It's always difficult to read about hip-hop artists who pass away at a young age. The press kit said that DJ PRZM passed away shortly before completion of this EP of a "debilitating illness". Maybe it's because hip-hop is so closely associated with youth, energy and vibrancy, it just doesn't seem right when a young practitioner departs this life – yet it happens all the time.
However, the music remains, and it is my job to assess what appears to be the final work of DJ PRZM – the quality of production he brought to the table.
Coolzey appears to be a journeyman of sorts, working his way around the indie hip-hop scene, working with whomever he can. This collaboration with DJ PRZM was just one of several that fleshes out his catalog.
The EP begins with a collaboration titled "Punk/Punk/Punk" between Coolzey and the ever wonderful Count Bass-D. Count Bass-D opens up the song with a lament about how people don't take this hip-hop game serious enough, how others have lost their lives trying to do this music and how people are being taxed to the do the music. Sounds like a setup for a song about people who take this game lightly. That's why THIS verse from Coolzey surprised me so much:
"As the brown bottle flies and jogs your fucking memory
Your life flashes before you and your eyes spit Hennessy
My rhymes will bust in your brain like false entry
Chop you up and stuff your whole duck crew inside a motherfucking bloody Bentley"
Coolzey seems to deliver a horrorcore/battle rhyme, while Bass-D goes on to talk about how the game has "no benefits, no investments".
It seems like these guys recorded this in two TOTALLY different states of mind. There is little that makes these verses blend with each other.
Another song is "This is Fun", which, musically, placed me in the mindframe of a Latin action film. The track knocks with a vibrating guitar sound, while Coolzey delivers a verse that, for some odd reason, made me think about Prime Minister Pete Nice's only solo album back in 1992.
The song "Relax Fuck" is Coolzey telling someone (I don't know if it is his girl or a friend) to just calm their ass down and relax. I'm not sure who he is addressing and I don't want to say it if I don't.
Overall, Coolzey seems to have pulled most of his lyrical influence from early ‘90s hip-hop. It is competent, but nothing so exceptional that it makes you want to keep scanning back through his verse.
DJ PRZM delivers music of the same era that Coolzey rhymes in, with much the same effect as Coolzey – competent yet unexceptional.
Considering the tragedy surrounding this recording, I really wanted to say some wonderful things about it – yet the material just isn't there.
The more compelling story here is that, after PRZM passed, apparently, Coolzey became ill and had to complete the album in the same sitting position as PRZM in his final days.
I have not heard any other work by Coolzey. He appears to have his heart in the right place. He's working with Bass-D and touring, so he's doing something right. I wish him luck. To PRZM, I say R.I.P.
Music Vibes: 6 of 10 Lyric Vibes: 6 of 10 TOTAL Vibes: 6 of 10
Originally posted: April 1, 2008