Wake yourself up to Royce Da 5'9 "The Allegory"
Updated: Mar 20
After having a hip-hop album of the year contender back in 2018 with the album The Book of Ryan, Royce Da 5'9 is back with a new album titled The Allegory, which was released this past Friday, February 21st, 2019 under eOne Music. The album features T.I., Westside Gunn, Benny The Butcher, Cedric The Entertainer, KXNG Crooked, Vince Staples, DJ Premier, and many others and all the songs on the album were produced by Royce himself except for "Black Savage". Let's see if Royce will have another album of the year material.
The album opens with an introduction called "Mr. Grace". The introduction of the song starts with a father educating his son about being an independent person and being financially good then Royce raps a full educational verse about the American system. The song "Dope Man" is featured Emanny and Cedric The Entertainer and it samples N.W.A.'s "Dopeman" and "Summer Madness" by Kool & The Gang. With the smooth voice of Emanny that resembles R. Kelly's voice and Cedric The Entertainer who acts as a radio host, the song has a 70s vibe that reminds of Curtis Mayfield's "Pusherman", while Royce Da 5'9 flips the song about the crack era in the 80s and how it changed so many people lives that lived in inner cities and the American economy. On the dope instrumental from the song "I Don't Age" Royce raps about his status in hip-hop by stating he never had to change his personality, he always stayed who he was regardless of who was hot and popular on the charts. His lyrics, metaphors and punchlines were crazy, especially in the third verse with bars like: "You niggas always sleepin', I'd rather stay woke They say you are what you eat, but I never ate goat…Playin' Hov, Friend or Foe, Lost friends like Ross and Rachel." On the song "Pendulum" with the feature of Ashley Sorrell, Royce goes on a verbally lyrical aim on the current hip-hop industry and how Instagram is poisoning the mind of artists and fans. The song ends with a rant that Soulja Boy did on Instagram in 2018 going at rappers and the rap game. Then we have the song "I Play Forever" featuring Grafh followed by an interlude called "Ice Cream". The interlude starts with a mother telling her son the definition of Allegory then the son hears the Ice Cream truck song and asks his mother for some Ice Cream. The mother approaches the truck and talks to the Ice Cream man about the origins of the song from his Ice Cream truck that has been playing from a lot of Ice Cream trucks for years. She tells him that the song is a racist ballad from a white man named Harry C. Brown and the song was called "Nigga Love A Watermelon" released under the major labor Colombia Records. After the interlude, I went to research about the song itself, and it was a shock knowing that a lot of Ice Cream trucks where blindly playing a racist ballad. Thank you for the educational interlude Royce.
The album continues with the song "On The Block" featuring Oswin Benjamin and DJ Premier where the song has a dope instrumental with both Royce Da 5'9 and Oswin Benjamin killed the song with their massive flows, and the song is followed by an interlude titled "Generation Is Broken". "Overcomer" is featured Westside Gunn and the song is divided into 2 parts. The first part is where Westside Gunn raps and the second part is where Royce raps and he doesn't shy away to take aim at Yelawolf about the issues they've been having. Then we have an interlude between a father and his daughter called "Ms. Grace". "Thou Shall" is where Royce goes on a lyrical barrage with the help of Kid Vishis and both rappers do not shy away to say what's in their minds about hip-hop and the current way of how society is living.
Halfway through the album, Royce Da 5'9" continues his lyrical fury on the hip-hop game on the song "FUBU" featuring Conway The Machine. The song is followed by the skit "A Black Man's Favorite Shoe". The song "Upside Down" features Benny The Butcher and Ashley Sorrell and the track is a lyrical showdown between Royce and Benny The Butcher. Royce did not shy away to talk about subjects like when Bill Maher said he was a field n***a and when comedian Louis C.K. said the N-Word around Chris Rock and Jerry Seinfeld. In a brief summary, this means some white people think they can say the N-Word around their black friends but they're still careful around other black people because they know they can be regulated for that. I honestly think white people should not be comfortable saying the N-Word and they shouldn't ask for a justification of why they can't say it period. Royce Da 5'9 also addressed that some rappers may own their masters but if their songs have no value, what is the point of owning 100% of nothing. The following interlude is called "My Perspective" where Eminem speaks about racism in the music industry. The song "Tricked" featuring KXNG Crooked is where both rappers talk about how the American system and the major music labels used rap and hip-hop to make black people believe in a certain lifestyle that they can be happy and successful just to keep them down and in prison. The song is followed by the interlude "Black People In America" where it's being discussed that if black people in America take all their values and knowledge back to Africa and never come back to the U.S.A., America will have no value and no culture. "Black Savage" is not only the most powerful song in "The Allegory" but also in hip-hop for the past years. The song features T.I., White Gold, Sy Ari Da Kid, and CyHi The Prynce, and it's about African Americans fighting for their freedom, place and right in America until this day. All five rappers did a great job representing their culture and educating hip-hop fans to stand for something in the crooked system called America. In the short one verse song titled "Rhinestone Doo Rag", Royce opened up about the mistakes hip-hop veterans have done in the past so that the new generation of rappers don't duplicate the same errors and be better and also learn from Malcolm X and Martin Luther King. Royce Da 5'9 continues to deliver dope songs with powerful messages with the following songs "Young World" featuring Vince Staples and G Perico, and "My People Free" featuring Ashley Sorrell. The album finishes with the song "My Hero" where Royce does a dedication to his father and it's also a throwback to Royce's last album Book of Ryan.
If you enjoyed Book of Ryan 2 years ago, I guarantee you will love The Allegory. As of one of his first albums he fully produced, the beats are amazing, Royce Da 5'9 flow and lyrics were not to be denied and all featured artists did an amazing job. Book of Ryan felt more like a book from Royce's life as The Allegory felt like an educational and a woke album like Jay-Z's 4:44. To answer my question from the introduction if Royce has another album of the year contender, the answer is yes indeed.
Beat Instrumental: 5/5
Album Production: 5/5