On this day in music history: October 9, 1990 – “The Devil Made Me Do It”, the debut album by Paris is released. Produced by Paris and D.R., it is recorded at Teluride Studios in Palo Alto, CA from Late 1989 – Mid 1990. San Francisco, CA born rapper Paris (birth name Oscar Jackson, Jr.), first establishes himself on the Bay Area hip hop scene in 1989 with the independently released 12" EP “Scarface Groove” on his own label Scarface Records. It creates a significant local buzz by way of underground support from the street and from college radio play attracts the attention of Tommy Boy Records who sign him. Inspired by the pro black philosophies of Malcolm X, the Black Panthers and the Nation Of Islam, Paris quickly draws attention for his political and socially conscious lyrics, as well as for his distinctive voice and rhyme style. “Break The Grip Of Shame”, his first single released through Tommy Boy in early 1990 quickly becomes big hit locally in San Francisco, and in other major cities with strong support from college radio and club DJ’s. Also thanks to heavy mix show play on major P1 station KMEL, which leads to it being played in regular rotation. It also finds significant support in other parts of the country as well. However, the rapper runs up against controversy when MTV bans the video for the title track (#20 Rap). The cable music channel refuses to air the clip for what they claim are “incendiary and inflammatory imagery”, depicting American national symbol Uncle Sam as the devil, juxtaposed with clips of then President George H.W. Bush, and a young black man being brusquely arrested by the police. In spite of this, the album sells over 300,000 plus copies. In spite of this success, Paris’ association with Tommy Boy is brief, when he records his follow up album “Sleeping With The Enemy” in 1992. Considered even more controversial than his debut, the album features the track “Bush Killa”, which details a fantasy assassination of President Bush and for “Coffee, Doughnuts And Death”, calling for racist police to be killed for their violent and murderous transgressions against minorities. Tommy Boy, a division of Warner Bros Records and then owned by corporate behemoth Time Warner, having recently faced major public scrutiny over Ice-T’s hardcore rock album “Body Count” featuring the track “Cop Killer”, refuses to release Paris’ second album and force Tommy Boy to drop him from the label. Paris releases the album independently on his own Scarface label. “The Devil Made Me Do It” peaks at number forty one on the Billboard R&B album chart, and number one hundred fifty eight on the Top 200.
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