Dec 21, 2015

#ICYMIMonday: @PRhyme_Official Deluxe Version (@REALDJPREMIER & @Royceda59); A Niles P. Joint

The whole point of In Case You Missed It Monday (which is now known as #ICYMIMonday) is to explore albums that I either didn’t get to hear or heard but didn’t get to write about when they initially came out.  With that being said, I’m glad we got PRhyme Deluxe as it gives me a chance to right one of my wrongs since I’ve been with WTM.  I mean really, Royce Da 5’9” and DJ Premier form a group (PRhyme) and release an album and I don’t cover it immediately?  Adrian Younge is involved too?  What the hell was I thinking?  I’m ashamed of myself for letting it slip.  Fortunately a deluxe version gives me a reason to not only revisit it but also check out some
of the new tracks the duo cooked up for the occasion.  Being that there are a plethora of guests, it’s only right that I comb through it track by track.

PRhyme - It’s triple inception as the song title matches both the album and the group.  Royce, using a flow that alternates between hushed and blaring, talks about his recovery from alcoholism (which comes up a few times on the album) and warns against losing focus on your craft due to chasing women.  Good way to start.

Dat Sound Good (feat. Ab-Soul & Mac Miller) - The instrumental gives me a Cali vibe which makes sense with Soulo’s presence.  I’ve never been a Mac Miller fan and still aren’t but he doesn’t ruin the song.

U Looz - This is one of my favorite songs on the album despite being merely a minute and a half long.  Royce comes with his usual hard hitting bars and Preem is in his glory cutting and scratching.  Wish this was longer.

You Should Know (feat. Dwele) - This is possibly the best on the album.  The guitar is simple yet oh so relaxing.  Co-collaborator Adrian Younge’s fingerprints are omnipresent on this one.  Dwele gives just enough on the chorus in the midst of cut and scratched samples.  

Courtesy - Mary wrote about this video not too long ago.  The song still holds up and the organ is delightfully murderous.  

Wishin’ (feat. Common) - The beat is amongst the most intriguing as it starts slow, speeds up, then slows down again.  Common proves that he’s still the king of the Chi with his guest verse.

To Me, To You feat. Jay Electronica - This instrumental sounds like a comic book villain’s lair.  While he’s sharp on the entire album, Royce may be at his best lyrically here.  Jay Electronica makes an appearance that apparently wasn’t engineered as well (it sounds hollow) but is still strong as far as bars go.

Underground Kings (feat. ScHoolboy Q & Killer Mike) - This is actually the second time Royce rapped over a beat that used the Run DMC sample.  This time it’s more uptempo and he has assistance from Q, who has never sounded better and Killer Mike who strengthens his resumé as Atlanta’s finest.  

Microphone Preem feat. Slaughterhouse - You knew that Slaughterhouse would show up at some point and they make for a great posse cut over some sharp ass drums.  On the original version that came last year, this was the final track and worked great in that capacity.  All tracks after this one were made for the deluxe version this year.

Golden Era feat. Joey Bada$$ - It almost seems too perfect/tongue-in-cheek that Primo, Adrian, Royce and Joey would make a song called golden era.  As fate would have it, they do an excellent job making a new track that has old school aesthetics in both words and music.

Wishin’ II feat. Black Thought - It’s explained on the intro that Black Thought was supposed to be on the original version but dropped out after The Roots’ manager Richard Nichols died.  He makes up for lost time and beats the shit out of the beat, continuing an undefeated streak of slaying guest appearances.  

Highs and Lows feat. MF DOOM & Phonte - I covered this song when it came out last month.  It’s still a banger and more importantly fits into the grand scheme of this deluxe version.
Mode II feat. Logic - Both of these dudes truly go beast mode in a track that spans seven minutes of pure lyricism.  Royce never lets his foot off of the gas and Logic finally impresses me as he uses his own flow and holds his own.  This is a great way to end an album.

For years, Royce seemed like he was on the cusp of success and DJ Premier showed a knack for bringing the best out of emcees that might get overlooked otherwise.  It’s fitting that they found each other as Royce delivers on every ounce of his vast potential on every single track.  Preem gets the chance to lace the finest rappers from New York, Philly, DC, Atlanta, Cali, Chicago, NOLA, Jersey, & North Carolina with his world famous production acumen.  Having Adrian Younge assist with the beats makes the cipher complete.  This deluxe version doesn't feel like a money grab, instead functioning as an addendum to an already great work.  The new bonus tracks fit right in with the year-old ones in a harmonious way.  Christmas came early for the culture.  If you haven’t done so already, treat yourself to PRhyme Deluxe, whether it’s your first time or you're coming back around.


Multimedia Journalist, Founder and Chief Editor of WTM Host of A-Side B-Side Podcast and more. I like to talk about stuff and write it down. Sometimes to a microphone. Either way, I need you to feel this.

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