Friday 3/6 The Crocodile & ReignCity Present: PRHYME (DJ Premier & Royce da 5’9) + Your Old Droog + Grynch X Fearce Vill + Boldy James 8pm Doors All Ages + Bar w/ I.D. Tickets & Info: www.reigncity.com PRhyme, rapper Royce Da 5' 9" and producer DJ Premier's collaborative project, is in actual fact a hardcore rap fan's fantasy realized; it's also one of those mythical instances of a good-looking tracklist exceeding all expectations. PRyhme is a nine-song testament to its creators' perseverance in changing times and proof positive that — even in an era when novelty supplants quality more often than not — the "dope rhymes, dope beats" formula can still yield something remarkable. The album's name is a bold statement in itself: rap's peanut gallery might argue that Royce, who made his debut with Eminem in the late '90s, and DJ Premier, who made his debut with Gang Starr a decade before that, are not in the prime of their respective careers at this very moment. Save for a few lauded lyricists like Kendrick Lamar, Lupe Fiasco and the aforementioned Em, it is true that there's not much of a premium placed on the type of high-level technical rhyming Royce does anymore. The emphasis today is on melody, cadence and overall catchiness — few points are awarded for complexity. It's not that contemporary audiences absolutely don't appreciate wordsmiths, but their stock has gone down. And DJ Premier's signature chopped samples, scratched-in-vocal-sample-collage-as-chorus and boom bap drums are far from the production style du jour. Even though Premier is one of the few producers who can boast production credits for hip-hop's Holy Trinity (B.I.G., Jay Z and Nas), a Preemo beat and the legitimacy it confers is today more a feather in the cap of underground artists with East Coast/Golden Era inclinations than it is a jewel in the crown of rap's current rulers. Despite all that, the peanut gallery might have it twisted.
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