The Score: Royce Da 5'9, "Success Is Certain"

Tuesday, Aug 9, 2011 3:20PM

Written by Jesse Prince

Buy Now
  • Success Is Certain
  • Royce Da 5'9
  • August 9, 2011
XXL 4/5
411 Mania 7.5/10
SoulCulture 3.5/5
AV Club 4/5

Fresh off his Hell: The Sequel joint effort, Royce Da 5'9 releases his latest solo album today, entitled Success is Certain.

It is Royce's fifth album and with the success of Hell: The Sequel, he is making major headway on the hip-hop scene.

Success may not necessarily be certain, but it is undeniable that the Detroit rapper has a boatload of momentum with his fifth solo album. He and Eminem put their near-decade-long feud to rest a couple of years ago, and in June, reteamed as Bad Meets Evil to top Billboard's album chart with Hell: The Sequel. That album's second single, "Lighters", which features Bruno Mars, is No. 2 in digital sales. (USA Today)

For the album, Royce successfully got a litany of the beatsmiths du jour to put it all together.

Though the production cast of Alchemist, Nottz, Em, Mr. Porter, and more is celebrity, there's a definite tear in the juncture, as there's no equilibrium between the cast. You won't find the kind of continuity or sounds of "Hip Hop" or "Regardless" of the set predecessor Death Is Certain, the street demeanor of Independent's Day, and the raw philosophy of Rock City and "Boom" in Success Is Certain, but more so experiments that, while welcome, don't quite yield the results the past harbors. (ology)

The Detroit lyricist was able to get many of hip-hop's elite to rock with him this time around.

In addition to Travis Barker and Eminem making the guest list, Kid Vishis, Nottz, Adonis, and Slaughterhouse's own, Joe Budden, also make appearances on this album. For production credit, The Alchemist, StreetRunner, Nottz, Mr. Porter, and the legendary DJ Premier. (Daily Chiefers)

Success is Certain certainly wowed many reviewers but a few of them felt that the album failed to deliver in some areas.

What hurts the album is the overall flow and length. While Royce has shown that he is a great lyricist and can keep up with anyone on the mic, he still falters in terms of turning that lyrical skill into proper album tracks. Tracks like "My Own Planet", "On The Boulvard", "Where My Money" are not bad tracks but they are not that great either. They are just there and really just have Royce dropping his great punch lines. Another issue with the album has to do with the overall length of the disc. Coming in at only 11 tracks is somewhat questionable in terms of calling it an LP, as the Bad Meets Evil album has two less tracks and was called an EP. I know that Royce was likely trying to capitalize on his recent increase in exposure due to the release of the project, but having only 11 tracks is somewhat of a rip off for fans. (411mania)

With the score being handled by numerous beatsmiths, the impact of Royce's consistent offerings are brought down at times by the quality of some of the instrumentals on hand. "ER" for instance offers up some pretty decent (if somewhat cliched) 'I Am Hip Hop's Resurrector' rhymes alongside Kid Vichis, but is let down by an overcooked Streetrunner beat. Another minor irk comes in Royce also following his long time friend Eminem's penchant for singing his own choruses which gets tiresome especially when adding these vocals to dope offerings. (Soul Culture)

To purchase Success Is Certain, just click here.

Preview tracks from the album below:

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