Royce Da 5’9 - Shake This
2009 is shaping up to be a great year for fans of Detroit rap. With Slim Shady‘s long-awaited Relapse slated for release this coming March, there’s no question that the city will be enjoying some much-deserved time in the spotlight. No discussion of Motor City hip-hop would be complete, however, without mentioning industry vet Royce da 5’9, whose fifth studio album, Street Hop, is also scheduled to drop that month. The project’s lead single, Shake This, has a slightly misleading title – the record isn’t about the sort of shaking that goes down on the dance floor, but rather the shaking-off of negative influences. Royce spends his verses sketching out several autobiographical scenes, jumping from his birth to his 2006 incarceration and ending by describing to euphoria he felt upon his release from jail. With the help of superproducer DJ Premier‘s vibrant, melodic beat, the emcee proves his abilities as a storyteller, spinning a powerful, involving tale of redemption.