Large Professor’s Mentor Paul C Programmed Two Devo Songs

Paul C is one of the great “what ifs” of hip-hop history. When he was murdered in 1989 at the age of 25, his death sent shock waves through the community of artists that worked with him at 1212 Studio. It seemed like Paul, whose clientele list already included Biz Markie, Eric B & Rakim, Large Professor, Organized Konfusion, Rahzel, and Ultramagnetic MCs, was on his way to becoming a superstar. Known for his ability to bring the best out of emerging artists, he mentored Large Professor and had such an impact on him that Large Pro named his production company Paul Sea Productions.

Paul (left) with his first band Mandolindley Road Show

Since his untimely passing Paul has become a bit of an urban legend, popping up on the social media feeds of Just Blaze, Questlove, and Got The Fuck to Sleep author Adam Mansbach. While Paul is best known for his work on seminal rap records like Ultramagnetic MCs “Give The Drummer Some”, a deep dive on the internet reveals that Paul was starting to work with prominent artists in other genres. According to Discogs, Paul did “additional programming” for the Devo songs “Baby Doll” and “Disco Dancer”.

Production credits can be vague and hard to interpret, so it is unclear how significant of a role Paul played in the making of these two songs. The details of his involvement may remain hazy, but sites like Discogs and YouTube have helped fans of Paul’s work piece together his credits to help give a more much more complete picture of catalog.

Between engineering records for long forgotten rappers like M.C. Tatiana, playing bass for his first band Mandolindley Road Show, and programming records for Devo, Paul’s career is like an onion with endless layers to peel back. I am working on a longform article about Paul and every time I open my browser and dedicate an hour to researching him, I learn something new. It seems he may have been working with other major label acts besides Devo at the time of his passing, though I have yet to verify this.

Paul’s career was a fascinating and all-too-brief one. Every single artist he worked with marvels at his creativity and talent. Producers today continue to admire him, as seen with Nick Hook’s recent acquisition and use of Paul’s original SP-1200.

I hope that sharing some details of Paul’s career through smaller articles like this and my eventual longform piece will help renew interest in Paul’s life in work. If you read this and have some information about Paul you’d like to share with me, please don’t hesitate to reach out.

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