Legacy Track of the Week: Royce Da 5’9’’ - Power (Book of Ryan)
“The turkey's done in the Montgomery home, Dad has just been awakened again (uh-oh), Greg is making all kinds of noise, Daddy's on his way angry again, ‘Who is that making all that God damn noise?’” One of the standouts on Royce’s latest studio album has the Detroit legend taking a trip down memory lane in classic Hip Hop storytelling mode, and while this may be an unpopular opinion it seems as if Royce is the only emcee who can still capture the essence of what used to be Eminem’s most signature talent. Or perhaps that’s not unpopular considering their background and affiliation, where on these types of records Royce is really able to weave in and out of incredibly detailed scenarios that paint a picture so vivid there’s no doubt he’s a GOD MC in his own right, yet in terms of brutal honesty regarding family drama one can’t also help but think of the other side of Bad Meets Evil - and that’s a testament to both with even more respect for the under appreciated yet equally as legendary Nickel Nine. Nonetheless this album and this record is all about sharing these stories through the lens of Ryan, Royce’s birth name which by default makes this his most personal album to date. For the record this one really hits home.
Royce Da 5’9’’ ft Boogie - Dumb
“Man I wish I would let a nerd who work at Interscope in a coat by Kenneth Cole consult me about my image bro” 😭😭😭 Royce is one of the most honest in the game when it comes down to critiquing the behind the scenes culture within the music industry, complete with his total disregard for the Grammys which is for good reason and more than well deserved (even in spite of previously mentioned Em being the recipient of those awards for all the same issues). Nonetheless this is a solid album cut that’s complemented by a nice featured verse provided by Compton emcee Boogie, who after this feature I’d like to hear more from.
Royce Da 5’9’’ - Legendary
"A woman's loyalty is tested when her man has nothing, a man's loyalty is tested when that man has everything” Throughout the album Royce narrates the story of Ryan with introspective thoughts that above all define a man of great discipline, evident on this particular cut that showcases Royce in is mind turning down all the baddest women in R&B 😂 cause that’s the shit that makes you legendary.
Royce Da 5’9’’ ft Pusha T, Jadakiss, Fabolous, & Agent Sasco - Summer On Lock
“Shout to ****** coming home this summer the Juice back, screaming OJ shootin craps brought the tre deuce back yeah” 🔥🔥🔥 OJ really is out here wildin and on the shameless album single (that actually may not even be a single yet the sentiment applies) all the above mentioned spitters do their numbers even if the record doesn’t necessary fit on the album.
Royce Da 5’9’’ ft Melanie Rutherford - Amazing
“Everywhere I went I used to bounce that ball, everywhere I used to go I used bounce that, bounce that ball, I'm little Ryan from 16650 Baylis, remember me? I used to buy all the mystery mix Now and Laters, I used to wait for God to come down and answer all my prayers” More of Royce documenting the history of Ryan and it’s ultimately the delivery that puts him in his own class second to no one.
Royce Da 5’9’’ - Strong Friend
“Reflections of your strong friend, you need to check up on your strong friend, nobody ever checks up on your strong friend…” enough said 🙏
Royce Da 5’9’’ ft Logic & King Green - Caterpillar Remix
“Yeah, sold a quarter million records in my first week and BET still don't wanna let me perform, maybe it's cause my pigment, maybe I'm being ignant, maybe it's all a figment of my imagination and exaggeration exacerbates that I'm the illest, yes” Logic comes out swinging on the remix to the album single that features none other than the aforementioned Eminem, and without question he out raps Slim Shady with relative ease… (yet for my full objective thoughts on Marshall Mathers read this).
Smoke DZA ft D.R.A.M. - The Come Up
“My life right now got me like I love my health, but I'm still like something got to give, a lot of ***** die before they dead I gots to live, I came from the bottom not a pot to piss and shit, like a million others but what make me different is, I turned my dreams to reality, come through the hood casually, few ****** salty but I know I'm who they rather be, get money take care of the faculty” 🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥 I need a super late pass on this project but DZA released Not For Sale appropriately on 4/20 and he smokes these verses throughout the whole album. Easily still one of the most lethal spitters in the game.
Smoke DZA ft Velous - The High
“Same mouth that she bash me with, she get nasty with, slick talk on some rapper shit, most times I just laugh at it, cause you don't know the half of it, I got the Dee Bo mind control... Jedi mind trick all kinda dough… I ain't got no time, only when it's time to go… and looking at my Rollie it's about that time” More 🔥🔥🔥 over the same sample used in Cole’s ‘Too Deep For The Intro’... where DZA most definitely takes those Erykah Badu vibes somewhere else...
Smoke DZA ft LevyGrey & Bodega Bamz - The Hustle
“Nobu like Wendy's if I want a light meal, if I'm on the bill it's a big fight filled, really they ain't safe for fronting, they ain't paying for nothing, man if only you could pawn your ice grill” Big money talk for DZA who in his lane is unmatched by any of his peers, particularly those in the weed rap subgenre (which has honestly always been a respectable subgenre) where Wiz Khalifa included there’s honestly nobody that’s even close.
Smoke DZA ft Ty Dolla $ign - The Love
“You don't need no flat tummy cleanse, tell em hold the tea cause you's a perfect 10, greatest of all time, family is all fine, my style genuine girl I love you long time” One time for the ladies and DZA does his numbers accordingly.
Smoke DZA ft DOM KENNEDY & Cozz - The Hook Up
“Gather round hustlers, that's if you're still livin, get more groupie love than Mike Bivins, y'all ***** gotta play your role, Taj Gibson, shoot the whole video set like Benny Boom” Los Angeles meets Harlem on this smooth outro record that got the video treatment right on time for the summer. Hopefully DZA connects with more Dreamville artists in the future 👀
Styles P ft Dyce Payne - Coolest O.G.
“None of this shit is new to me, nothing that you can do to me, get real high like more often than usually” The legendary Ghost just released his ninth solo album and he’s definitely the coolest O.G. around 💪
Styles P - Ghost Wars
“Ever pray to God for some wrong shit? like, the coke plug come with some strong shit, gun runners come with some long shit, Kiss is Jason I'm on some Bourne shit” Styles in his IDGAF mode and for it’s raw lyricism it’s one of the standouts on the tape.
Styles P ft Oswin Benjamin - Morning Mourning
“Grindin I work real hard, it wasn't pot luck, lotta work in the pot, couple ***** was shot up, the glorifying times of the horrifying crimes, but the more I see the soft shit the more that I'm inclined” Produced by Divine Bars this is one of my favorite instrumentals off G-Host, and for that reason it brings out the best of the Ghost himself.
Styles P - For This Occasion
“Is life even worth the stress? Used to wonder if I'm cursed or blessed? If I can't fly high, will it hurt the nest? If I don't clear my mind, will it hurt my chest?” 💎💎💎 SMH now Track 11 is really Styles at his best and this record could easily be inserted on A Gangster & A Gentleman and nobody would notice any difference. This would be a standout cut on any Styles P related project and it’s easily one of the best off his latest.
Styles P - Window To The Soul
“Hoping God see the the Lord in me (God), on the grind, only time move more than me (only time), only water could flow better these ****** should know better but they don't act accordingly” 🔥🔥🔥 The Ghost...
Bas ft Correy C - Pinball II
“Everything you've done I done overdid, I'm over it, ***** Dreamville the whole coast how we shouldered it?” Produced by Dreamville road manager Cedric Brown and featuring Dreamville affiliate Correy C, Bas is officially back with the new single off his upcoming album suspected to be titled Milk (or Whole Milk or something related), and if it’s anything close to as good as Too High To Riot then it will definitely be nothing less than fire.
Nick Grant - ‘96 Bulls
“Spending hundreds since they had they baby face like Kenneth, I’d rather be a Goofy then a Mickey stop the snitching” A young emcee on the rise from South Carolina, Nick Grant is in prime position to catch on before long.
Leon Bridges - Shy
“I just want to see ya, you could come over, I know ya shy, you can be shy with me” Fort Worth, Texas own has just released his sophomore studio album Good Thing, that overall plays somewhat similar to Raphael Saadiq’s The Way I See It - or perhaps Stone Rollin, yet either way it’s captures a vintage sound and is set to be critically acclaimed and for good reason. Separate from the two prior released singles this is most definitely one of the highlights and one of the best singular R&B/Soul records of the year.
Leon Bridges - Forgive You
“But I forgive you, though my friends tell me not to, I forgive you, even when it's so hard to” Leon Bridges caught a groove on this one and for some reason it gives me Miguel vibes but again these comparisons are only speaking to his all around talent.
Leon Bridges - Georgia to Texas
“504 black girl carried me, in her womb to the land of the peach, her birthing pains brought me low, but she held me high on Peachtree road” And here I go with another comparison because this one definitely reminds me of some vintage Frank Ocean, yet either way this is the perfect closer to the project and major respect to producers Ricky Reed and Niles City Sound (in addition to Nate Mercereau) who have steller production all over the album.
Daniel Caesar & H.E.R. - Best Part, a Visual
"I just wanna see how beautiful you are, you know that I see it, I know you're a star” I need another super-late pass on this but I’ve started to learn of Canadian R&B artist Daniel Caesar through Sirius/XM radio (those channels actually break artists every now and then), and this record is one of the highlights off his debut album Freudian, which happens to feature the mysterious artist H.E.R. whose appearance is only somewhat revealed in the beautifully simple music video that captures the essence of the song perfectly.
Mya - Damage
“You could do, you could do, you could do damage (ooh)” The DC legend in sultry, sexy R&B music is back with her 8th studio album T.K.O. (The Knock Out), and this is likely her best single since Fallen.
Mya - If Tomorrow Never Comes
“Cause here I am and there you are, I'm gon love you like tomorrow never gon come” Aside from the single mentioned above it’s the outro that fulfills one of the album’s best moments, shoutout to Mya who will forever be a relevant artist off her track record alone.