I've always had vague memories of this dope instrumental I heard back in '92 on a friend's beat tape. I hadn't heard the original track (with vocals) at the time, so I couldn't identify it via the MC. A year ago, I ran across some old Paris albums on some MP3 sites, and something clicked; jumping from track to track, I found what I was looking for: "The Days of Old".
Paris "Days of Old" 12"
I slept on Paris in the early 90's, something which I'll blame on my Rakim-as-lyricist-, Pete-Rock-and-Premier-as-producers-, New-York-as-Mecca-, East-coast-first-bias. Paris was on his shit in the early 90's, though, and this 12" (which jumped out of a crate while digging in Japan a few months after my rediscovery) just might be his finest track. I'm obviously partial to the beat (many will recognize the sample), but he rips a theme that would come to dominate hip-hop in the 90's...values are changing:Can't do anything without some fool actin' up
You start to believe that black folk are savage but
before you do, allow me to say
that in the old days we didn't act that way, see
Kings and Queens were the names of the righteous
but the sons of slaves are insane and we might just
self-destruct and erupt without a chance to grow
This ain't the days of old.
A horn soars during the chorus, as you can almost hear Paris shaking his head: "It ain't the same as the days of old." The instrumental is included, and stands on its own. Also included is the b-side "Bushkilla (Hellraiser Mix)", proving the more things change, the more they...you know the rest.