Friday 2 July 2021
Stalwart Detroit rapper still sharp in the game

There are few figures in the industry as highly regarded and respected as Royce 5’9” when it comes to straight, no-bullshit, masterful hip-hop.

Having released more than two decades of music both as a solo artist and in groups like Slaughterhouse and Bad Meets Evil (together with Eminem), the Detroit rapper has become a familiar, reliable presence for rap fans. He has also done ghost-writing for the likes of Diddy and Dr. Dre.

Yet after making a career relating his experience through hard-nosed, deft lyrics, the Detroit MC still had layers of his life that have gone virtually untouched.

Who is this Royce fella really?

He answers that very question with the critically acclaimed 2018 album Book of Ryan (his real name is Ryan Montgomery). The 43-year-old rapper relays his life experiences – especially his low points – through masterful storytelling and lyricism that weave heart-breaking stories peppered with wisdom, advice and reflection. The album resulted is an imaginative standing ovation from critics and music fans alike – it was a true peak for Royce.

Royce 5’9” first to rose to fame with the masterful debut album Rock City (2002). He carried his vocals over a bed of bouncing beats and sensual synths courtesy of, among others, The Neptunes and Gangstarr’s legendary producer DJ Premier with whom Royce made the super duo PRhyme for a couple of albums.

We’ll get to know even more of Royce 5’9”. He dropped his eighth album in February, The Allegory, which is reaping great reviews, one of them hailing Royce for being “at his rawest and most ravenous yet” and for making his best album yet.

Royce 5’9” last played at Roskilde Festival in 2012. And he joined Eminem on stage when he played Roskilde in 2018. Now he is back, and he has probably taught hip-hop a new trick or two along the way.