Detroit’s Royce Da 5’9″ releases ‘Rock City,” new rap album featuring Eminem

Mike Vincenti

For too long Royce Da 5′ 9″ has been underground. His DJ Premiere-produced “Boom” has been heard in clubs all over the country.
He was the only guest appearance on fellow Detroit native Eminem’s quadruple-platinum “The Slim Shady LP.” Also on the Lyricist Lounge CD, Royce will remain an underground talent.
With the release of his debut “Rock City” he has reached new heights. It was produced by the best in rap and hip-hop, including The Neptunes, Trackmasters, DJ Premiere and Eminem.
The title track “Rock City” features Eminem. The song is most notable because of what it lacks.
Although it features Eminem, he doesn’t rhyme a single verse in it, he just sings the chorus. It sounds like it could have been on Eminem’s latest CD or with cohorts D-12.
Lately every rapper coming out of Detroit praises how tough you have to be to survive and Royce is no different; “I’m takin’ s**t back to the riots in the 60’s/ You think I’m lyin’? Visit me.” The wordplay gets better as the track unfolds. This is a party song and it will probably be played as house music for many weekend parties.
“I want to give people diversity like they’ve never seen or heard before,” Royce said on his website.
This is most apparent on the track titled “Life.” Royce is close with Eminem and it shows here with a track he wrote for his son.
“Life” closely mirrors the style of “Stan” on “The Marshall Mathers LP.” Instead of Dido, Royce gets Amerie to sing the sappy chorus.
The track is very emotional with smooth lyrics and a booming bass line. Royce said it all in one line,
“Everybody’s design is different/ which means that we’re dyin’ by livin’/ oblivious to the time that we’re giving.” This is possibly the best stated track on the album.
Another that stands out lyrically is “Boom.” Originally it was to be the lead off single for the MTV movie “Carmen,” staring Beyonce Knowles from Destiny’s Child. He is re-releasing it on “Rock City” in an attempt to bring more attention and credibility to the CD. The song has tons of scratching and plenty of samples.
Royce said he wants to give people diversity and with “Rock City” he definitely does. Some are emotional, club-geared and others are just fun to listen to.
He has sharp lyrics and slick bass lines all with simple and smooth production.
Royce Da 5’9″ is currently touring Europe with Usher before he heads back to the states.