Album Review- Royce da 5'9- Success is Certain

So fresh on the heels of the Bad Meets Evil reunion album with Eminem and the signing of his group Slaughterhouse, to the Shady Records imprint, Royce da 59 is releasing another studio album, "Success is Certain". Now I have had this for a few weeks but in the aftermath of the much overhyped Watch the Throne I had to go back and get a good listen on this one.

The album starts off with "Legendary" which features Travis Barker and if you heard the hip-hop album he released recently, then you're familiar with the sound of the song. The next song is the recently released single featuring Eminem-"Writer's Block" where Royce does a lot of fast rapping but it never feels cohesive although the point is to show how lyrical and original he can be. It's more about the flow and overkill on the beat that brings it down. Meanwhile on "Merry Go Round" Royce talks about his ups and downs and back and forths in the industry, but the song feels too gimmicky.

Royce hits his stride on the first street single "Where my Money" which fits him with the production style and his rap style on the track feels more organic. "On The Boulevard" is another example of where Royce can shine and this song features Nottz and Adonis. Kid Vishis is the guest artists on "ER" which is an energetic rap song about the rap game. "I Ain't Coming Down" talks about several topics such as Royce's past mistakes and haters.

"Security" is a sort of concept track about the beef and relationship with Proof and Royce during their brief period of beef. The verses are kind of weird and the hook is too but it works in the context. Premier handles the production on "Second Place" with his classic sound as Royce once again brags. "My Own Planet" has a two-step track with a mid-2000's atlantic records type of sound to it as a secondary single and features the only Slaughterhouse feature by Joe Budden. The final track "I've been up, I've been down" isn't the best representation of Royce. He reverts back to using a lot of phrases more 'because he can' than because they sound good.

Overall this is a fairly uneven release from Royce. Too often he seems to be still trying to show forgiveness for his past beef with Eminem and doesn't do enough to establish why he should be listened to going forward. In the early parts he is overwhelmed with trying to add extra lyricism that doesn't necessarily fit in as much with his flow and style and is being forced into a Marshall mathers-esque mold. when he does get back to being himself he does fine even if there isn't so much that is exceptional about what he brings to the table.

Rating: 2/5


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