The Bar Exam (Explicit)
by Royce Da 5'9
Released: May 2007
Label: Traffic Entertainment/Showoff/M.I.C.
With DJ Premier on the boards, Sanjaya would sound hard. But in the hands of Detroit emcee Royce Da 5'9", Primo's beats are brutal collusions of dam-breaking rhythm and rapid-fire one-liners. Royce is old-school; he eschews the coke raps for wit and technique ("Haven't taken an L since I took an L to the head"). Lead single "Hit 'Em" is one of the few new beats, but it's hard to complain about the Midwest's finest emcee rhyming over classic beats "Nas Is Like" and "Million and One Questions." Be sure to check the remix of "Sound the Alarm," produced by newcomer Black Milk.