Royce 5’9 Follows His Best Album With One Of His Most Powerful Videos
Royce 5’9 released what many fans consider to be the best album of his career in 2018. Already solidified as one of Hip-Hop’s top-tier lyricists, the MC’s seventh solo LP demonstrated tremendous growth both as a man and an artist. Book Of Ryan is widely recognized as one of the best Hip-Hop albums that released in the year 2018. Nickel Nine used the moment as a way to open up about his life and his views on the world as a child and as a man.
Although the Heaven Studios release involved high-profile guests including Bad Meets Evil partner Eminem, J. Cole, and Logic, many of the keystone songs are by Royce 5’9 alone. “Cocaine” is one of these gripping highlights. Mixing DJ Khalil’s evocative production (including scratches) with personal songwriting and a rich, pained vocal, this record truly sets a new bar for the MC. Despite the word “cocaine” being harmonized by Royce, you can hear the sorrow that the word represents to him. He also questions if his father’s past battles with the substance could be the root of his own struggles with alcohol and run-ins with the law.
In the just-released “Cocaine” music video, the childhood scenes detailed in the song come to life. Viewers witness the pain and secrecy in the Montgomery home as they pertain to Royce’s dad. The camera travels with a boyhood Royce to the Buick Regal glove-box discovery and finding the bag. An unforgettable conversation ensues. Moments later, a child is in the yard donning a football uniform, waiting for his preoccupied father. That absence is a recurring theme, as the power of their later embrace shows the love and need in the son’s life. Some great acting by “young Royce” and “his father” only enhance the power of the song.
The sequence blends the black-and-white past with the Royce of today. He is in a sunny, beachfront environment, reflecting. The colors are bright, and his movements are positive, as he knows that his father gave up cocaine for the family, as a testament to his love. The lyrics tell us so. However, the journey that got him there was not easy. The song is a somber and captivating reflection on choices, life, secrets, addiction, and growing up too damn fast.
Previously, he made visuals for “Caterpillar,” “Summer On Lock,” and “Boblo Boat.” In addition to Book Of Ryan, Royce and DJ Premier released PRhyme 2 (using sounds created by AntMan Wonder). He also appeared on albums by Benny The Butcher, Apollo Brown & Joell Ortiz, and Eminem, among others.
Additional Reporting by Jake Paine.