Spun: Royce Da 5′ 9"

Despite a poor album title and even worse rap name, Royce Da 5ïž´9 delivers great rap music. He rhymes with an intensity many mainstream rappers just lack. From the opening track “Buzzin”, you’ll notice Royce is pissed at a lot of things and this key ingredient let him cook up a solid hardcore rap album in The M.I.C. (Make it Count) Official Mixtape.

Throughout the album, Royce speaks of record labels attempting to change who he is as an artist and how what the listener is hearing is the real him, now that he’s gone underground. It’s this grounded aspect of Royce as an emcee lending his rhymes a certain honesty and connection to listeners.

His criticisms of the industry and today’s rap game are delivered over surprisingly well-produced tacks. The beats sound as though a lot of time and care went into them, bumping and grooving with the best of the mainstream and still manages to make every track unique.

Other underground artist stop by to make appearances, like Cutty Mack and Tre Little, adding diversity and flavor to the disc. Not that he needs the help. Royce’s cleverness is displayed to full effect on several tracks such as “Nickel”, proclaiming he’s “something for your old ass like a pack of depends.”

Above par compared to recent impotent releases in the mainstream, Royce is the artist able to satisfy the more hardcore rap fans. A good emcee needs to be at home on the streets and the club. For all you honeys lookin’ for something to grind to, he’ll quench your clubbing appetites too.

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