Royce Da 5'9"
So what’s an acclaimed artist to do when they no longer have anything to prove? In the case of hip-hop’s legendary Detroit lyricist Royce 5’9”, you shut out all of the hype that places you in the same esteemed company as such revered, game-changing emcees as Jay-Z, Ice Cube, Eminem, Scarface, Nas, and Andre 3000 and release your most potent, celebratory and brazenly honest album of your 20-plus-year-career. Book of Ryan, the seventh solo studio project from the grinding rhyme visionary born Ryan Montgomery, is a work that defies well-worn, grizzled veteran rap clichés. This is the sound of artistic freedom. “I’m at the happiest, most productive time of my life,” says Royce without a hint of hyperbole. “I know people are used to dark content from me, but this is not a dark album. It’s optimistic and very reflective. There’s some dark humor, but overall Book of Ryan finds me in a good place.”