Watchlist Wednesdays: Royce da 5’9, Layers

By Anton Constantinou

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Longtime Eminem collaborator, Royce da 5’9 is back in effect with latest release, Layers, due April 15th.

The Detroit emcee,  notable for his compound rhyming and erratic flow, is currently ranked #31 on About’s 50 greatest rappers of all time. As well as being part of the hip hop super-group, Slaughterhouse– along with Joe BuddenJoell Ortiz and Crooked I– he also shares a  partnership with DJ Premier in the form of, PRhyme.

His Eminem link dates back to 1997. After being introduced to each other at a concert, the two started the duo, Bad Meets Evil. Together they’ve dropped tracks like Fast Lane, Nuttin’ To Do, and, more recently, Lighters (featuring Bruno Mars). As a result of that relationship, Royce was invited to feature on Em’s major label debut studio album, The Slim Shady LP

In 2001, Royce made his solo mark on the game with I’m The King : an alchemist produced which famously appeared on the soundtrack for video game, GTA III. Since then he’s dropped 5 studio albums, teamed up with everyone from CeeLo Green to Big Sean, and has ghostwritten for the likes of Diddy and Dre . No stranger to conflict, he was publicly embroiled in a feud with D12, which resulted in him and late group member, Proof doing time.

Layers sees Royce teaming up with a whole host different producers, including Nottz and Dj Khalil, Mr Porter and Jake One. His first album in 5 years, it’s said to be more introspective than his previous releases without losing any of the lyricism he’s known for. Rick Ross and Pusha T are the only rappers to get a look in on the album. At 17 tracks it’s set to be a heavy project.

For a flavour of what’s to come, peep Tabernacle (below): an autobiographical track about Royce’s journey to rapping and subsequent relationship with god.  Storytelling interludes guide us through different moments in the early stage of his career.  Recalling the death of his grandma, he explains that that he universe gave him a son instead.

Click here to follow Royce on Twitter.

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