I Can't Call It: PRhyme

Posted On Monday, December 8, 2014

One of my fave comics growing up were the "What If series." You had titles like what if wolverine killed spiderman or what if Dr. Doom was a member of the fantastic four or what if Magneto and Professor X switched places. To me they were the illest cause the way my mind worked I was always wondering "what if" anyway, so this series help bring those thoughts to reality. And with me, it never just stayed on comics. You could apply the "what if" concept to any and everything. One of my favorite what if's back in the mid 80's was "what if Hulk Hogan wrestled Ric Flair?" And by the late 80's/early 90's it was "what if Big Daddy Kane battled Rakim?" And by the mid 90's it morphed into "what if Primo did a whole album with Nas or Biggie?" Now, the only problem with the "what if theory" was in real life, they almost never came true and if they did, they always happened so far down the line that you didn't even care anymore. For example, now you got Big Daddy Kane saying he would battle Rakim...in 2014...for $500,000...almost 30 years past both of their primes...REALLY?!?!?!

Speaking of primes, now we've got one of my "what if's" from the early 2000's on tap with Royce Da 5'9" and Primo connecting to form the group, Phryme and bang out an entire album together. I've been waiting for these two to connect ever since they dropped "Boom" back in 2000. Throughout the years these two have always connected to make certified bangers like "Hip Hop", "Shake It Off" and "Ding" which had me begging these two to colab for an entire project. So outta all of my "what if's" I've FINALLY got one about to come true...so I should be hype right? I guess the key word is "should." Remember what I said earlier, if the what if's finally do come true, it's so far down the line we don't even care anymore. But the good thing about Royce is dude is still just as sharp as he was back in the days and even though some folk say Prim has recently been kinda hit and miss lately, I got a REAL good feeling that with a project like this he's gonna be focused and mos def come with that heat. Plus, the only person Primo is sampling is for the entire project is producer Adrian Young which adds a completely new and original twist to a project that's already sounding dope as hell. But even with all of that said, in the back of my mind I'm still thinking, is this collabo a lil too late like Kane FINALLY wanting to battle Rakim? Or can Royce and Prim still bring that ish in 2014 like the would've in the early '00's? Welp, with this PRhyme album on tap, we're all about to find out.

“PRhyme” sets the album off on a dope note and has Royce in rare from (but then again, when isn’t Royce in rare form?), “my nigga, my nigga, my nigga, you don’t know what it feels like to be tired of f-cking these hoes, it’s just hard to stay alive these days/I can’t end up on no more collages on b-tches’ IG pages/they see these cars then they want to be reality TV stars/just another day in my reformed life, my unreformed mic, I still write like if my son was born knight/I’m tired of cheating on my wife, man these b-tches just ain’t right/can’t even kiss them in their mouths, too many d-cks been in the diet.” “Dat Sounds Good” featuring Ab Soul & Mac Miller’s got that classic Primo feel to it (which is mos def a good thing) and has all 3 MC’s going in. Royce goes in with “I’m just a regular chilin with thugs and legends, I keep deceased contacts in my phone I never delete/I keep my cellular plugged into Heaven /somebody nudge the reverend, tell him I’m selling a white girl like I’m starbucks, uggs and leggings.” Ab comes with “I’m in tip top condition, with a hustler’s ambition, I’m sick of hip hop, I should be in the damn kitchen /whippin sumthin potent for the chosen clientele, all the smoke that I inhale, I’m supposed to be high as hell/but that’s a twisted figure of speech, hell is below you, I’m guaranteed Heaven before I’m beneath the soil/toying with the squad, that’s how you get sent to God, dog/you know it’s backwards to go against God, dog.” And Mac brings it home with, “a bunch of poison in my blood stream, now it’s getting ugly, I must be another junkie/how lucky am I to still be alive, I’m going crazy, brought a Mercedes with money I raised for Haiti/abducted Brenda’s baby, sold it to a gay couple/take drugs, too high enough to juggle with some space shuttles.”

“You Should Know” featuring Dwele is dope and has Royce droppin’ jewels “allow me to put some sense on you coons, too much success, um here comes your doom/they told you niggas the sky’s the limit, then they turn around and tell you that there’s footprints on the moon/you rise to fame and die so they can say that you barely won, and they keeping your masters, your kids become bastards/having to ask executives for their daddy records” and the album’s 1st official single “Courtesy” is flat out BANANAS! “Z ’06 vet, gripping feeling almost there, listening to Bon Jovi’s rolling Living On A Prayer/privy to the gossip that’s what’s said about me constant, it’s the life and times of Bumpy Johnson meets Nucky Thompson/I used to rap about death now I’m only concerned to live, I value relationships still I keep it competitive/nowadays chance are if you see me throw the match, it ain’t to lose the fight, it’s to walk away from a burning bridge/I’m from a family of alcoholics and coke addicts, daddy taught me if the ass is so fat it’s a fact, that if you with your ho, don’t matter it’s still appropriate to scope at it/living life with no balance driving drunk on copilot, driving til I to tal it/I’m trying to stay a float but I got nobody to throw a rope at it, the game is just a game of splits and politics with no ballot/all kinds of clips with mo malice then Pusha.”    

"Wishin" featuring Common sets off with the beat that intros the "U Looz" video but quickly changes into a more uptempo banger that Royce KILLS. My only beef is that I expecting Com to come correct on this jawn but dude let me down big time. "To Me, To You" featuring the Loch Ness Monster aka Jay Electronica is one of my fave bangers off PRhyme and again, you got Royce going in, "million dollar maker not a faker, try to call me over the hill, it's probably cause you saw me chillin' beside a pile of paper/life's a picasso painting, sike my life's more like an obstacle ain't it, like it's something in front of the drop and I gotta ride around it, on my way to make another child support payment/from humble beginnings, though we live lavish now, and what we couldn't afford to get, we would have it somehow/stayin at grandma's puddled in front of the open oven, rubbin our hands together like Baby with cameras around" and Nessie comes with it like he always does, "me and pharoah is like Dorothy and Toto on the brick road, crossin at the crissroads, the valley and the alleys where the gods switch to b-tch mode/I came through the harley pipe was loud like a lion, the title on the marque said child out of zion/contemplating on another plane, hoverin down lover's lane, won a great debate against the state about the mother plane/he called me by that other name I called him by his other name, the lightnin struck the internet like a screend door in a hurricane."

"Underground Kings" featuring Schoolboy Q and Killer Mike bangs and ya'll already know what I'm gonna say...yup, Royce kills it, "rumor has it I'm an underground king, all I give a f-ck about is money and when I got it, I don't give a f-ck about it/it's outlandish I take for granted what God granted, my countertop granit my house is outstanding/while I'm standing inside of it, feeling inside out as I pop xanax, watching myself on TV in order to get to the TV I had to go through the proper channels/I don't rock the flannel, I rock the air max, atmos and camo/they call me the Benz owner I put lorenzo's on it, then go pick a chick up bone it and friend zone her/soon as I see her wake up I be f-cking her raw, if she a B or A cup, make her f-ck in her bra." Yo...did this dude just say "if she a B or A cup make her f-ck in her bra?!?!?!  Come on ya'll. The album ends with "Microphone Preme" with the Slaughterhouse crew checking in and has everybody catching wreck. Crooked with "you call it light work nigga this is my life's work, I turn around and beat up a beat like I'm writing Ike's verse/toe taggin this motherf-cka, I don't Joe Jackson and Buster Douglas could ever do a mic worse." Royce with, "same sh-t another nigga gotta die today, my b-tch going why we ain't ever goin' out on dates/why we ain't vacayin' out of state/whinin' all of the time all she do was holla we ain't like a pagan holiday, rappers will be acting ill, knowing they daffodils/I'll take the word lyrical and flip it backwards and that's say laciryl/that's exactly how I feel, shout out to Guru I go the mass appeal." Joell, with "other groups basic mergers, we extort 'em from a distance takin it further/drama could be all yours why you wanna war for, you can't go at uno mother f-cka that's a draw 4/we started out as just a feature on a Joe joint, f-ck around now you under the bleachers soon as Joe point" and Budden deads it with "do it for Em my squad do it for Bundles/could've been copped the Phantom, copped the Benz bein' humble/still the nickle plate is known to get 'em situated, it's return fire even when Joey initiate it/how I fell about these rap niggas, f-ck em all/Drake rhyme about these b-tches, I just f-ck em all." But my fave banger on the album is EASILY the first single "U Looz." I mean, what can you say about this jawn? It's just flat out pure hip hop at it's finest. "As the preacher takes the pulpit, fix your coat prpare for 40 below spit/seven days of Heaven's ways and hell's hangups, Chris and Ryan again and we wishing anyone who wan't wishing us well bankrupt/a L and whatever else ain't up/as far as me I'm still caught up in all of that gun sh-t, still calling my bullets expendables cause it's hard to believe I can fit all of them boys in one clip."

To be honest, I can't remember the last time I was THIS hype for an album but I can tell you this...it's been years. The thing with this PRhyme album is that it's very, very, dope...it's just not great. And that's what I was expecting. Now, don't get it twisted, just because it's not the classic I was looking for doesn't mean it's not easily one of the dopest hip hop albums that's dropped in the past 5 years. One day I literally listened to the album ALL day! From the time I got in the whip to go to the gig til I was about to go to bed, this jawn stayed on repeat. And there's absolutely no way I can remember the last time I've done that. It's to the point that since I got my hands on this album, I haven't listened to anything else. And that's with the new Wu, Ghostface AND J Cole on tap. Now that's saying a lot. So what exactly is it that doesn't make PRhyme the classic I was hoping for? Well, it's something I never thought I'd say with Primo behind the boards and that's the beats. Now again, don't get it twisted, these beats are dope but again, my expectations of Preem are already sky high as is but if you tell me these beats are for the first full album he's doing with Royce and now those expectations are just stupid. To be honest, I think the whole only sampling Adrian Young plays a big part in that too. It's not like dude has a crazy discography like that so the choices are gonna be kinda limited. But I will tell you this, Royce mos def sure as hell holds this album down on the lyrical side of things which is a REAL good look for my dude. So while your favorite rapper is struggling to stay relevant and even sound close to how good he sounded 20 years ago, Royce is running laps around these niggaz out here backwards with his eyes closed. Trust me when I say that this dude has more quotables in the 35 minutes of this album then your favorite rapper has had over his last 5 albums and if that's not crazy then I don't know what is. So even though PRhyme doesn't check in as the 5 mic classic I thought it was gonna be, trust me when I tell you it's still the best hip hop album you've heard in a minute.

4 outta 5 mics


  1. Excellent review. I agree. Solid effort. I am looking forward to your review of that J Cole

    1. Good looking for checking it out fam! Working on that Cole piece right now!


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