PRyme at the High Noon Saloon

  • Post Author
    by Web manager
  • Post Date
    Wed Mar 04 2015


It was a night of boom-bap rap at the High Noon Saloon, to put it calmly. PRhyme, consisting of the legendary DJ Premier and longtime-rapper Royce da 5'9”, are fresh off the release of their first project together, self-titled Prhyme. The duo is currently touring around the country with Boldy James and Your Old Droog, although Boldy did not make an appearance at the Madison stop. With opening support from CRASHprez, a local rapper who is gaining serious traction, I knew there would be no lack of talent among the artists on the bill.

As I walked into the High Noon Saloon, I immediately knew I was at a rap concert because there was far more security than normal (blame it on the “system”). Nevertheless, the crowd inside the dive-bar-esque venue was different than any show I have ever been to in Wisconsin. As an avid concertgoer, it can be really interesting to step back and take a look at the people in attendance, because it has given me the ability to see the diversity that exists outside of our campus. That being said, at 20 years old I was definitely one of the youngest people in the audience, possibly due to the fact that I had full intentions of seeing CRASHprez perform (who recently turned 21) whereas the rest of the audience came to see PRhyme, or more specifically DJ Premier (48 years old), who has been established in the rap-game for decades. Long story short, there were a lot of older men (at least older than I'm used to seeing at concerts) that were there to see the two artists that played a large role in molding classic hip-hop.

I was so excited to see CRASH start the night because his debut, full-length project more perfect. was just a day old, but he had a job to do: CRASH had to prove himself to a room full of rap junkies who were there to see a hip-hop legend- and he did just that. The prez delivered his agenda-filled raps with passion, delivering bar after bar as he has done every time I've seen him perform. CRASH's lyrics give the listener insight into what it's like to be a “young black man, who existed in the United States of America in 2014,” which is a brief description of his brand new project, more perfect. By the end of the set, it appeared that the crowd was full of brand new CRASHprez fans while they sang along, “Y'all live for breakfast and brunch/we live for wings and waffles” a re-worked Isaiah Rashad lyric- Rashad was one of CRASH's biggest influences during the creation of more perfect. Go ‘head and give the new project a listen, you might just learn a lil' somethin'.

After a far-too-long wait between performers (per usual at an old-school rap show), Brooklyn rapper Your Old Droog (YOD) came to the stage for what was supposed to be an extra long set because Boldy James couldn't make it. While I had not listened to YOD's music, I had some expectations considering that he was opening on tour for a renowned hip-hop duo. That being said, I was a bit disappointed by his performance as a whole. It's one thing to be good at rapping, but performing live can be a whole different story. It was evident in his performance that he was a skilled rapper, but he was not able to get the crowd involved and acted at times as if it was the crowd's fault, his confidence (cockiness) was definitely showing. It was obvious that the majority of people in attendance had not listened to YOD, but shouldn't I place the same expectations on YOD that I did for CRASHprez? Shouldn't he have to prove himself to the crowd through his performance, the same way CRASHprez did? I chatted quickly with CRASH after YOD's set as we waited (far too long) for PRhyme to come to the stage and he mentioned that it was a very tough crowd. While that may be true, CRASH was able to engage the crowd, likely due to the fact he has performed for a seemingly unwilling Madison crowd, countless times.

After waiting for 30+ minutes for PRhyme to hit the stage, the venue was comfortably full. DJ Premier made his initial appearance and the crowd went wild- the energy might be explained by the lengthy extra time to sip casual drinks or maybe it was the fact that the artists (who some had probably waited to see their whole life) were in plain sight. Royce da 5'9” charismatically performed song after song, confident in knowing that he had one of the best hip-hop DJ's ever supporting him. In fact, he mentioned that after so many years of making rap music, that he finally had DJ Premier as his live DJ. Preem's talent was more than evident throughout the set, as he made beat scratching and beat juggling look seamlessly easy. The energy stayed high through the end of the performance, and it was apparent that real classic hip-hop was in the building.

Overall, it was a great night of hip-hop. Old and young came together to pay dues to some of the best hip-hop artists that helped build the genre into what it is today. Thanks to a great opening set by CRASHprez, a very talented artist set to graduate from UW this spring, the night could not have been “more perfect.”

– Daniel Schwartz