Royce Da 5’9’s ‘Layers’ Album Is One Explosive Hip-Hop Project

Live Reviews

Royce da 5’9’’ is prepping to roll out his first solo album since 2011’s Success is Certain hit retailers.

Last week, the Detroit emcee came out to New York City, where he received much love from fellow rappers, to spin his upcoming effort, Layers, for fans and tastemakers alike.

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At NYC’s One Art Space, rappers Pharoahe Monch, Torae and Joell Ortiz and D-12 member/producer Denaun Porter aka Mr. Porter, producer !llmind, and actor Malik Youba came out to salute Royce da 5’9.”

READ: Jay Electronica, Royce Da 5’9, DJ Premier & More Crushed J Dilla Weekend 2016

Upon entering the art gallery, Andew Thiel’s (creator of Layers artwork) Rotten Apple-themed paintings covered the gallery providing a hip-hop /intellectual feel, which is usually how one feels when listening to Royce — thanks to his thought-provoking wordplay.

With alluring ladies rocking skintight mini-skirts sashaying the room with trays of food and cups of alcohol, the tone of the evening was set. Thiel’s pieces such as the Queensbridge-insipired “Queensbridge 21 Street Station F;”  the “Bodega” (depending on who’s looking, this could’ve been inspired by Statik Selektah and Bodega Bamz’ song of the same name) with gyros, a popular Bodega food, splattered on the canvas; or the red and black painted “Downtown & Brooklyn 2,3 Train,” among others, were more than enough to hold down the eager crowd until Royce — who was nearly two hours late due to a missed flight showed up.

As the clock inched toward 9 p.m., the Slaughterhouse member strolled in with a grateful grin creasing his face, rocking a blue velour sweat suit, glowing gold wrist watch, and shades hiding his eyelids. After a few daps, pictures and ‘what’s up’s’ Royce grabbed the mic from DJ Mix Man.

“I’m sorry, I’m late, I missed a flight. But I know y’all are ok with all this expensive food,” Royce said. “This is my first album in five years. But y’all have stuck with me while I got my life together with alcohol.”

After Royce’s quick introduction, Mix Man commenced to spin selected tracks from Layers. He spun Royce’s new sixteens over classic instrumentals like Ghostface,  The Notorious B.I.G., and others, so it was a bit difficult to take in the true sound of the album, but the lyrics were fire.

“If you want to hear all the beats, you have to purchase the album,” Mix Man said.

Just as it clock creeped near 10:30p.m., Mix Man concluded the night with the title track that features Pusha T and Rick Ross, which is nothing more than chest thumping bravado on wax, and,”Tabernacle,” a seven minute autobiography-like track where Royce exposes his life to fans.

Based on what we heard, Layers keeps the lyrical momentum that blessed his PRhyme project with DJ Premier. Only here, Royce digs deeper into his personal experiences such as family issues, his opinions on violence in America an more, which all make for a solid project.

Fans can pre-order the album now, before it hits iTunes on Apr. 15