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ROYCE DA 5’9” 

Success Is Certain (Gracie)

History is littered with average albums trying to recapture an artist’s prime. Hip-hop fans don’t have to look far for recent examples, from Jay-Z’s drowsy Blueprint 3 to Wale’s embarrassing More About Nothing mixtape. But Royce Da 5’9” feels a little different. Although he’s in a different place, he’s got the same feral hunger. The production is glossier and the concept is thinner, but few can match his penchant for powerful, poison-tipped punchlines, notably on “Second Place.” But on a thoughtful moment like “Security”, as honest a peek into the inner workings of a rap beef as any, you remember how Royce got to be so certain of himself.

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