Royce da 5’9” – “The Heaven Experience” review

This is the 3rd EP from Detroit emcee, songwriter & producer Royce da 5’9”. Most notable for being 1/2 of Bad Meets Ǝvil with local sensation Eminem, his mark as one of the city’s illest lyricists has already been made along the way. Especially with releases such as Death is Certain, Street Hop, Success is Certain, Layers & Book of Ryan. Also can’t forget to mention his work with longtime collaborator DJ Premier as the MC/producer duo PRhyme or with the now defunct quartet of all-star wordsmiths that was once Slaughterhouse. But with his previous album The Allegory turning 3 last month, Nickel’s returning in the form of The Heaven Experience.

“Signs” is a Godly trap opener produced by STREETRUNNER dedicating this to those who fuck with him for real whereas “Out the Barrell” works in a sitar-laced instrumental from DJ Pain 1 with hi-hats cautioning those who haven’t been out here long enough to test him. “Look at This” has a more rugged sound thanks to the J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League remembering his uncle Joe while the song “Grown Ass Man” classily makes it clear that he’s about his family. The penultimate track “Royce & Reggie” with Redman finds the 2 lyricists over a soulful boom bap beat acting a fool in cyphers to the dislike of others & “Ion Wanna” sends off the EP with a somber ballad about what goes around comes around.

If this just to prelude listeners for his upcoming 9th album much like how Tabernacle: Trust the Shooter held everyone over until Layers dropped shortly after, then I think people should be more than satisfied with it. I like how Nickel took a backseat on the production by bringing in some established vets to take care of things in that department as one of the best lyricists in the D continues to elevate himself higher & higher in the ranks.

Score: 4/5

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