audio review : The Bar Exam 4 ( mixtape ) … Royce Da 5-9

audio review : The Bar Exam 4 ( mixtape ) ... Royce Da 5-9

“I’m better than the young’uns,” Royce insists in regards to his rap skill, “I’m better than the legends.” I agree if he’s referring to most. Jay-Z, 2Pac, Biggie; all vastly overrated if you ask me. When it comes to dope lyricism, Royce Da 5-9 is the real deal. He’s not quite on level with Bad Meets Evil partner Eminem and he seems to know it, but this mixtape; the fourth in his Bar Exam series; has him rapping probably the best he has since his 1999 world debut. There’s a lot of clever wordplay, but his skills plummet when it comes to making whole songs; a problem for most rappers.

my rating = 3 of 5

2017

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audio review : Layers ( album ) … Royce Da 5-9

audio review : Layers ( album ) ... Royce Da 5-9

He says he ain’t leaving here without a classic. If “here” means the universe and “classic” refers to an album, I doubt that’s true. He promised not to lie on any verse, but I guess that was just the first song. It’s all opinion, of course, and in mine, Royce Da 5-9 is (still) one of the best popular rappers ever. It’s his persona that’s annoying, not to mention all the “God” nonsense, and his lack of skills when it comes to composing songs that hold this album back from greatness like every other album of his.

The Hard hook is uncharacteristically catchy. A lot of rappers consider it soft to sing during the breaks. A lot of rappers are stupid. Every other song that has a chorus; the title track sounds exquisite without one; leaves a lot to be desired. That represents the album’s, and rap music’s, biggest flaw. Layers would also do better if it were skit-free and stripped down to, say, the best twelve songs. Interesting start though. Tabernacle tells the story of what Royce considers the most significant day of his life.

my rating = 3 of 5

2016

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