Published Dec 05, 2014This isn't the first time Gang Starr's legendary DJ Premier has produced an entire LP for one MC since Guru died in 2010 (we see you, Bumpy Knuckles), but the fact that longtime collaborators Royce da 5'9" and Premo came up with a group name and a new indie label to brand their project has given PRhyme an extra dose of intrigue and cachet. There's another hook, too: Premo crafts the nine-track album's entire soundbed by exclusively sampling composer Adrian Younge (and, of course, his trademark diced-up rap sound bites). It's a restriction that didn't appeal to Premo at first, but he warmed to the challenge: "His catalogue sounds like the old soul records we used to dig and sample with," says Premo, who was thrilled when Royce recruited Jay Electronica, ScHoolboy Q, Common and Killer Mike for Grade-A cameos.
The result is one of 2014's tightest releases. Premo's flips are dark, hard and flawless, while Royce sounds as invigorated and honest as ever, dropping Detroit wisdom amidst a blizzard of punchlines: "I lost a whole bunch of money chasing bitches/ But I never lost no bitches chasing money." Fun fact: PRhyme was originally supposed to be a Slaughterhouse group project. The other three members, who had conflicting schedules, should feel free to kick themselves for only hopping on one song. (PRhyme/Ingrooves)