Detroit’s Royce Da 5’9” sounds real hungry on his fourth solo album. While a lot of cookie cutter rappers are out there right now talking about how much money and what they do with it, Royce tells stories and welcome us into his world. And he sounds like he means every syllable of what he says. 5’9” comes with a raw energy that most couldn’t muster if they worked their whole life.
From the first song, “Gun Harmonizing,” on which he bursts onto the album with sputtered scatting and verbal gun sounds, Royce Da 5’9” sounds like he’s attacking the mic. Snapping snares and a hard-hitting kick drum compliment Royce’s verbal attack very well.
While the Detroit emcee is best when he’s launching lyrical assaults with gruff vocal chords, Royce does give us some variety on this album. 5’9” breaks away from the war music to bring us the soothing, west coast influenced “Something 2 Ride 2” with its light melody and fluttering flute. Likewise, Royce borrows some Beastie Boys vocals for his club ready “New Money.” He also offers us “Thing for Your Girlfriend,” which is the closest Street Hop comes to a love song, although a look at the title can tell you it’s not exactly a track that will become any couple’s “our song.” If you ignore the title and lyrics, the music is pleasant at least.
Established Royce Da 5’9” fans expecting a charged up, hungry rapper will get exactly that on Street Hop. With a variety of beats and themes across the album’s 19 tracks, though, the album is accessible to anyone who a fan of hip hop, or music in general. Despite standing at an average 5 feet 9 inches, Royce is head and shoulders above the competition.