Women of Hip Hop #3 Paula Perry
“If we were judging female MCs these days on verbal skills instead of punany poetry, then Lil’ Kim and Foxy Brown would revert to their given names and serve 24-year-old Brooklynite Paula Perry fluted glasses of Cristal. ” Charles Aaron: Spin Magazine, Feb 1997
Paula Perry first broke onto the scene through the Hip Hop crew ‘Masta Ace Inc.’ formed by Masta Ace and included Lord Digga, Leschea, Eyceurokk and Perry. Immediately she proved to be more than just the token female rapper of the group and began making waves of her own. Born and raised in Fort Greene, BK, Perry had a rough childhood surrounded by gun violence, drug epidemics and poverty. Her early experiences inspired her MC style of badass street reporting rap, representative of the east coast sound.
Masta Ace Inc. released their debut album ‘Slaughtahouse’ in 93’ on Delicious Vinyl. The loose concept of the album was satirically addressing the growing trend of gansta rap with west coast funk-influenced beats with New York rhymes. On the 10th Anniversary of Video Music Box, Paula Perry and Masta Ace performed the ‘Who You Jackin’’ from SlaughtaHouse live.
Most heads first heard Paula through her debut single ‘Paula’s Jam’ which was a mega underground success released by Loose Cannon in 96’. She soon after released several singles such as “Extra, Extra” produced by DJ Premier.
“Refined by the golden producer hands of DJ Premiers, this track from Paula Perry’s debut album inspires from the first second. The ingenious mixture of hypnotic minimal beats, a gripping funk groove and a voice that you would like to hear a few more stories from is captivating. ” Norbert Schiegl: in the music magazine JUICE, issue 5-1998
This was followed in 98’ with the song Down To Die For This, as well as collabs with the Lost Boyz and other rappers (Nicki D, Rah Digga, Heather B, Precious P, and Bahamandia – Six Pack).
Paula Perry ended up with a Motown Records subsidiary called ‘Mad Sounds Recordings’ which specialized in 90s hip hop however her next album ’Tales from Fort Knox’ was never released. Mad Sounds shifted the funds away from Perry’s album to Queen Latifah’s album instead. Most of the 17-song promo was destroyed though there were already reviews out in magazines. Allegedly there are only less than 10 copies left today so these are sold at top prices over the internet .The album contained productions by Easy Mo Bee, Clark Kent, Ase One (aka Masta Ace) and Domingo.