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There isn’t a genre wide enough to handle Paris the Black Fu. Because of this dilemma, Paris prefers to slowly work the perimeter of recognized styles. He makes the sounds hurt a little bit before you like it.
For several years now, Paris has been giving techno what one of his personas, Dr. Bootygrabber, refers to as “the slap test” with oversexed (as if there is such a thing) lyrics over beats that sound like someone’s ruphed your drink. It’s music that could make porn star Sean Michaels blush. Sex and satire are everything to Paris, and everything’s worth laughing at maniacally as it’s being probed a little bit deeper.
Better known for his roles as the less-stable half of two of Detroit’s favorite duos — the inimitably funky (and now defunct) Detroit Grand Pubahs, and the tag-team DJ outfit Heckle and Jeckle — Paris is starting his own label, Detelefunk, and figuring out where his solo efforts will take him.
Thankfully, not much has changed.
“A magazine overseas just asked me for my top-10 list for the month,” says Paris. “What they don’t know is that I’m gonna send them a top-10 list of female butts I’d like to stick my face in.”
Frankly, they should expect as much. Paris, more than any other artist, embodies Detroit techno’s id.
“[Techno’s] so serious and cold sometimes. I seem different, I guess, because techno’s predominantly instrumental and I could care less what people say about me. I’ve always wanted to be an entertainer and my sense of humor has always been wacky. But the way I talk about women is subtler [than booty or ghetto-tech]. When I talk about their butts, for instance, it’s more tongue-in-cheek (bellows a perverted Eddie Murphy laugh).”
Unlike ghetto-tech producers who are known for saying “ass” ad infinitum like naughty schoolboys, Paris prefers to describe the booty and categorize it scientifically. Paris’ field research in the area is highly esteemed and his personal lexicon promises to become the Esperanto of respectable dance floor smut.
“I’m doing a track now called ‘Pull My Finger (Randi Futhermucker).’ It’s about how I don’t mind it when a woman doesn’t wear deodorant sometimes. Not like if she doesn’t wear it for a week, but if she walks around the house a little randy for a while. I don’t like it when women hide their natural scent.
“I have another song I’m doin’ called ‘Tigolbakefitties.’ It’s about women who get breast and ass-cheek implants, fake nails and whatever. It’s the counterpart to ‘Randi Futhermucker.’ I’d rather be with someone who can walk around naturally funky and who’s secure with herself. It’s human nature to have some things and lack others, but some people can’t accept that. It’s not just women. Men are getting calf implants and shit. It’s hard for people to just let their confidence show who they are and that’s sad to me. Still, who wants a woman with some fake ass-cheeks?”
Speaking of which — and Paris often is — there’s still a video to be shot from his Pubahs days. The aptly titled “Big Onion” aims to celebrate the onion, not in a misogynistic, mainstream hip-hop sense, but rather by focusing on the onion’s snowflake-like individuality and splendor.
“There’s gonna be onions all over the place. We’ll have your caramelized onions, your Spanish onions, white onions, and definitely some red onions — that’s what happens when you take a white onion and you slap on it.”
When he’s not making crank phone calls, mocking people’s sexual hang-ups or exploiting his own obsessions, Paris gets political with his deviant wit. Lately, he’s even been seen sporting a noose around his neck. Why? “I figure if black people can still call each other ‘nigger’ as a term of endearment,” he says, “I can walk around wearing this as a family heirloom.”
The many sides of Paris come out to play in his DJ sets. His approach to record selection is idiosyncratic and true to Detroit techno’s free-form roots — sounds range from brutal to sticky funk with heavy doses of bounce.
Just don’t step on the floor when Paris is playing if you’re rocking a technologically enhanced jiggle. Remember, you’re dealing with an expert and chances are you’re fooling nobody but yourself.
Robert Gorell buzzes the bass bin for Metro Times. E-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.