Royce da 5'9
Death is Certain


4.5
superb

Review

by Joe Schmoh USER (73 Reviews)
November 29th, 2009 | 11 replies | 7,983 views


Release Date: 2004 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Cold raindrops hitting your head after a terrible day, this is what Death Is Certain sounds like.

Death is Certain speaks volumes of Royce Da 5’9”. Before this effort, there was a certain playfulness about Royce Da 5’9 that sort of balanced out and made his records enjoyable on such efforts as Rock City 2.0 and Street Hop. Despite that lack of playful balance, Royce’s pain stated on Death Is Certain makes it not only Royce’s best effort lyrically, but his best album over his entire career. How is this? Well, Death Is Certain is a record of painful misbalance, like life, it never resolves the pain at the end of the record with a ballad at the end. It’s completely consistent in mood; Royce is a very angry rapper.

And yet, it works for Death Is Certain, even the records cheerier moments, like the cowboy western soundtrack of “Gangsta” or the odd mood dissonance of the Spanish vocals in “Everybody Goes”, contain a very fierce and gun toting Royce Da 5’9” who has sort of both given up on the good in people and is on the prowl to kill. The closest the record gets to a ballad is “Death Is Certain pt. 2 (It Hurts)”, which is melancholy tune detailing a desperate Royce Da 5’9” dealing with a dyeing friend. The albums best moments where Royce is mentioning family or getting as angry as possible, and as such the albums best track, and Royce’s best song, is the swirling epic closer “Something’s Wrong With Him”, where Royce even names that his own wife has a strong distaste of his music.

For an underground album, Death Is Certain’s production value is oddly high. Each track, while not matching the high quality of the mainstream, it by no means get in the ways of Royce angry verses, which take more of a literal sense then a series of metaphoric punches and punchlines more like his earlier material. Other than the classical humping “Throwback” and the odd transitions of the tropical “What I Know”, the album continues a certain quality control, with beats ranging from the dramatic violins of Premier’s masterpiece “Hip Hop”, to the subtle, moody chants of the decent “Bomb 1st”.

Death is Certain is a Royce Da 5’9’’ masterpiece, and almost uniformly consistent and sounds like a cohesive whole as opposed to just a bunch of parts. Death Is Certain is more than the sum of its parts, and although some songs entirely shine, as an entire record it fits together well into one piece that tells the tale of Royce’s life at this point. Royce Da 5’9” is completely serious and switches from gun toting to brutal honesty to depressing tales of passing friends. With this effort, Royce truly opens himself with his lyrics in a way that is rarely done, and thus makes his best record as of yet.



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user ratings (45)
Chart.
3.8
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
hydeyomoney
November 29th 2009



934 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

this isn't that great but this needed a review so ehh.

one of my favorite records ever.

kingsoby1
Emeritus
November 29th 2009



4950 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

if its one of your favorites then shouldnt it be a 5

hydeyomoney
November 29th 2009



934 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

i have favorites from 4.5 to 5.

Roach
November 29th 2009



2149 Comments


not necessarily sobhi

hydeyomoney
November 29th 2009



934 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

oh hai kane cooper.

Bulldog
November 29th 2009



3796 Comments


Really good descriptiveness. Pos'd this. You described the album well and painted a picture of what it's like, but didn't go into extensive detail about specifics. If that makes sense. Good review.

qwe3
November 29th 2009



21355 Comments


dammit now i gotta get this sometime too. good review as usual. its cool to have more than one user
putting out consistently good hip hop reviews

HighandDriving
November 30th 2009



3276 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Royce's best album, Regardless is such a sick track.

Roach
November 30th 2009



2149 Comments



oh hai kane cooper.


howdy hi!

Hawks
December 10th 2010



35446 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Was not expecting to like this as much as I do.

Digging: Sun Worship - Elder Giants

Cadda
October 11th 2011



162 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I love this so much



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