When Silk Penny speaks, you better listen. When the man behind Silk Penny’s character a.k.a. Premo Rice speaks, you better break out your pen and take careful notes.
Premo Rice hails from PG County, Maryland, but his smooth essence and hazy instrumentals are just as good of a fit for the city of angels. Originally Premo was strictly a producer, but eventually eventually felt compelled to pick up the mic and rap over his own beats, telling The Source “I wasn’t really feeling the way [other rappers] would flow on my stuff.”
We’re lucky the rest of them couldn’t hold their own, because in the time since Premo has proven to be the perfect lyricist for his laid-back production. Look no further than the sauntering “Players Anthem 2018” to hear his potential first hand, where he boasts his best life with a leisurely confidence. On this song and many others throughout his catalogue, his delivery is measured and nonchalant, casually laying out game as if it were no more serious than spreading hot butter on warm toast.
“Players Anthem 2018” was the lead single off Premo’s newest album Orange Juice Jones, which dropped near the end of July. The project is a compact listen through, clocking in at just under 30 minutes while rarely escaping that mellow atmosphere in which he excels. Silk Penny exists as the cool, calm and collected radio DJ that guides the experience forward, inviting listeners to light up their greenery while also interacting with them over the phone lines.
Before we hear from Silk Penny, however, Premo Rice kicks off the album with “Pimp God.” Right from the jump, he’s comfortably in his element, stepping out with swagger in a single verse that rolls along without a bump. After the DJ formally introduces the show on the next track, the ambiance turns light and airy on “Imaginary Player 2018,” featuring a slowed down sample of the classic Curtis Mayfield cut “Give Me Your Love.” Premo shows love to the West Coast once he’s said his piece in the first verse, cruising through Oceanside in his drop-top ride on a sunny California day. Later on “Rubberband Man” there’s another shoutout: “C’s up for my bad bitches in Compton / Bang the set hard while this shit keep stomping.”
Similar old-school samples are a constant throughout his discography, keeping his sound rooted in the legends that paved the way before him. On “Right Wriss” he creates a loop out of a passage of The O’Jay’s song “Cry Together,” ratcheting up the energy with trap drums and an infectious hook: “You got some D’usse, D’usse, that’s okay I’ll drink this Henny / Leaning like I’m Remy, talk bitches man I got plenty.” Meanwhile on his debut project Mack Sagas, he taps into Evelyn “Champagne” King’s timeless “Love Come Down,” borrowing the bright synths and the melody of the chorus for his song “Vice Mackin.”
Tie it all together and you have a fully capable artist, able to build his soundscape to perfection and shred it to pieces with his well-placed verses. Already with an extensive catalogue—as well as a Greatest Hits compilation—under his belt, he’s certainly done enough to prove his consistency, and you’d be well served to pay attention to what he’s cooking up.
Let Premo tell it himself, church is most definitely on the move.
For the mindset: Kee Riche$ - “Week Straight”
Lock into your goals with the same tenacity that Kee Riche$ locks into his flow on “Week Straight,” and you just might get somewhere in life. After spending the first four bars praising his own work ethic, Kee settles his pocket and never leaves, scorching the beat for all it’s worth until there’s nothing left but a smoldering guitar loop. He’s wise to shoutout JR at the beginning for his work on the production; combined with Kee’s verse, it’s an anthem for those late nights when the work doesn’t sleep and you can’t either.
For the gas pedal: Niko G4 - “All Gas”
The double-timed piano keys on “All Gas” are sure to get the adrenaline pumping through your veins, but you find yourself rolling down an empty freeway when the song comes on, that right foot just might start to weigh on the pedal with a little more force. Niko G4 races over the beat with relaxed ease, as the pounding 808’s keep the energy high and the momentum increasing.
For the cookout: LNDN DRGS - “Feel Alright”
Summer still isn’t over, which means there’s still time to enjoy this one in its most appropriate setting. One of nine new songs on LNDN DRGS’ re-upped Aktive (Deluxe), “Feel Alright” is made for the two-step, with the sun high in the sky and the burgers fresh off the grill. Crate diggers will rejoice in its funky sample of the identically named song by Komiko, but it’s understandable if you’re too busy grooving to the refreshed version to look up the original yourself.