Monday, December 15, 2014

Review: One Listen of "PRhyme" is Enough

Many hip-hop heads lost their mind when DJ Premier and Royce Da 5'9'' announced that they would work together on an album, under the moniker PRhyme. Premier is the legendary producer who helped produce Illmatic, and 5'9" is one of the few MC's who can go toe-to-toe against Eminem. When the self titled album was released on December 9th, it was a pleasant listen for the first time, but became pretty boring after multiple listens.

PRhyme boasts some of the features of any project this year. Ab-Soul, Mac Miller, Dwele, Common, Jay Electronica, Schoolboy Q, Killer Mike, and Slaughterhouse all lend verses on the nine-track album. 5'9" aggressively raps over the gritty, sample and scratch heavy production from DJ Premier. Most of the album is just straight spitting, with very stripped down, basic hooks on a few songs. The project clocks in at about thirty five minutes, but doesn't really leave the audience hungry for more.

I wouldn't say this is a bad album, but there isn't a lot to it. While 5'9" raps with vigor, his flow sounds about the same throughout the album. DJ Premier is a gifted producer, but the issue with using a single producer for an entire album is that there is little diversity in sound, and after a few listens PRhyme gets boring. There's little direction or theme behind the album. One of the most disappointing tracks on the album is "To Me, To You" featuring Jay Electronica. The song is over five minutes long, and gets bogged down by the same gritty production from Premier and flow from 5'9" that's in the rest of the album. After three and a half minutes of 5'9" rapping, Jay Electronica steps in, but the engineering job for Electonica's verse is horrendous. It sounds as if he's rapping ten feet away from a $20 mike surrounded by mattresses. You can give PRhyme a listen here.

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