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A born auteur who’s never really had a steady group to call his own, and who’s probably too weird to lead one properly if he did, Prince Paul compensates by conjuring hiphop as a theater of the mind. He’s a goofball for sure—at a recent New York gig, he recruited fans to partake in an impromptu fashion show, and then handed out roast beef sandwiches—but as a producer, his genius is in inviting his collaborators to inhabit his own eccentricities. And after a spell of inactivity following his split with De La Soul (he produced De La’s landmark 3 Feet High and Rising), Paul’s on a roll. Last year, he released two mindblowers—the rap opera A Prince Among Thieves, and So…How’s Your Girl?, a collaboration with Dan the Automater released under the name Handsome Boy Modeling School. Both recordings posit rappers as actors and songs as scenes supporting larger narratives, and during tonight’s set, Paul should cherry-pick from each. The evening’s lineup is nearly as varied as the list of guests on Paul’s albums, so expect a lot stage-sharing. Thieves’ most featured rapper, Breeze, performs with the Juggaknots earlier in the night, and old-school titan Big Daddy Kane, who also raps on Thieves, headlines. DJ Avee and Company Flow’s Mr. Len will also appear at 9 p.m. Sunday, May 14, at the Garage, 1214-B 18th St. NW. $20. (202) 331-7123. (Brett Anderson)