Royce 5’9 Announces “Bar Exam 4” & Its 1st Single Is A Lyrical Lesson (Audio)

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A decade ago, Royce 5’9 released what proved to be the first installment of a mixtape series, Bar Exam, a project which showcased the former battle rapper’s prodigious abilities, and the mic destroyer blood cursing through his veins. It’s been seven years since its most recent chapter dropped, but today (June 19), Nickel has announced Bar Exam 4, and its first single alone is enough evidence that class is, once again, in session.

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On “C Delores,” no doubt a reference to civil-rights activist C. Delores Tucker (whose notoriously harsh words about “Gangsta Rap” are used as a frame of reference), the Detroit MC pummels through bars about Hip-Hop’s endless ability to survive through misplaced criticism and unjust representation – but he also uses the song to place blame at the feet of wack rappers. Atop Lupe Fiasco’s “Mural,” he delivers a spoken-word-esque introductory statement before teaching a serious lesson in rhyme. “We started off as targets, we had the Congress mad at the whole genre / Tryin’ to get rid of us, now it’s like we not even tryin’ to be good,” he says before launching into the kind of lyrical tirade that defies linguistic parameters and creative limitations other artists are shackled by.

Spot a wack producer from across the room  /Walk up to him, smack his hookah across the moon / Break a platinum plaque over a rapper back / Go and toss that b*tch into a dark lagoon / Go into the heart of the art form with a harpoon / They ain’t skilled enough to stand in a field with us / You gon’ have to retire me / It’s only like four or five of you rappers who can actually inspire me / I be out here telling the truth, I should sign my autograph with a polygraph,” he spits.

As announced by DatPiffBar Exam 4 drops tomorrow, June 20.