Royce 5’9 Rates The Bars Of Today’s Rappers & It Gets Ugly (Video)

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Royce 5’9 has secured a place at the top of Hip-Hop’s present day songwriters. The Detroit, Michigan MC has proven exceptional at writing from personal places and, at times, simply showing off wordplay, clever punchlines, and cunning jabs at lesser lyricists.

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Now, the Bar Exam creator (volume 4 dropped last month) does just that, with his peers. He is handed cards with excerpts of verses, without knowing the identity of the artist, and asked to rate them on a 5-point scale. In the batch is his Bad Meets Evil partner Eminem, his Slaughterhouse cohort Joe Budden, foe-turned-friend Proof, and famed Em’ nemesis Benzino (including a diss verse). Also in the mix is Earl Sweatshirt, Yelawolf, Ugly God, and Lil Pump. Spoiler alert: he doles out a “5” to himself.

Along the way, Nickel Nine is unafraid to hands out a “0” to a rapper. In another sampling, he analyzes’ XXXTentacion’s “Look At Me” with a technical critique. He also laughs at some of the messaging from Ugly God, but declares “This is terrible messaging, but it’s put together [in a way that is] dope.” With Earl Sweatshirt, Royce grades a “2,” which may draw some attention. Notably, the veteran judges the lines off of the way he reads them. He also admits that if 2 Chainz were to spit the same bars, it’d be heat.

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Some previous “Rate The Bars” guests have been more polite. Royce stays true to the type of lyricism he stands for and does not mince words or consider politics. He joins Raekwon, who graded some of his Wu-Tang Clansmen, and Rah Digga who pulled no punches in a Nicki Minaj evaluation.