An MC who transgresses the borders
of lyrical depth and a fun-loving personality is a rare creature. Cincinnati
rapper Pryslezz, however, is a prime example of such an artist. Infusing
fun and substance into both his musical style and stage persona, the
talented young MC allows a refreshing escape from the typically monochrome
industry status quo. With such a focus on the lyrical quality
of Hip-Hop at present, many people seem to forget that music, first
and foremost, is a form of entertainment, although Pryslezz is the clear
exception to this rule.
His latest single Sideways,
which pays homage to the joys of an Alizé-fueled evening, provides
a witty cocktail of fun and wordplay that can be appreciated by all
palates. It is this understanding of both necessary musical elements
that separates Pryslezz from the majority of rappers today. Lyricism
is always good, but if theres no personality or no energy and excitement
behind it, then its pretty much lost, he explains. So when
you have a good balance of both, its entertaining as well as giving
Quick to warn about the perils of ignoring
the entertainment value of music, he adds that he hopes his audience
feel good, especially with songs like Sideways, stating that
the main aim of his music is to uplift people. After all, Pryslezz understands
that above all music is a form of escapism for many people today, especially
for those who are musically-inclined. It all comes out in the music;
that is a way of escape, he says. Its great to feel good after
listening to or creating something.
Of course not all of his music has
the same vibe as Sideways, in fact his album Death of a Man,
Rebirth of a King provides a much greater wealth of wordplay and
useful insights into life. Essentially the project documents adaptation
and maturity, not only on artistic but also on personal terms. Basically,
the concept behind it is that in order to change, you have to get rid
of a part of yourself, Pryslezz claims. He then continues to explain
that he likes to call change a tragic assassination of oneself.
Although a number of experiences contributed to the concept, he considers
the process of change the main influence for the project, stating Its
not really the experiences but [rather] the actual act of going through
things, maturing and evolving afterwards.
Death of a Man, Rebirth of a King
is equally as diverse musically as it is lyrically, featuring the likes
of Slum Village, soul singers Raheem DeVaughn and Dwele, pop singer
Jason Derulo, label mate N.O.X. and even rock fusion bands like Soler
Mesh and Purple Popcorn. When listening to the album, it becomes immediately
clear that the Pryslezz experience has been greatly enriched by its
various features, providing a refreshing new flavor of Hip-Hop. An enthusiastic
advocate for the art of collaboration, he claims that everybody had
something different to bring to the table.
Working with Dwele and Raheem DeVaughn,
they have a lot of soul, so to add that to me brings a whole different
type of flavour and thats something I can carry with me to any future
project, he explains proudly. After all, it is only by working together
and building from one another that rappers can help to develop and evolve
the genre, especially with Hip-Hop being a child of lots of different
genres. Heavily influenced by the legendary producer J Dilla, Pryslezz
adds that sampling is a huge factor in the diversity and versatility
of Hip-Hop, although he has chosen to focus primarily on the lyricism
and live instrumentation for this latest album.
A self-proclaimed sucker for lyrical
Hip-Hop Pryslezz explains, I definitely like substance and one thing
about [lyrically-focused rappers] is that they have substance but they
know how to have fun too. He also counts artists such as Mos Def,
Common, Talib Kweli and Ghostface Killah as significant influences,
alongside Hip-Hop heavyweights Busta Rhymes and Jay-Z, as they tend
to be well-rounded, a factor which he truly appreciates. In fact,
it is this well-rounded quality that he aspires to above all, maintaining
that fans like fun and then they also like something that they have
to think about. He fully understands that the vast majority of the
Hip-Hop community is beginning to gravitate toward this style of music.
Unlike many artists today, he also
understands the importance of touring constantly and manually creating
the buzz surrounding his work. Im looking to bring the Pryslezz
experience to anyone that will have me. Its pretty much imperative
that you do tours, he explains. You have to be out there with
the people and show your face. Well aware that fans have come to
expect more interaction with their favorite artists in this digital
age, he appreciates the value of tailor-making his shows to suit the
audience. I know different places where I go I can give the fans
what they want but still stay true to myself, he says. Thats
a wonderful thing and something Ive learned through touring. Youve
got to keep evolving!
Despite displaying a maturity way beyond
his 24 years, Pryslezzs story in truth has only just begun; multi-talented,
focused and extremely ambitious, he has an awful lot to offer Hip-Hop
as a culture. The goal is to get bigger and better! he exclaims.
He elaborates sincerely, we want to touch the world and were going
to find a way to do it, before joking in typical Pryslezz fashion,
Everyday I wake up thinking of a master plan. Considering that
he is only at the beginning of his musical journey, listeners can expect
his next album, which he is working on at present alongside a J Dilla
tribute album, to be more advanced still with a greater blend of sampling
and live instrumentation.
I want to be the person that can
never be boxed in. I dont want to be stuck to one genre of music;
I dont want to be stuck to one vibe, he explains. I want to
go all the way across the board and mean something different to everybody.
I want to be able to touch every box and touch every mind. Thats
the kind of legacy I want to leave behind. With a strong recognition
of his potential impact yet a sound awareness of his place within the
culture, not only as a musician but also as a poet and an author, this
talented young artist looks set to conquer the Hip-Hop world with the
power of his words. If the shots of Patrón dont leave you leaning
sideways, then the impact of Pryslezzs work surely will.
Pryslezz ft. N.O.X. and Jason Derulo – “Sideways”
Pryslezz ft. Dwele – “More Than A Love Song”
For more information about Pryslezz
and his work, visit www.kingapeent.com.