#2. Royce Da 5’9″ | My Top 5 Rappers Of All Time

Royce Da 5'9"

#2. Royce Da 5’9″ | My Top 5 Rappers Of All Time

Royce Da 5’9″ has always been a staple in my hip hop diet, ever since I first heard him rap with Eminem. I’ve been listening to him for close to 20 years now, and his growth as an artist is astounding. Ever since he got sober, the quality of this man’s music propelled him toward the top of my favorite rappers list.

I believe that when it’s all said and done, Royce may very easily be my number #1 rapper of all time. He’s the only rapper on my current top 5 that I think could do that. I don’t know what it is exactly, but both Eminem and Royce have a way of completely immersing me in their music. While I love Black Thought, Pharoahe Monch, Kendrick Lamar and many others, their music doesn’t affect me the same way that Em & Royce’s do.

1. Power [Book of Ryan]

No hyperbole intended, but “Power” is one of the most impressive hip hop songs ever written (to me). I usually think it’s really annoying when people say that about songs that are still relatively new, but honestly I don’t think “Power” will have any trouble standing the test of time (again, to me).

The storytelling is so well done, you really feel like you’re in Ryan’s house with his family. You get to know his brothers and parents throughout the album, and he shares what the holidays are like in the Montgomery home. Tensions rise as verbal arguments turn to physical violence in the form of his dad hitting his older brother.

I honestly feel stupid even trying to describe this song. Just listen to “Power” and get ready to feel the feels.

2. Universe [Trust The Shooter

Now that I think about it, "Universe” was a very critical song in shaping my current view of Royce as an artist. His Trust The Shooter mixtape included "Tabernacle” and "Universe”, both very personal songs. Even though I’ve always been a fan of Royce, to me, this was the beginning of his ascension to a new level of artistry.

"Universe” was sort of a glimpse into the family dynamic when Royce was a kid. In my opinion, I think that it set the stage for "Power” and really Book Of Ryan as a whole.

3. Tabernacle [Layers]

“Tabernacle” is the intro song to Royce’s 2016 album Layers. Before that though, it was released on his mixtape Trust The Shooter. This song along with “Universe” significantly changed the way that I viewed Royce as an artist.

Not to say that he didn’t make good storytelling songs before, but “Tabernacle” is truly on a higher level. It almost seems like he includes unimportant details, but it all sets the stage and puts you right in the middle of story.

Royce does a much better job of summing up this song at the end than I could ever do. Just listen to “Tabernacle” and be amazed.

4. Regardless [Death Is [Death Is Certain]figure class="wp-block-embed-youtube wp-block-embed is-type-video is-provider-youtube wp-embed-aspect-16-9 wp-has-aspect-ratio">

For the longest time, “Regardless” was my favorite Royce Da 5’9″ song. I think that it overtook “King Of Kings” after I listened to Death Is Certain, and remained my favorite for years. The beat sets the mood, which is kind of dark and creepy. Royce’s flow is pretty simple on this one, but his rhymes are hard hitting, and you can hear the conviction in his voice.

5. King Of Kings [Rock City[Rock City Version 2.0]

Unfortunately I have a poor memory from smoking weed almost half my life. BUT, I do think “King Of Kings” was my first “favorite” Royce Da 5’9″ song. After hearing him on Eminem’s debut album, I looked up Royce and found a couple mixtapes and Rock City [Version 2[Version 2.0]

“King Of Kings” has always stood out to me, because there was clearly so much thought put into the lyrics. There are so much historical and religious references, but at no point does the song sound preachy, religious, or pretentious. Royce has a way of making everything sound cool, so even while he kicks knowledge, he makes it sound like he’s bragging.

Honorable Mentions

One thing that I’ve always loved about Royce Da 5’9″ is the sheer amount of bars he gives out for free. There are a handful of songs that he released many years ago that are just freestyles, meaning no hook or structure. My favorites among those are:

Done Talkin’
D.O.A. (Redemption)
October 20th

Other amazing songs:

Field Negro
I’m Me Freestyle
I Promise
Gone (The Return Of Malcolm)
Royce Is Like
Who Got Bodied? (Ask About Me)
Ding! Ding!

Not to mention all the songs he’s made with Eminem under Bad Meets Evil, Slaughterhouse, and Prhyme. Let me know what you guys think about Royce Da 5’9″, and where is he at on your list?

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