December 11, 2015

Back To The Well: PRhyme - "Wishin'"

A year and two days ago, the duo of DJ Premier and Royce da 5'9", with a rather large assist from producer-slash-composer Adrian Younge, formed PRhyme and recorded a self-titled effort that finally saw a full album's worth of Primo and Royce collaborations, something that the hip hop heads in the reading audience always tend to love.  Today marks the release of a deluxe reissue of PRhyme, which expands the nine-track original effort into a thirteen-song, um, well, not so much a behemoth, since it's still far shorter than most rap albums these days, but still, more songs, right?  

One of those new songs happens to be a sequel to what ended up being my favorite track on the O.G.: "Wishin'", the Common-featured romp that put Royce to work over two related-but-worlds-apart Primo instrumentals, one slower and methodical, while the other was heavier on the boom-bap influence, not to mention the constant allusions to other DJ Premier contributions to our chosen genre.  You can listen to it above, if for some reason you're still not familiar with it, but I'm sure we all agree that, while the Academy Award-winning Common does a good job with his contribution, he shouldn't have been the first choice for Younge, Primo, and Ryan.  My vote has and always will go to one Nasir Jones, who could have rocked the shit out of the beat, both versions, possibly leaving Royce in the goddamn dust, since a Nas who sounds inspired is streets ahead of the Nas we usually end up hearing.

No, Nas does not appear on the sequel, appropriately titled "Wishin' II".  I was initially disappointed, too, but it turns out there was a very good reason for this: it turns out that Black Thought, of The Roots and The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon fame, was originally offered the cameo first, but was unable to participate after the unfortunate passing of his manager in 2014.  Which is why Common took his place.  After announcing their collective plan to re-release PRhyme this year with a few new tracks, Black Thought apparently contacted Primo and asked if he still wanted him to come through for this "remix" (I'm not writing a proper "remix" post because this is categorized as more of a sequel than anything else), and, well:

As you can hear for yourself, Thought rips the instrumental in goddamn half, as is his way, because he's underrated as shit.  Ryan, who, to his credit, contributes new lyrics, actually sounds out of his depth when he finally pops up, although he quickly gets his bearings back when Primo switches back to the harder boom-bap-ier essence.  Primo even helpfully provides commentary at the very beginning, which you don't need to hear if you just read my other paragraphs, so ha ha, sucker!  

"Wishin' II" works well as an extension of the original song, or as an alternate-universe take on the same shit-talking, except with a slightly weaker Royce verse, as though he had heard this beat so often that he kind of lost his spark for it.  But it's worth it to hear Black Thought over one of my favorite instrumentals from last year, even though I still wish someone had convinced Esco to take a crack at it.  Oh well, there's always the double deluxe super-fancy edition of PRhyme next year, I guess.

IS THE SEQUEL JUSTIFIED?  Yes, if only because there was historical context provided by Primo, which actually ramped up my excitement.  The original still has a home on my random playlist to this day, but it's kind of cool to hear the beat reused by an artist I actually like.  Still not convinced that I need to hear the rest of the new PRhyme songs (I've heard one Logic song, I think I'm good, folks), and I'm most certainly not writing about the reissue, but this inches me ever so closer to giving a shit.


PRhyme - PRhyme (review)


  1. I think this is Tariq's debut on a Primo beat.

    I might be wrong though.

  2. you know how you always complain about finish what i started etc? well that. i'm not criticising dude but give yourself a break! don't put more pressure on yourself to maintain more commitments oh and motherfuckers can't rhyme no more bout prhyme no more

    1. I'm hoping to set up some guidelines for the "finish what I started" project next year. Until then, it's this or no posts at all. Full time jobs don't work themselves, you know.

    2. Get that paper Max.

  3. Wishin is a solid boom bap track, but I think Oh No had a more nuanced and bouncier take on the "It's me" sample on Common's "7 Deadly Sins".

  4. This should have been a Common & Black Thought track. I always felt that folks were sleeping on that Common verse from the original, and now with Thought????

  5. Royce is the only rapper I give a fuck about in Slaughterhouse

  6. I hate Common's voice and I find his rhymes to be corny.. much rather hear Black Thought.

  7. What are your favourite songs by the following bands?
    Angel Dust -
    Opeth -
    Death -
    Megadeth -
    Mastodon -
    Dream Theater -
    Children of Bodom -
    Kamelot -
    Slayer -
    Pantera -
    Testament -
    Accept -
    Epica -
    Sepultura -
    Arch Enemy -
    Septic Flesh -

    Crystal Deth

  8. nice Community reference!