20 of the Best Lyrics From Royce 5’9″‘s ‘Book of Ryan’ Album
Featuring a hearty 21 tracks, the Detroit rhymer's sixth LP is a tour de force of tight rhyme schemes, emphatic punchlines and adroit storytelling. Over the course of more than an hour, Royce touches on just about everything as he navigates the hollowness of music industry politics, life as a recovered alcoholic and vivid memories of an up-and-down childhood.
On his J. Cole-assisted track "Boblo Boat," he turns a 16-bar verse about a family field trip into a lucid glimpse into familial dynamics and the inescapability of hard times.
"I came across my identity on the Boblo boat/That’s where I lost my virginity, no condom, though/That’s when paranoia hit me like when superstition does/Left my inhibitions I guess where my supervision was/Parties on the way to the island would be the livest, though/First time big bro hit the bottle was on the Boblo boat/But neither one of us knew that we would both/Grow up and turn to alcoholics, though, the Boblo boat," Royce spits on the 808-Ray & Cool & Dre-produced track.
That's just one piece of Book of Ryan, an LP filled with master classes in storytelling, freewheeling stream-of-conscious bursts of lyricism and even a posse cut. It's pretty much everything you'd ever want from a Royce project.
XXL takes a focused look at all the best lyrical gems from Royce 5'9'"s latest.
"Hopefully that scope on that AR don't take my focus/To places where I put fakers in comas longer than daytime soap operas/Any calendar day I'll Halloween like late October/I'll bury these niggas up under the devil's playground, playtime's over" —Royce 5'9"
"I'm a product of Parker Lewis and Kubiak/If I didn't do this, where in the fuck would you be at?/See there's a difference between us, what I spit hit arenas/You a drip from my penis, I eat lions and sip hyenas" —Royce 5'9"
"You're havin' a little trouble fathomin' this is actually happenin/Like Anderson Silva back when he snapped his shin in half/And then had the shit hangin' by a flap of skin/After he tried to plant the shit back on the mat again" —Eminem
"I'm from the streets where the odds are not even/Robbery, thievin', ballers, debauchery, schemin'/The lie of Jesus is hard to believe/I'm a product of Eve in the garden of Eden" —Royce 5'9"
"All this industry shit is (dumb) there ain’t no middle class/Raise yo glass, here's to classism/Either you a rich-ass nigga or you’s a bum, there ain’t no in-between/Sinners sell they souls, angels sell they halos and they wings" —Royce 5'9"
"Uh, me and little homie, we was walking to the store/It was right there on the corner and we seen a guy that's homeless/He was wrapped up in a blanket, he was lookin' really cold/Then he asked us for some change and he asked us if we know/Who had the cocaine" —Royce 5'9"
"Nothing compared to our family trips/My uncle shook hands with a manly grip/All this hand-me-down-shit; I had had an uncanny fit/All the gangstas I had in my family had me anti-bitch/My granddaddy mistress caught the business from my granny fist" —Royce 5'9"
"Calling up hoes like we was Jodeci, let’s check her/Double D’s like double-deckers, I wanna sex her/But these keys don’t come with game on how to finesse her/Five semesters left until college, I’m under pressure/I’m not a real nigga ’til I undress her, I gotta ‘press her" —J. Cole
"While I sit in orbit, I'm not getting better, I'm just getting started/Started, I'm just getting, I just flipped it, like I do all my competition" —Royce 5'9"
"Grind all winter, shine all summer/Life's a bitch and I'm tryna keep you slime balls from her/Any leaks, we gon' fix it, none of mine call plumbers/Nina to your chest player like nine y'all number/We Rondo niggas, real recognize real, you John Doe nigga/I made a closet out of a condo, nigga" —Fabolous
"Same little boy used to walk to the corner store/Who used to get the Funyun chips, who ended up, dumb, young and rich/I had young parents but they both were strict/I had a superstitious granddad, wait, scratch that, crazy granddad/I seen him turn his hat around three times/Drive his car around the corner three times in reverse/Just 'cause he crossed paths with a black cat" —Royce 5'9"
"All these wanna-scheme-ass niggas/Old-basketball-shorts-under-jean-ass niggas need to know/I'm a product of a dead poet rhyming at his low/Equals Maya Angelou, my emphatic flow can rise the status quo/Lying on the padded floor, addict at it's best/Eradicated from the fabricated" —Royce 5'9"
"I went to parties just for Bacardi, I tricked I never danced/All my friends expected to be treated just as my next of kin/Eyebrows lift up if I'm out with them and let them spin/The question is, 'How is y'all problems becoming my problems?'/I'm already hiding all of my problems behind my pop' problems" —Royce 5'9"
"I stuck to my promise to momma/Stay focused, double entendre/I'm tryna vocally smoke you, you will be missed/The hocus, the pocus, magician doing tricks in his miserable business/Who spit, loyalty, forgiveness through biblical scripts" —Royce 5'9"
"I’m fly as a dive in the sky in a harness/Anyone alive sleeping on me can die in pajamas/Police call me a threat to society, though I am a promise/I am a one-of-one like I’d say a Isaiah Thomas/You can’t fathom thinking deep enough to sink the abyss/You think you 'Pac, I’m thinking of sinking your Demetrius Shipp/Only thing that I can’t fathom is why the preacher is rich" —Royce 5'9"
"I gave my momma some money so she can go out and gamble/God only put on me, what he know that I can handle" —Royce 5'9"
"This where Confucius started thugging that, uh/This Metro Boomin mixed with Thundercat, uh/That’s where my niggas gain they muscle at, uh/Somebody eating off your plate, how you gon' stomach that?" —Boogie
"Rihanna stalker, I'm parked in her DMs, shark in the deep end/Put the paws on you, I soften your defense" —Royce 5'9"
"Turn yourself in, it's even worse when they scoop you/See the Jake, don't hit the brake, just go to neutral/Barbecues, white-yacht parties, that's what he used to/Pool halls, clubs and cribs, that's what he shoot through" —Jadakiss
"Cruising in that Wraith, dawg, like we came to offend haters/Shoot a nigga face off like his neighbor is Tim Taylor" —Royce 5'9"