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Innovative Life

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The neglected near suburban sprawl of outer Los Angeles, with its dense population of bored, impressionable teenagers, has served as the proving ground for innumerable teen dance crazes. In the ‘60s, neighborhoods like Watts, Slauson, and Long Beach produced soulful dance sensations like “The Jerk,” “The Slauson Shuffle,” and “The Watts Breakaway.” By the mid eighties a new dance-centric genre emerged from these same neighborhoods. Groups like Egyptian Lover, The World Class Wrecking Crew, and Arabian Prince blended the brooding synth-funk of Zapp, the breakneck beats of the burgeoning Chicago House scene, and the metronomic pulse of Kraftwerk and Africa Bambaataa to create a new, distinctly West Coast brand of Electro that would serve as the soundtrack to innumerable teen dance crazes. Though the dances themselves, “The Cabbage Patch,” “The Campbell Lock,” and “The Slide” among others are mostly forgotten, Stones Throw Records' new Arabian Prince compilation, Innovative Life vividly evokes Electro’s mid eighties heyday. The brooding synths, 808 beats and faux-eastern melodies of “Freak City” are a particular highlight.

Customer Reviews

Strange to See This Issue

Arabian Prince was always pretty much in the background in terms of influence coming out of the LA Techno-Funk scene in the 1980s. I recall that his solo work was virtually invisible. I have no earthly idea, in fact, where most of these tracks even came from aside from Innovator and Strange Life. The two tracks of renown on this one are Panic Zone and Professor X, which both appeared on 12" singles under other aliases (Prof X) or the names of other artists - most notably N.W.A., who issued Panic Zone as a B-Side on the Dope Man single if I recall correctly. Arabian Prince gets a writing credit, but I imagine it had more to do with Dr. Dre. Panic Zone was kind of a remnant, style-wise, of what Dre was up to before he started pretending to have been a gangster. That is to say: He was a member of the Techno-Funk group The World Class Wreckin Cru, which also featured NWA associate DJ Yella and Lonzo. I would credit Panic Zone's style to those fellows as much as I would to Arabian Prince. You can see this also reflected in the track Supersonic by one of Dre's early production efforts (a terrible female duo called J.J. Fad). Professor X, in my opinion, is his only significant solo work from the 1980s - the only one of his projects that has had any lasting influence on world techno. That track was issued on the Tekno Cut label, also known for the work of Unknown DJ (known by various aliases) and Battlecat, two other 1980s techno-funk innovators.

80's Electro Funk At It's Best!!!!!

The Arabian Prince was one of the kings of the 80's electric funk scene. Him and The Egyptian Lover. They were innovators and they were the predecessors to the g-funk sound that was later defined by Dr. Dre. This album is full of complex electric beats that hit hard and are so mechanically fluid sounding. The Arabian Prince and The Egyptian Lover were truly ahead of their time. Anyone who doesn't appreciate this or the artistry behind it is just simply being judgemental and has no appreciation or understanding of this form of music as an artform. That being said I'm not even gonna devote any more words to the ignorrant. Those who know music know that The Arabian Prince and The Egyptian Lover were innovators and pioneers. Period.

Been waiting since I herd Strange Life for this

Stones Throw Records has so many heavy hitters on their team. Without a doubt one of the best record labels in hip-hop today. Anybody who cant have some fun with this needs to throw some ants down there pants man.


Born: June 17, 1965 in Compton, CA

Genre: Electronic

Years Active: '80s, '90s

Though he's known mostly (if at all) for his early membership in N.W.A., the Arabian Prince had been a producer and DJ since the early '80s, which undoubtedly helped him sustain his career after leaving N.W.A.. He began in the music business while still in middle school, recording mixtapes during after hours at KACE radio (where his father worked) and DJing school dances as well as the occasional club date. Arabian Prince began recording his own tracks during 1982-1983, and co-produced Bobby Jimmy...
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Innovative Life, Arabian Prince
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