World Builders

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Prime Boys

Koba World

For the Prime Boys — Jimmy Prime, Jay Whiss and Don­nie — be­com­ing a group was their best de­ci­sion to date. Koba World, named in ded­i­ca­tion to their late friend and as­sis­tant man­ager Ernest “Kosi” Modekwe, serves as the first real in­tro­duc­tion to the mu­si­cal pow­ers of each mem­ber. Jimmy Prime’s melodic hooks, Don­nie’s un­com­pro­mis­ing en­ergy and Jay Whiss’s gritty wis­dom thread the 12-song al­bum to­gether, cre­at­ing unity amidst the chaos.

Adding to the co­he­sive­ness is Canadian pro­ducer and long­time col­lab­o­ra­tor Murda Beatz, who car­ries the bulk of pro­duc­tion on Koba World. Dark, synth-heavy trap beats flow seam­lessly one into an­other, with the oc­ca­sional break from songs like “See Through,” an up­beat Afrobeat-in­fused song pro­duced by Van­cou­ver’s Zelli Risk. Though the Prime Boys, in par­tic­u­lar Jimmy Prime (who’s cred­ited with re-nam­ing Toronto “The 6ix”), have been rec­og­nized by the likes of Drake, their re­al­ity has one foot in Toronto and one in street pol­i­tics. While the hard-hit­ting “Emer­gency” and “Street Dreams” re­flect that re­al­ity, “Tinted” and “Bet­ter in De­signer” hint at a more lav­ish fu­ture and, at times, one fur­ther away from Toronto. Koba World lives in two worlds — present re­al­i­ties and fu­ture goals, with friends, fam­ily and love act­ing as the glue be­tween them. Be­tween “Hold Me Down” and the sin­is­ter “Dead Prime Min­is­ters,” it be­comes ev­i­dent that above all, loy­alty is a fun­da­men­tal pil­lar in their ex­is­tence. But per­haps there’s no clearer ex­am­ple of that than on “Koba World,” a song re-named in hon­our of their brother Koba, whose legacy lives on through Koba World. (eOne)

What role did Murda Beatz have in craft­ing Koba World?

Don­nie: Murda has that spe­cial touch. He might give you a beat, you do some­thing to it, and then he goes in and makes the beat even bet­ter. He’ll give you an idea for the hook and idea for the flow. He’s got the vi­sion.

With the pass­ing of as­sis­tant man­ager Ernest “Kosi” Modekwe and Jah­vante “Smoke Dawg” Smart, what makes you most proud of this al­bum?

Jimmy Prime: We just wanted to ded­i­cate the al­bum to [Kosi], be­cause if it wasn’t for him, we wouldn’t be do­ing this. He was the one who al­ways said we should be mak­ing mu­sic to­gether. We added a cou­ple ex­tra songs that Kosi ac­tu­ally liked, like “Street Dreams.”

HIP- HOP

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