Royce da 5'9
Street Hop


3.0
good

Review

by Sobhi Youssef EMERITUS
November 1st, 2009 | 12 replies


Release Date: 2009 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The rare occasion when a prior mixtape release outshines the actual LP.

It's been a busy year for the Slaughterhouse collective; besides dropping their long-awaited, self-titled, disappointing debut - nearly each member has dropped a solo joint. From Joe Budden's mediocre series of look-I'm-so-crazy themed records to Crooked I's promising Mr. Pig Face Weapon Waist EP, nothing has made an impact outside of the group LP... well, until (kind of) Royce da 5'9"s oft-postponed Street Hop. Supposedly due for release in Q1 2009, Royce instead decided to merely whet the appetite of fan and critic alike with July's The Revival EP. Sputnikmusic's own Jared Dillon lauded the effort, praising Royce's verbal assault, while expounding frustration at his poor beat selection. So here we are in October, and Street Hop is finally here - after a delay so lengthy, shouldn't there exist at least a modicum of quality control?

Unfortunately, not only are the cuts off The Revival here in full (a complete EP faux pas and slap to the face of all those who purchased it), but it also seems as if no serious thought went into further beat selection. Initially advertised as a coming out party of sorts by way of legendary DJ Premier, even Premo's contributions sound liked phoned in B-Sides. In fact, besides relative no-names Emile and FreQuency, the remaining menagerie of productions is inconsistent at best; where Nottz and Mr. Porter put forth bangers in "Street Hop 2010" and "Mine In Thiz" respectively, in other moments they either fall flat on their face or are complimented with amateurish hooks and choruses. Indeed, this disconnect between vocalist and producer is most notably embarrassing on Street Hop as a whole; this poor composition is a serious and unforgivable flaw. The mainstream dabbling of "Something 2 Ride 2" and "New Money" specifically are points of contention, providing vivid examples of these grievous detractors. That's not to say Royce da 5'9" can't still rap circles around anyone and even put out an interesting club joint - barring Busta Rhymes' intrusion (to say the least), "Dinner Time" is one of his most innovative cuts since 2008's "Losing Out", while "Bad Boy" is a brilliant electro-come-dancehall romp. "Soldier" creatively meshes his signature lyricism with a unique FreQuency beat, while the duology (in reverse order?) of "On the Run" and "Murder" shows fleeting glimpses of what this release could have been. But even then, the unfunny and unnecessarily lengthy skit of the former proves that when Street Hop does something right, it tries its hardest to do something wrong in opposition.

One would think three months would give ample time to sort out sequencing flaws, trim the fat, and put out a top-notch product; yet in the case of Street Hop, this couldn't be further from the truth. Nineteen lazily arranged tracks and nearly fifty percent filler later, this is a far cry from the excellent Death Is Certain - but more importantly (or frustratingly), this isn't the classic fans were expecting. This is the rare occasion when a prior mixtape release outshines the actual LP, as The Album is a much better product as a whole.



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user ratings (39)
Chart.
3.4
great
other reviews of this album
Askar S Imam (3.5)
"This is Street Hop, no rules, The rest of y'all niggaz watered down like O'Douls, I'm willin to do ...


Comments:Add a Comment 
kingsoby1
Emeritus
November 1st 2009


4950 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

So disappointing... this is barely a 3, more like a 2.8.

Bulldog
November 1st 2009


3796 Comments


Well written, I just don't see the button. You say so much with so little.

Willie
Moderator
November 1st 2009


16049 Comments


There is no button - staff are above such criticism ;)

Digging: Skrew - Universal Immolation

kingsoby1
Emeritus
November 1st 2009


4950 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

a footnote for illmitch: the bun b guest spot is cool, but really limited. also, i don't think he'd jive well the slaughterhouse collective.

edit: and thanks bulldog. even though there's no button, it's good to see people actually reading my reviews ha

Tits McGee
November 1st 2009


1876 Comments


good read man. i've never really paid to much attention to any of Royce's work, and this doesn't look that appealing to me, idk why

kingsoby1
Emeritus
November 1st 2009


4950 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

i was really excited for this record.

check out Death is Certain; it's really good.

theacademy
Staff Reviewer
November 1st 2009


28645 Comments


i thought album was good...3rd best rap album of 2009 imo

Digging: Jessie Ware - Tough Love

hydeyomoney
November 1st 2009


934 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

check out Death is Certain; it's really good.


that is quite an awesome album i agree.

foreverendeared
November 2nd 2009


14678 Comments


hey Sobhi, you listened to the new Tech N9ne album yet? It's incredibly good. By the way, great review as always

SlyJak
November 2nd 2009


68 Comments


Sobhi,

You are now my least favorite hip hop reviewer. I have to admit you are very well written, and your brevity and use of language is exquisite - yet I rarely AGREE with you. In fact the ONLY review of yours I agree with is the OBFCL2.

This album is at least a four to me. (dont even get me started on scoring this higher than "Us") Still, I'll keep reading your reviews. I now know that a middling review from you may as well be a recommendation for me. Thanks!

kingsoby1
Emeritus
November 2nd 2009


4950 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

different strokes man, sorry. i feel like i explain my perspectives pretty well.

I think I illustrated that Royce and Ali are awesome rappers and that I was really looking forward to their records... I'm just not one of those reviewers that gives everything new a great score. Half this record is good, a third of Us was good.

Funeralopolis
September 21st 2014


11565 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

wow super nostalgia, I forgot this guy existed, this was one of my first hip hop albums I ever heard!

Digging: Black Milk - If There's a Hell Below



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