For me, “Book of Ryan” was the clear winner in this year’s race. It felt like a career, hell life-defining record. Cuts like “Power” & “Cocaine” captivate the listener with perfectly delivered storytelling. We get a glimpse into the more personal details of Royce’s life throughout “Book Of Ryan”.
Look from “Success Is Certain“, the “Bar Exam” mixtape series, or his most recent full-length prior “Layers“, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the vast majority of this man’s work. “Book of Ryan” though? It felt like a computer rendered the perfect rapper algorithm & only Royce 5’9″ received the code. I will never think of Christmas turkey the same way & that very statement is true to why I absolutely loved elements of this album so very much. The way he is able to render rap bars in a way that connects you to the story as if you were actually there is an incredible test of audible imagery.
It wasn’t just those two songs I previously mentioned that captured me, trapping my car stereo, and headphones into repetitive streams throughout the year. “Dumb” was an instant favorite and also led me to the welcomed discovery of Boogie, “Boblo Boat” feat. J. Cole, a homage to the theme park of my parent’s generation, & “Amazing” feat. Melanie Rutherford a brilliant story of one special basketball.
I will enjoy this whole record for years to come, for me, it was the most definitive album of the year from a veteran emcee landing his Magnum Opus.