Just An Opinion: Success Is Certain Review

Royce Da 5'9" is Hip-Hop's Andy Dufresne.

Ever since I heard Bar Exam 2, can't remember what song exactly put me on that tape though, I have been a fan of Royce Da 5'9". Ever since then he has been dropping dope music, and rarely let's me down. He is one of the rapper's I admire, and "Success is Certain" is one of the reason's why. Unfortunately but not surprisingly, the album sprung a leak last week, but now the album has officially been released, I have purchased it, let's get into the review!

The album begins with a fucking insane song produced by Eminem and The Futuristiks named "Legendary" with Travis Barker. The song actually dropped a few weeks before the actual release and was my favourite song prior to the actual release. Royce comes in and just completely kill's the beat, and starts this solid album of with a bang.

"Writer's Block" featuring Eminem is the next song, and is the first song that was officially released of the album. When I first listened to this song, I was unsure. But after more listens, it grew on me and I realized just how incredible this song is. I'm actually fine with Em not having a verse, because Royce cause so mush damage on those two verses, you can tell he wrote them and then went to Em with the song and Em was like "let me just get the hook". The lines about being the new 50 and saying "We the same, cause I'm probably bout to fall out with a young buck while I attempt to fuck the fucking game up" is one of my favourite lines from the song. Royce just straight up killed this song and showed why he could be on par with Em lyrically.

Now every song seems to just be punchlines and just being lyrical, but the next song is where it changes...

"Merry Go Round", and since the album was released, this is now amongst my favourite songs of the album. I loved the concept that every up, has it's down, and I liked how he used the examples in the last few bars of the song. Like saying: "If it wasn't for me being outcasted, I woulda never been on the underground rapping with Slaughterhouse." Also the Cashis line before it, saying that "If it wasn't for Cashis saying he was gonna whip my ass/Then me and Shady probably would wouldn't be laughing bout us getting past it". Royce is basically proof that you can go throught bullshit and negatives and there will still be postives and a light at the end of the tunnel. He's the rap Andy Dufresne (Get It?)

The next song is a song that was released last year and was in the movie "Skyline", called "Where My Money". Not much to say about this song and it is one of the songs that have been out already for a long time that really I probably will just skip it, but that's not to say it isn't a bad song, I do like it but it's just gotten old. Let's get into a new track...

The "Last of The Spitters" (go cop that EP btw) and Royce's brother Kid Vishis appears now on "ER". I love the concept and it's kind of like Lil' Wayne's "Dr. Carter" except this song is done by two credible rapper's! Royce plays the role of the doctor trying to save hip-hop (Vishis), and eventually revives him. Vishis goes off and kill's it and does overshadow Royce, especially how he starts his verse, it just pull's you right into it. Great song!

The next song is "On the Boulevard" with Nottz & Adonis. This is a storytelling track, which Royce can pull of very well, check On the Run and Murder from Street Hop. The song is about two kids named Kenny, with the first verse describing a Kenny working hard to achieve his dream of being a runner but is going through much struggle trying to achieve this dream, like losing friends "over guns and crack". The second verse is about a drug dealer named Kenny and Royce spits the story about his life and the life of a drug dealer, saying dope lines like "and you will never hear "oh my god they killed kenny" bitch this ain't South Park". This isn't on par with the story telling songs from Street Hop, but it is still a good to decent song.

"I Ain't Coming Down" is probably another one of my favourite songs, and another very introspective song. It has a dope hook with Royce singing and has 2 very nice verses of Royce talking about the past of the "hate on Royce Era" in Detroit and also the Beef 3 DVD, and how he feels he looks stupid looking back. He isn't coming down any time soon haters, Royce will be on top as long as he's with Em, cause Success Is Certain when you're signed with Eminem.

Next is a tribute track dedicated to Proof, who died back in 2006, called "Security". It's a really emotional song and you can sense the emotion in Royce's voice as he's spitting the verses. He recalls times him and Proof ran into security and also seeing Eminem, D12 And Paul Rosenberg at Proof's funeral and how he cried like a baby. It's a very touching tribute and a great song and tribute to his lost friend. R.I.P. Proof.

Now, it wouldn't be a Royce Da 5'9 album without Premo turning up and producing an insane song, named "Second Place". Honestly, these two have such great chemistry, an album or EP has to drop with these two, songs like "Hip-Hop", "Boom", "Shake This" and "Hood Love" show this, and a collaboration project would be great. Anyway back to the song. Royce comes in spitting fire (as usual) and kills it, spitting sick lines like "In a freezer with Medusa, I'm fucking a stone cold killer". Royce spazzes and kill's it, and this, like "Writer's Block" and "Legendary" is why I admire Royce, me and really any rapper should listen to this and want to step they're game up, Royce is just incredible lyrically and is among the best in the game.

"My Own Planet" with Joe Budden is a song that has been out for a while so I'll just say that I do like this song but it is out of place. I put this in the same space as "Where My Money", not really into it but I still do like it. I like Mr. Porter's hook, and I can't lie, this is better than the version with Big Sean, who is actually from Detroit, which I never would have guessed. Anyway...

The finale of this album, and Royce saves the best for last! "I've Been Up I've Been Down" is a fantastic way to end this album. A very introspective song, with Royce going deep, just check the opening line: "Somebody very dear to me just attempted to kill himself". He goes on to deal with his abusive father and how a visit in rehab inspired Royce. It's clear Royce has been through many down's during his life, and like the message of Merry Go Round, there are positives and negatives in life.

Conclusion: Well what can I say, I do love this album, and Royce shows that he can make a mix of songs that are just lyrical and spazzing on the beat, introspective and dark songs and also story telling songs. Hell, he even made a song that could do well in the clubs. I like that mix, and the only grudge I have against this album is that it is too short, and makes me wanting more Royce. I get the same feeling I get after listening to "Hell: The Sequel" I just want more! I am looking forward to hearing more from Royce, not that I haven't before, but now I need that Slaughterhouse album. I'm looking at you Em. You better get this shit right and handle Royce, Crooked, Joell and Joey right. Also Yelawolf, he did just drop a fire single. Anyway, Royce did a good job in my eyes, and the future looks very promising for the hip-hop Andy Dufresne.


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