Phil Painson
  • Police Captain: Danny Madorski
  • Wu Receptionist: Kamala Gordon
  • Tammy: Heroine

The DJ's & VJ's

  • DJ Evil Dee
  • Bobbito
  • DJ Mecca
  • Bobby Simmons
  • Andre (Bless Me) Smith
  • Ken (Special K) Spellman
  • DJ Atlas
  • Artist
  • Lynn Gonzales
  • Rotimi Rainwater

Background Xtras

  • Michelle Willems
  • Patty Santos
  • Faradina Lael
  • Jackie Martinez
  • Shara
  • Queen
  • Big Pat
  • The Deadly Snakes
  • Bobby Simmons
  • Regina Moore
  • Lady Leo
  • Mel Vives
  • Mr. Dead
  • Don Newkirk
  • Bimos
  • Michael Preston
  • Richard Preston
  • Nyce
  • Edward Huston

Album chart positions

Year Album Chart positions
Billboard 200 Top R&B/Hip Hop Albums Top Heatseekers
1999 A Prince Among Thieves #138 #46 #5


Year Song Hot Rap Singles
1999 "More Than U Know" 45


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