Prince Paul Wanted To Make A Native Tongues Documentary

The producer and DJ talked at length about the influential rap collective on his podcast series What Had Happened Was with Open Mike Eagle.

Prince Paul reflected on the highly influential Native Tongues collective during the latest episode of his What Had Happened Was podcast series with Open Mike Eagle.

The 45-minute conversation finds Paul reminiscing on the collective and its members, how the memorable posse cut remix for “Buddy” came about, as well as the collective’s dissolution. Toward the end of the episode, Paul also revealed that he tried to make a Native Tongues documentary happen around 2010, but it never came to fruition.

“Some years ago, before Michael Rapaport did the Tribe documentary, I was talking to Dres and trying to get everybody so I could make a Native Tongues documentary,” Paul said. “I was asking around…people weren’t getting back to me, people seemed disinterested…it didn’t get too far.”

This isn’t the first time a documentary on Native Tongues has been attempted. Five years ago, filmmaker Omar Akil launched a Kickstarter campaign for a feature-length documentary called Speaking In Tongues: The Legend Of The Native Tongue Posse. The Kickstarter received $51,136, exceeding its goal of $48,000. Akil offered an update on the status of the documentary last month.

The latest episode of What Had Happened Was can be listened to below. Among other notable moments include Paul talking about the De La Soul track “I Am I Be,” and the following line from Posdnuos’ verse: “Or some tongues who lied and said ‘We’ll be natives to the end’ / Nowadays we don’t even speak.” Paul, who was present when Pos recorded the verse, said the line signaled that something was amiss in the Native Tongues.

“I remember recording that and looking into the booth and looking at him, and I just felt a chill,” he said. “When he said that and I could see the look on his face, it was almost of hurt.”

Elijah C. Watson

Elijah Watson serves as Okayplayer's News & Culture Editor. When he's not writing he's listening to Sade and crying or watching My Hero Academia with his partner.

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Elijah C. Watson

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