Song of the Day: April 24, 2017

Coming together as PRhyme, Royce da 5’9″ and DJ Premier combine bouncy lyricism with smooth beats, impactful wordplay, and nostalgic scratches in “U Looz.”

Sampling “Shot Me in the Heart” from the Black Dynamite soundtrack, Preemo creates an amazing backdrop for Royce’s hard hitting lyrics with a groovy bass line and frequent drum changes. A horn sample rings out every few bars, complemented by a piano riff alongside it.

Royce uses his typical hard-hitting lyricism, juxtaposing the funky beat. As is the norm, his wordplay is incredibly on point.

As far as me, I’m still caught up in all the gun shit.
Still calling my bullets expendables cause it’s hard to believe
I can fit all of them boys in one clip.
I squeeze off and the streets start trembling.

However, he only gets about fifteen bars in before ending his verse with, “And this is for the real hip hop niggas who would never ever ever ask me am I here to replace Guru.”

Premier responds, “Word, that’s what you feel up on this track?”

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Guru is a true legend. His work with DJ Premier as Gang Starr changed hip hop forever. Their hip hop jazz fusion style, exhibited best on their magnum opus Jazzamatazz, inspired many of the biggest names in hip hop, especially Q Tip of A Tribe Called Quest. Guru’s lyrical style influenced the influencers.

Sadly, Guru passed away on April 2010 following a cardiac arrest two months prior. His death brought down waves of sadness upon the hip hop world, with many still mourning him to this day. Unsurprisingly, Premier took the death harder than anyone else, even penning an open letter to Guru to commemorate him after his passing.

DJ Premier had never been involved with a group as the main producer until PRhyme. When the announcement about the supergroup was made, it wasn’t surprising to see the community outcry towards Royce. There was an overwhelming fear that PRhyme was an attempt to replace Guru—a legendary man in a legendary group.

It was like Droz replacing Hawk in the Legion of Doom. The fans thought it shouldn’t be done. However, Royce shut this down quickly in “U Looz.”

There are multiple that fans can remember Guru by. His body of work has a depth that many others lack. However, something about the way Royce mentions him on “U Looz” evokes his memory better than any of Guru’s own work could.

The dismissal of anyone who would ask if Royce was replacing Guru is the perfect response. Royce’s matter of fact delivery says, “What a stupid question.” You should know that he will “never ever ever” replace Guru, because no one could.

And this is for the real hip hop niggas
Who will never ever ever ask me am I here to replace Guru

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