I’ve been a fan of Royce since I found his Death is Certain CD at the GoodWill.
His latest album, Book of Ryan, is one of the most anticipated projects. Royce even proclaimed that Book of Ryan is his life’s work.
So naturally, I adjusted my sleep cycle and stayed up until its midnight release.
Here are some notes (Spoilers Included) from a fan’s perspective, this not a review.
1. Intro – Royce Da 5’9″
In the first 30 seconds I realize it’s the clean version and get off Spotify then get the Explicit Bonus Track Editon (22 Songs) from Amazon Music.
The Intro is introspective, reflective of the whole album. Royce, on his grown man rap, assesses his priorities and proceeds to thank god that he woke up this morning. Off to a good start.
2. Woke – Royce Da 5’9″
Royce is a realist in the music industry.
He comes out with intricate bars, as always, touching on things like the abundance of wack rappers and financial irresponsibility in the music industry, specifically hip-hop.
“You rich but you broke nigga just don’t know yet” – Royce Da 5’9″ (Woke, Book of Ryan)
He ends Woke on an autobiographical note about his childhood. After all, this is the Book of Ryan (Royce).
Papa used to beat on me often for not being perfect
Thots used to call me tar baby, cops taught that I’d be worthless
Mama gave birth to only one dark child like Rodney Jerkins
That taught me to focus on what’s inside y’all and not the surface
Notice the last line, its similar to what Martin Luther King Jr. said,
3. My Parallel (Skit)
The Book of Ryan
The untold tale of scandal
All my bars of madness
That are inspired by my childhood, scars and sadness
Every black man must fend for himself
Where we value physical much more than we do our mental health
And what the fuck you know about coming back from hitting rock bottom in life
Nigga all I want is a good home, and a wife
And some children, and some food to feed ’em every night
Where’s my parallel to that?
Nigga, where’s my parallel to that?
Where’s my parallel, to that?
After all that he’s been through, Royce values family, respect.
4. Caterpillar ft. Eminem and King Green
Caterpillar definitely struck me as the bar heavy, competitive, I’m a veteran but still going eat your dinner type song.
The song is about paying homage to the people who evolved your field before you, among other things.
It’s like Issac Newton said
Not to mention, the unparalleled lyricism and intensity laced, manic delivery: Bad Meets Evil is back in business.
Royce is known as a killer mc, verbal assassin, whatever you want to call it, but its lines like the ones below that we can relate too, a regular guy just trying to be a great dad.
“You number one when it come to slaughtering mics
I’m tryna be number one in my son and daughter life” – Royce
These next bars reflect Royce’s consistent emphasis on craft and developing skills which ensure longevity, opposed to maneuvering your way into success. It reminds me of the song Wrote My Way Out.
Royce has wisdom in his lyrics, it reminds of Jay-Z at times, on albums like Reasonable Doubt.
“Always stay professional, you always gon’ make revenue
Don’t let people next to you that don’t want the best for you”
[Verse 3: Eminem & Royce Da 5’9]
It’s cool that Eminem gave King of the Dot a shout out, I know that movie Bodied is coming out in the near future. Which Eminem produced, featuring some prominent KOTD battlers.
5. God Speed ft. Ashley Sorrell
Bringin’ bars back to the streets like Jay and Nas beef
Broadcastin’ “Ether” in HD at God speed
6. Dumb ft. Boogie
7. Who Are You (Skit)
Man, I had a dream that my father told me, “Let’s play a game, look me in my eyes and just make sure you don’t blink. You can ask me anything you want but remember, “don’t blink.”
I said, “Shit.” I got all courage in the world to start asking shit that I never had the courage to ask before like, “What’s wrong with me?” Like, “Okay, I’m born an addict, do you think that you doing drugs had more than an adverse effect on me? Do you think if you didn’t do drugs did maybe I somehow would have came out better? Would I had done better?” I got one. “I was always seeking your approval as a—as a child you made me feel like I could never do shit right. I always wanted to know, like, through everything that I’ve been through in the game, do I make you proud? Like, are you proud of me? Finally?” And then I was about to ask him about the abuse with my mom and, like, I fuckin’ blinked. As soon as I blinked (I wanna know if it’s okay if) I’m looking at my son in, like, in the face
(Kinda ask some questions) The objective of the paper is to go in depths about the figure in our lives that we find inspiring, the one we look up to. I wanted to do mines about you. I remember the title I had for it and I was—I was thinking of calling it, The Book of Ryan I was kinda sitting and trying to get in the first paragraph and I started to realize how difficult it is to write
How can I write the paper of my father when I don’t know who he is? So I guess the first question is, “Who are you?”
Royce said these skits were all inspired by dreams.
Just listen to the song. Royce talks about his father’s addiction to cocaine and its effect on his childhood/ their relationship.
9. Life is Fair
Look, same girl that momma just was talkin’ all fake to
Used to borrow our papers, and all of our things
She was always ungrateful, always had bad news
Always into the latest gossip
Always was tryna show our father her nudes, that shit’s not cool
One day we went out in town and they broke the door down
On our house and stole all of our food
Stole from us, we ain’t have much more than you
Verse 3 details how Royce aka Ryan grew up in an environment with exploitative people.
10. Boblo Boat ft. J. Cole
Royce pays homage to amusement park trips with his family during childhood. Through a mix of nostalgia and introspective reminiscing, Royce raps about how these experiences influenced his personal development for better or worse.
A women’s loyalty is tested
When her man has nothing
A man’s loyalty is tested
When that man has everything
The definition of a legend
Is a man who starts with nothing
And leaves the game with everything
I’m just a superhuman being with the quick to slow flow
Got the underground wire, like the tires low pro
Got the eye of the tiger inside of the mind of a, old soul, yo
Legendary is dope, its packed with bars, plus Royce is saying that he has access to lots of women but turns them down.
I won’t take up too much of your time, just wanted to give a shout out to this piece of work, Book of Ryan by Royce da 5’9″. All in all its a good project. Different from most of the other work in the genre.
Have a good day and stay woke.