Talk about a hip-hop purist’s wet dream. The incomparable legendary producer DJ Premier and arguably the second best rapper from the D, team up for a collaborative project. And it is exactly what you expect.
Royce plays with his flow, throwing in some effortless tonal shifts while randomizing his rhyme schemes in a way that keeps listeners’ ears on their toes, so to speak.
The album starts off with “PRhyme”, a dark introspective diatribe by Royce interweaved with Premo’s surgical cuts. Royce plays with his flow, throwing in some effortless tonal shifts while randomizing his rhyme schemes in a way that keeps listeners’ ears on their toes, so to speak. It’s incredible the way he slips from conversational pacing to double-time raps. The unexpected delight continues as Ab-Soul and Mac Miller show up for the quirky “Dat Sound”. The classic Preemo hook samples Slaughterhouse brethren Joell Ortiz to nostalgic effect. Royce goes in with quirky lines like, “You wouldn’t bow down like the front of the Titanic,” while Miller and Ab bring their usual smoked out bars.
Not enough can be said about DJ Premier’s legacy. Premo is a true giant in the canon of hip-hop scripture. That being said the choice to exclusively sample LA-based composer Adrian Younge was a strange one. While the album features some great classic Premier kicks and hats, it feels limited. Those expecting to hear another “Boom” or “Hip-Hop” may be disappointed. Age may actually be catching up to the turntable warrior.
PRhyme is a strong release that probably won’t get the respect it deserves though. It’s about boom bap and bars, and it’s great.
Still, PRhyme is dope. Royce brings together unlikely pairings like on “Underground Kings” featuring Schoolboy Q and Killer Mike. At first glance, the track listing might have you skeptical. But after hearing Q and Mike alongside Royce you may think the trio needs to put out an EP to satisfy curiosity. Even better, the Jay Electronica anchored “To Me, To You” is nuts. Jay goes off spitting lines like, “The pyramids is there to bear witness to the Gods / So when the angels heard me spit / They bit they lip / This shit is hard / Utterly unstoppable / In high school I was voted most popular by the unpopular / Phantom of the chakras.”
There are a few misses, like the Slaughterhouse assisted and horribly titled “Microphone Preem” or the forced “You Should Know” featuring Detroit crooner Dwele. My only other complaint is there is no Eminem verse. Someone talented either needs to diss Shady or light a fire under his ass. Nevertheless PRhyme is a strong release that probably won’t get the respect it deserves though. It’s about boom bap and bars, and it’s great.