Written by 5:55 pm Hip Hop

PremRock & Fresh Kils – Shelf Life

Album cover for PremRock & Fresh Kils' EP, Shelf Life

New York rapper PremRock and Toronto producer Fresh Kils stay fresh on their collab EP, Shelf Life.

When I think of Fresh Kils, I still remember the first video I ever saw of him – doing his Price is Right routine and it still gives me goosebumps. But PremRock was a new name for me.

So I took their joint EP, Shelf Life, as a form of initiation. I like to learn when it comes to hip hop. That’s how Sampleface came to being after all. And it was an enjoyable initiation.

Beats and hoops

The EP was recorded in a week at the Kiln in Toronto. While it wasn’t the first time PremRock and Fresh Kils had joined forces, it was, in their words, the “most collaborative effort yet”. All the samples used came from records and Kils ran them through his trusty SP-404. And when they needed some free time, they played basketball. How hip hop is that?

Shelf Life is considered effort from both parties. PremRock gets really deep and introspective on tracks like Glass House and Mahogany Finish, while Kils turns on the charm with an array of shuffling and hard-knocking beats.

Final thoughts

This release isn’t for pigeonholing. It’d be divisive to simply call it “backpack rap”, “conscious hip hop” or “boom bap” and move on. As you saw from the recording process, this was as organic as it could get (with the help of some digital tech). Shelf Life is meaningful and delivered in a way that makes the most of the short time you play it for.

Stream it below.