Album review: PRhyme – PRhyme

PRhyme wont trouble the charts, but it’s a real gift to the real hip-hop heads.

PRhyme by PRhyme.
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(PRhyme Records)

Four stars

For a genre so enamoured with individualism, it is ironic that some of the best hip-hop albums released this year were collaborations — Freddie Gibbs and Madlib’s Pinata, and the Killer Mike/EL-P’s collaboration Run The Jewels 2.

PRhyme, the new project by the seminal producer DJ Premiere and the ­indie-giant MC Royce’ Da 5’9, is another great piece of old-school ­hip-hop that pays tribute to the genre’s fundamentals — ­adventurous samples and gritty wordplay.

The Detroit rapper Royce’ Da 5’9 has been flirting unconvincingly with pop sounds of late – thankfully in the self-titled debut album, he keeps his ­nimble flow rugged and raw all over the lean 9 tracks.

Dat Sound Good has a swaggering Boom-Bap sound, with Premiere creating a flowing melody using disparate samples.

In the hard hitting single, Courtesy, Da 5'9 waxes lyrical about his confrontational approach to the industry: "If you profiling, it'll probably be more violence than looking".

Over the ominous organs on To Me, To You, he spits about his dedication to the rap game: "I missed my uncle's funeral to go to South by Southwest. You ain't gotta appreciate it, but you better respect the fact".

PRhyme wont trouble the charts, but it’s a real gift to the true hip-hop heads.