December 9, 2014, is a day that should live in Hip-Hop memorabilia. Not since June 18, a year prior, has a single date been packed with so many promising albums. Among the releases is PRhyme, a self-titled collaborative project by super duo, DJ Premier and Royce Da 5’9”.
Practicing quality over quantity, PRhyme dons a scant 9-tracks. Each record, however is jam packed with intricate wordplay and stories from Royce, the latter of which serve as catharsis for a man fighting his demons. There’s also production from the immovable force that is Premo, one-half of Gang Starr and a beatsmith some debate is the best to ever do it. The nuance that drives this LP is budding producer Adrian Younge, who had no involvement in the creation other than lending his personal catalog of original music as source material. The end result is a body of work that manages to have Premier’s unique fingerprint, while featuring an entirely fresh sound simultaneously.
Hip-Hop Wired had an opportunity to speak with Premier and Royce about their creation process, why the Detroit rapper was apprehensive of the hard-hitting cut “U Looz,” and where they feel PRhyme ranks among the best collaborative Hip-Hop albums of all time.
Find the full stream, featuring guest appearances from Common, Jay Electronica, ScHoolboy Q, Killer Mike, Mac Miller and more, on the next page along with more from the interview.
Hip-Hop Wired: I read that this project was initially set to feature all of Slaughterhouse, but was using Adrian Younge’s music as source material always in the plans?
DJ Premier: Mike Heraun from Shady Records envisioned the idea. Because Slaughterhouse was actually working on their album and they were about to drop a mixtape, Heraun thought this could stall it, because they pushed back the album. And this has not been done.
Hip-Hop Wired: Royce, could you elaborate on what you said in regards to the music industry affecting artists’ confidence?
Royce Da 5’9’’: I was saying that the industry is kind of designed to take your confidence away from you. You deal with a lot of criticism, that’s why it’s really good as an artist to keep everything in house. But once you hand it to the fans, it’s theirs. They can have it, they can dissect it, they can do whatever they feel like doing with it.
It’s a process where you can keep your wits about you, and not get broken down by reading a bunch of crazy comments, because you never know who’s just trolling. That’s one of the benefits of working with one producer.
I also live in Detroit and everything is pretty much done over the phone between me and Preme, or me and Preme and Adrian [Younge] late at night. If I’m not sending files, we’re together.