While dazzling assassinations and gory murders seem to deluge rap music these days, hip hop culture, tragically, can't help but keep it real. Case in point, lauded producer J Dilla (The Roots, A Tribe Called Quest, Slum Village, Prince) died in February 2006 of complications from lupus just as his richly layered independent releases ("Donuts") were beginning to gain wider attention. He was joined in the immortal cipha this past weekend by fellow undapendent beatsmith DJ Przm. Przm died in Sacramento following a longtime heart complication. The producer/emcee/beatboxer moved to California in 2005 in order to hasten plans for a heart transplant. Przm started making waves with his signature chopped-samples and gritty beats on the Camu Tao single "Hold the Floor," released on Def Jux in 2002. He repped both Dilla's hometown, Detroit, and Columbus, Ohio, where he helped build a hip-hop scene that hatched RJD2, Blueprint, Illogic, Camu Tao, Copywright, the Megahertz crew, and his own groups Spitball and the Fonosluts.
Przm's longtime collaborator Blueprint (Weightless Records) described his friend this way in a statement released Sunday:
He put out a series of records from 1999 to 2002 that although were not nationally distributed and limited in pressing made him and his crew (Spitball,Fonosluts, & 3MS) the most popular in the scene at the time.
He was an amazing Dj and was the first Dj I ever took on the road with me in 2002 when i started touring. He, Illogic, and I had so many good times that it's hard to know where to begin, but in terms of rocking shows, since Przm was a Dj, Emcee, producer, and beatboxer of the highest level--he was able to make any show live and able to make the best out of any bad situation.
He was the kind of guy who would laugh at me having a meltdown about a bad show and never took things too seriously. Przm was also a killer party DJ, who could kill crowds with anything from booty house to classic hip-hop. He truly was a throwback to the era when emcees did more than just emcee, they practiced and sought to perfect every aspect of the hip-hop.
Condolences at MySpace.com/djprzm1
A partial production credit list: Zero Star "Forever's Never Really That Long" Meta4ce Omega/DJ Przm - "True Hollywood Stories" Illogic/DJ Przm - "Off the Clock" S.A. Smash - "Smashy Trashy" Spitball - "Rockin It/Spit It Out/Ya Time's Up"
-- Reggie Royston