Hip-hop collaborations have been ubiquitous in 2014, but it looks like we are going to close the year with one of the best pairings so far. The debut studio album from PRhyme, the coming together of established MC Royce Da 5'9" and legendary producer DJ Premier, is one of the most engaging and brilliantly arranged hip-hop albums of the year. Taking the instantly identifiable production styles of DJ Premier and adding Royce's narrative approach to rapping, you end up with an album that sets an incredibly high bar for those to follow and allows both sides of the collaboration to have their own time on the record.
With support from other guest artists like Killer Mike, Schoolboy Q, Common, Jay Electronica and more, 'PRhyme' is like a reunion of some of the world's greatest MCs that never happened. The comfort and ease that these artists work together is inspired, and with an old school yet somehow contemporary feel running through the record, you feel like this could have been a lost great that somehow resurfaced ahead of its time.
While it may not have that same high-octane and varied approach that some hip-hop acts have adopted lately, it still maintains this incredible timeless feel that shows there is still life in the classic side of the genre when it is done right.