There’s nothing particularly surprising about a rapper naming his album Success is Certain. The genre is largely predicated on a certain aspirational bravado, and claims to fame and glory are littered in the rhymes of even the genre’s least known practitioners. Royce Da 5’9”, however, has earned his swagger. The Detroit emcee has been spitting his grim, densely packed bars since the late-'90s, and has gone from being hailed as the Midwest’s answer to NYC’s hard-boiled street poets to being a critically acclaimed but commercially ignored rap technocrat, faithfully releasing compelling albums that amazed the faithful but were largely shunned by the mainstream. So there was something satisfying when Royce’s collaborative album with Eminem, Hell: The Sequel, debuted atop the album charts this summer. That, along with his place in hip-hop supergroup Slaughterhouse, rejuvenated the emcee’s career and has informed his newfound optimism.
"Writer's Block" Royce da 5'9"
"Second Place"Royce da 5'9"
His recently released Success is Certain serves a retort to his 2004 near-masterpiece Death is Certain and is a deeply personal album that alternately acknowledges his long, chaotic career (“Merry Go Round” and “I’ve Been Up, I’ve Been Down”) and celebrates his new-found success (“I Ain’t Comin’ Down” and “Writer’s Block”). We caught up with the emcee backstage at Lollapalooza moments before he performed with Eminem in front of an audience of 90,000. Check out our exclusive interview, and make sure to add Royce’s free offerings to your Music Beta library. -- Sam Chennault
"Writer's Block" Royce da 5'9
"Second Place" Royce da 5'9