Curly Castro and PremRock are ShrapKnel, the formal pairing of two longtime friends and artistic collaborators. Although they have known each other for eight long years, it was their shared affinity for MC-slash-producer ELUCID’s beats that sparked the ShrapKnel project.
“I found a discarded desk in my backyard, cleaned it off and positioned it in the only area that catches sun from 10 AM – Noon. I would start my days there trying to ween myself off all the screens in my life by reading and writing” PremRock explains, “on the second morning with this new desk I made the connection that I had ELUCID beats and so did Castro. Why not make it a record?”
Castro agreed and over the months that followed the two rappers built this album from the ground up, later recruiting another Backwoodz-affiliated producer Willie Green to spice up their simmering stew. The result is an album brimming with quotables and audacious, unorthodox production, veritably begging for soundclash speakers and an airhorn.
The two artists are a veritable study in contrasts and contradictions, Castro was born and raised in Brooklyn but lives in Philadelphia, PremRock grew up in Bucks County, Pennsylvania but has been in New York since ‘08. Castro’s militant wordplay, reggae-influences and booming baritone somehow perfectly balance PremRock’s silver tongued flows, literary allusions and deadpan humor. ShrapKnel is a Venn diagram of ill communications; Schooly D to Stromile Swift. Def Jux to Detlef Schremf. Students of Black Uhuru and Breeze Brewin, Baldwin and Bukowski. Steel sharpens steel and this blade is as sharp as it gets. ShrapKnel features guest appearances from Castle, Zilla Rocca, Googie, Henry Canyons, and billy woods.