Royce Da 5'9" Street Hop

Royce Da 5'9" Street Hop

Ryan Montgomery (aka Royce da 5'9") was born for rap. The punch lines, the liquid flow, the ability to write pensively, aggressively or conceptually, to create narratives driven by character or dialogue, he's got it all. Sharpened in the lyrical hotbed of Detroit, MI, Royce's fourth album is his most polished. Under the direction of executive producer DJ Premier, who supplies three beats, Street Hop wins by letting Royce do what he does best: rhyme his ass off. This is a dude who can give himself a pep talk as he walks out of prison ("Shake This"), narrate a Lorena Bobbit-inspired horror tale ("Part of Me"), steal your lady ("Thing for Your Girlfriend") or simply devour MCs ("Dinner Time") with equal flair. While this summer's Slaughterhouse project ― Royce's Voltron-like formation with fellow major label cast-offs Joe Budden, Joell Ortiz and Crooked I, all of whom make appearances ― was a one-note punch line jamboree, Street Hop is more nuanced, proving that Royce can be both thoughtful and Glock-full, depending on his mission. (M.I.C./One)