Last weekend I spent a lot of my time at various Red Bull Music Academy events that were taking place around the city. The Music Academy pens itself as “a world-travelling series of music workshops and festivals… a platform for those who make a difference in today’s musical landscape”, and of the sessions that I attended, the highlight, and the one I was most excited about, was definitely the intimate sit down Studio Science session with DJ Premier and Royce Da 5’9″ AKA PRhyme.
Before I arrived to the session, as I was putting on my extra-large tee and huge baseball cap, I was pretty curious as to how it would unfold. DJ Premier is notorious for not giving away any of his ‘trade secrets’ on making his beats, so what would he be talking about? His favourite yoghurt?
What they did talk about was the recent PRhyme album, which is solely made up of samples from the works of Adrian Younge, a self-taught musician who arranges his music with the time period 1968 – 1974 in mind. Adrian sees this as the golden era of music recording, and I don’t blame him. A quick Google search of the era brings up such classics as Ernie (The Fastest Milkman in the West) by Bennie Hill and the classic Puppy Love by Donny Osmond.
Although Premo didn’t go too deep into showing us how he does his magic, he did give us a little look into how he sampled and flipped parts of Adrian’s original work to make a couple of the tracks on the PRhyme album – it was amazing to see.
Aside from seeing how Premier actually gets down in the studio he also explained how he works and that whenever he’s making a beat, he always has an artist in mind. He also said that he has such an abundance of work shelved away that a lot of it will probably never see the light of day! IKEA must love him!
Royce on the other hand, revealed how he writes down ideas or lines in his phone whenever something comes into his head. He then proceeded to scroll through his phone showing us pages and pages of these elaborate notes – most of which he says came from the shower, where for some reason it all just seems to spill out. I bet his wife gets pretty annoyed when the bill from United Utilities comes through the door.
It was great to see these two guys sit down and talk about their work and I’m looking forward to the future projects they discussed including MF DOOM linking up with Premier on a few tracks, and of course PRhyme 2 which sounds like it’ll definitely be happening, although the inclusion of Adrian Younge the next time around is still up in the air! Unfortunately I didn’t get to find out the true, burning question of the day – although from what the guys were saying, and their ease at speaking in front of a crowd, I can confidently say that DJ Premier’s favourite yoghurt is a nice big pot of Munch Bunch.