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Artist: PRhyme (Royce Da 5’9” & DJ Premier)
Album: PRhyme
Label: PRhyme Records
Release Date: December 9, 2014
The new release by Royce Da 5’9” and DJ Premier, collectively known as “PRyme,” certainly makes it seem like Royce is in his prime. From the first track to the last Primo brings his classic production style infused with melodies of Adrian Younge and shows once again why he is arguably the greatest producer of all-time. Royce’s style seems to have matured a great deal over the past few years and he does every single beat justice, ripping them to shreds. The only downfall of the album is that it has a running time of only 34 minutes and features a slim 9 tracks. It’s more of an Extended EP than a full album, but maybe that’s why every track is fresh as f*ck.

Aside from Royce going hard on every track, the album has a number of features, all of who spit up to their potential and beyond. The second track “Dat Sound Good” features Ab-Soul and Mac Miller; Common is featured on “Wishin,” sounding much more like he did on Resurrection than Electric Circus; while the album also features Dwele, ScHoolboy Q and Killer Mike who all go hard.

The album opens with the title track “PRhyme” and Royce puts his stellar flow and rhyme scheme on display. “Me and Chris we veterans, but when youngins call you vet/ You Start to feel like Hardaway with that UTEP, two step/They come in the league like A.I. with that they new look/and that crossover move, and they make that old sh*t seem useless/But I’m balling, I can afford to hire somebody/To try to break all of their legs like Tonya Harding.” This is just a small sample of how Royce spits throughout the entire album.  Royce opens “Wishin” featuring Common with a braggadocio filled round of fire, stating, “I’m sendin my killers to the store for Patron and Danish/ My n*gga, my n*gga, I would go get it myself but I’m famous/And I ain’t never, changin, I’m never, done payin/my dues, my mind frame is ‘I’m forever makin my payments’/I walk by a so-called tough guy, watch him tuck his chain in/No snatchin though, watch what you put my f*ckin name in.”

Another example of Royce’s vicious lyricism is from the track “Courtesy”, as he spit, “I used to rap about death but now I’m only concerned to live/ I value relationships, still I keep it competitive/Nowadays chances are if you see me throw the match, it ain’t to lose the fight its to walk away from the burning bridge.”   And not to worry, Slaughterhouse, Royce’s crew makes an appearance as well on the track “Microphone Preem.” Crooked I, Joell Ortiz and Joe Budden all bring their A-game on the track but Royce’s verse is still definitely the standout. Royce’s verse opens with “That’s the difference between ya’ll n*ggas and real rap/ The competition fell back, N*gga’s ask/ how much did I used to drink, I tell em ‘off the top of my head about a gallon’ kinda like Pharrel’s hat/ But all jokes aside like I ordered fries/ I’m liable to store somebody’s corpse in the closet, I’m organized.”

The album is full of hot tracks from cover to cover; Primo shows why he is one of the greatest producers of all time yet again, Royce rips every beat to shreds doing Primo’s production justice and every featured emcee delivers top notch flows.PRhyme hasn’t made a dent in the mainstream, but it is a must listen for every real hip-hop head out there and is probably my favorite release of 2014. I only hope that this hip-hop duo doesn’t wait too long to release another album, and hopefully it’ll be a true full-length next time around.

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