Royce 5’9’s Verbal Calisthenics Show That Wrecking MCs Is A Light Workout (Audio)
Over the last few years, Royce 5’9″ has enjoyed an epic resurgence. Since gaining his sobriety in 2013, Royce has formed PRhyme, his potent duo with DJ Premier, released one of last year’s most well-received albums, in Layers, and delivered punishing line after punishing line on this year’s Bar Exam 4 mixtape. In between, he also has managed to pen several memorable guest verses, along with holding down his duties as one-fourth of Slaughterhouse.
For his latest, he joins Nolan The Ninja on “Calisthenics,” and, together, they go to work on the competition. Nolan, who also produced the track, kicks things off and he spits like his life depends on it. Not looking to be outdone by his fellow Detroit native, Nolan raps like he belongs, but still sends Royce, and others from his era, respect. “A year ago, I was playing PRhyme / Now, I got Nickel Nine on the line, routin’ for me to shine / It’s real ’cause now the veterans see me as brethren / F*ck being pressured ’cause I’ma catch wreck when I snap necks, let ’em know I’m next.”
Next, it’s Nickel Nine’s time to shine, and he does not disappoint. He raps “I got no time to get telling lies from these jealous guys / While I try to vibe to Big L and Nas / Makaveli / Ready To Die, watching Belly / That sh*t is like my daily exercise / Shots fired, check your vitals, check your child, nobody check out / Might want to check your bowels.” Royce also namechecks Nolan at the end of his verse, showing the respect he has for the young spitter.
In 2015, Ambrosia For Heads spotlighted Nolan The Ninja as an MC to watch. Two years later, his light is shining brightly.