Adrian Younge has quietly become one of the most acclaimed artists in contemporary music. The producer-arranger has released acclaimed projects with The Delfonics (Adrian Younge Presents the Delfonics) and Ghostface Killah (Twelve Reasons To Die) and his especially noteworthy soundtrack for the cult classic Black Dynamite.
Younge’s catalog is the foundation on which PRhyme, the new collaborative project by Royce Da 5’9 and DJ Premier, has built its entire self-titled LP. rolling out caught up with Younge and he spoke about how the project and everything else he’s associated with evokes the kind of emotional response that music gave him as a youngster.
“I remember those moments in my life when the tape came out on that Tuesday and I went to Sam Goody to cop it,” Younge says. “And sitting and listening to it. In awe of the music I was listening to; but also imagining this music at the hip-hop clubs and with the homies in the car.”
The songwriter-producer believes that, regardless of era, the youth are who have their finger on the pulse of what’s new and innovative. They’re the ones leading the way.
“I always feel like young people are more emotionally in tune with new and timeless music,” Younge explains.
As far as the PRhyme project, Younge was blown away after hearing what DJ Premier did with his own songs.
“For me, it was a special moment, hearing the album for the first time because I always aspired to work with Preem. I learned so much from him musically, just studying his music over the decades. So it was a very pivotal moment for me, to listen to how another composer could approach my compositions. But not just another composer, one of the best ever. So I created source material through the perspective of Preemo in the late 60s, early 70s, four or five years prior to this even came together. Then, to be part of a serendipitous moment in my life where I can hear what a master is going to do with my compositions … it was a moment filled with anxiety on my side, too,” Younge shares.
“There was a slight chance where there could’ve been a moment where he absolutely failed and something disappointed [me],” Younge says, frankly. “But to hear it and have it not meet my expectations, but to exceed my expectations by far, was a pivotal life-changing moment for me.”