Alright ya’ll so I decided to break down Royce da 5’9, Layers, layer by layer. This is a track by track review. All this is my instant reaction and thoughts. All first verse, All first verse. I chose this because I want all the reaction and emotion to get through to you. Too many people are filtered and political. I’m just going to be real as real can get with each track. Let’s get it.
1. “Tabernacle” (prod. by S1 and J. Rhodes)
This is the lead track and first single off the Layers album. Royce paints the most realistic picture with words of his life that his humanly possible. The song’s details are so deep; its unbelievable. S1 did an epic job on the beat; it gives a church feel and fuses with the emotions Royce’s verses perfectly. I loved this song when Royce first released it and still do. This song has lots of replay value.
2. “Pray” (prod. by Mr. Porter)
Royce and Mr. Porter continue with the church theme on “Pray”. It starts with a child praying for all those who are in need. You have to keep in mind that we live in an age where the third verse is almost unnecessary because so many artist can’t keep the audience engaged that long due to lack of vocabulary and talent; the lack of lyricism in today’s artist is very apparent. Royce hits you with 4 verses that are completely noteworthy and quotable. But what else do you expect from the best quarter of the slaughter. Yes, I said it.
Don’t pray for me, pray for respect
Pray to get something different from rich and away from your debt
N*gga, I’m straight to cassette
Y’all digital, y’all about as physical as finger under some balls, coughin’ while taking a test
Too many artists get mistaken with best
Cause they on the charts, you sleepin’ on me, I’ll come and wake you to death
While I pray against all the violence and shootin’
ISIS got Obama sittin’ down with Vladimir Putin
-Royce da 5’9, Pray
3. “Hard (What Was I Thinking)” (prod. by Antman)
Ok, Im in the intro and this song already has a feel that would make it epic live. The build up is crazy. I’m waiting for the beat to drop, but the anticipation from the first drum is just wild. OMFG! THIS SONG is NUTS! I’m diggin this song so much but laughing so hard because how Royce goes from his intro to the hook. When Royce said he’d have all his enemies look in the mirror and see the crying Jordan me with all of their tears…Bruh! Royce is showing out on this album.That third verse though. Sheesh! If you love lyrics and got a REAL love for bars; Hard might make you throw your phone at the wall. The song is bananas. Shoutout to ANTMAN!
4. “Starter Coat” (prod. by Mr. Porter)
This beat got that grimy 90’s feel, and I love it. The title alone puts me back in the days when Starter jackets were on every kids’ Christmas list; with a matching hat. If you not from this era, you can’t fully grasp the feel of this song. This song is crazy. Royce telling Billboard to put some Respek on Pac’s name. Talk that TOP 5 DEAD OR ALIVE sh*t.
If ‘Pac ain’t on your list then you ain’t fuckin’ logical
I’m talkin’ up the shit, not no fuckin’ 5 or 4
What you gon’ tell me when I tell you ‘Pac introduced me to the fuckin’ UNLV Starter coat
-Royce da 5’9, Pray
5. “Wait” (prod. by Jake One)
Royce flow on this just to ill. And the Patois “Let dem wait”. It all just combines with the JakeOne beat so well. I can definitely sit back and vibe to this on my own with no problem. Nickle definitely got a way of putting words together that can go over heads easily. Those over the head bars are what I love and make me play songs over and over.
I get into bitches quick and then I get distracted
I’m like the stock market, just like that, my interest crashes
-Royce Da 5’9, Wait
6. “Shine” (Skit)
The skit through me off but this song comes in with a great vibe. Royce starts singing again. I’m having flashbacks of the Bar Exam days when he did, In The Club. For those who don’t know Nickle-9 can actually sing. I’m trying to tell you. I can’t tell you how Royce can change his flow so many times and NOT fall off beat. Dope song.
Hip-hop is my house; watch these philosophies win
Around artists I stand out like I locked my keys in
I forgot my goal at twenty-three was make a classic
Walk away like Tiger with my nine iron then take the master’s
-Royce da 5’9, Shine
8. “Lincoln” (Skit)
….. I don’t need no rubber ’cause I’m raw. LMFAO
9. “Flesh” (prod. by DJ Khalil)
Royce got one of the craziest flows in the game. This beat give me a feel of what Willie Dynamite and Ron O’neal theme would be in 2016. Royce up here losing his mind on this song. It’s just crazy. The punchlines and some of these bars are insane. Hold on, I’m running this back.
My flow so heaven sent
When I go to heaven, I’ma go “Heaven here you go”
I’ma go tell God “I know I promised that I’d never steal your flow”, I lied
-Royce da 5’9, Flesh
I’m just vibing out to this interlude right now. Be back with ya’ll right after this. Don’t know who singing….but she can sang.
11. “Misses (On My Line)” (prod. by DJ Khalil)
Smh. Ain’t nothing worse than a side chick who want to be the main chick. Side dishes can’t the entree. Bench players can’t be starters. Sorry, but yeah. Royce goes in on this track. First song on Layers, Nickle’s in storytelling mode. Its a dope one. Not your typical love story, and damn sure not a story we aren’t familiar to hearing. Gotta hate when a woman flip the script on you. Shoutout to K-Young coming through on the hook too.
All I heard through the screaming
Was something about me following chicks on Snapchat
And her having pics of me and her in the sack last
And she ’bout to go sell it to a site
She even told me she already sent an email to my wife
Damn, my lil misses blackmailing me and shit
I guess she fell for the hype
-Royce da 5’9, Misses
12. “Dope!” (prod. by DJ Pain 1)
This dude Lincoln is stupid funny. I’m weak. LMFAO. On the real, the song slows down from the rest of the album but the song comes alive when Loren Oden comes on. Royce rides the track so smooth. This song will be heavy for those in the trap.
I just had a job interview, they asked if I ever been to jail before
I said “Yes” then I got up and left, like fuck this shit I’mma sell dope
Cause right now I’m dead broke
-Royce da 5’9, Dope!
13. “America” (prod. by S1)
S1 come back and gives a straight banger. Words can’t describe how hype this beat got me. Nickel didn’t hold back on the hook or his verses. The message is deeper than you think, but you’ll see. The track will get everyone on their feet but at the same time excite some minds. So far this my favorite on the album. You’ll see what I mean.
The fact that y’all living is crazy cause alcoholism got black people tapping out quicker than Savion Glover
And we ain’t no Avión lovers
We dying each time that the Hennessy pours
Our plugs are the mothers on the other side of our umbilical cords
-Royce da 5’9, America
14. “Layers” ft. Rick Ross & Pusha T (prod. by Mr. Porter)
Time for the title track. I’m already hype by Pusha T verse. Son is talking that talk. This one of his best verses honestly. Mr. Porter put his foot in this beat. Can’t stop nodding. Wait! Nickle is second on the beat? He not batting cleanup? What’s going on here? Royce is killing this verse though. Never been that big a fan of Rick Ross but this mafioso/trap style is ill. His voice is overpowering; so I see how he can bat clean up. Dope verse from Ross. Rozay must be studying Cuban Linx 101 right now. This song in my top 5 on the album.
I’m in bed with three major labels
And I ain’t talkin’ ’bout wearing clothing brands
Underground locomotive man
Putting on a global show that no promoter can
I philosophize with wise words from learned lessons
In my world mistakes turns to blessings
The hate turned to destiny
I’m saying Lord Jesus while the Lord’s most gorgeous creatures take turns blessing me
-Royce da 5’9, Layers
15. “Quiet” (prod. by Mr. Porter)
Royce spitting so many bars but out her showing out on this beat. I can picture Royce milli rockin’ in the booth but still barring the hell out of Mr. Porter’s track. This is crazy. Tiara out here with some clever lines. Definitely have to get familiar with her. Nickle back with another verse and some crazy metaphors. Braille spikes? N*gga what? Best quarter of the slaughter. Don’t make me say it again.
I’m the last of a dying breed that I’m out here killing off
Four of my closest friends don’t know their papas so I pull out rows of dollars to show ’em these real forefathers peelin’ off
-Royce da 5’9, Quiet
16. “Gottaknow” (prod. by Mr. Porter)
Track starts with a 21 gun salute and Wutang reference. I’m already amped for this. Royce ain’t even a minute in the song already switching flows and haymaker bars. Royce really TALKING to us on this one. Royce switched flows AGAIN and DOUBLE TIMING! Im about to throw this keyboard and leave. This song is top 5. Personally my favorite. I got one more song to go. Mad this album coming to an album.
Who said I couldn’t buy my way into heaven?
All I need is a bottle, a couple dollars, a couple people that’ll keep me company
And who love misery as much as me
-Royce da 5’9, Gotta know
17. “Off” (prod. by Mr. Porter)
Royce is signing off on this track and summarizing all his industry ups and downs. Can’t believe Royce been in the game almost since Kobe became a Laker. Nickle comparing the difference from the times of cassettes to iTunes. Damn, its really fading out. Smh. Is there a bonus track. Wait. Maybe is there a hidden track like back in the days and I have to wait 5 minutes or fast forward? Smh. No hidden track. It’s really over.
I’m a real nigga
I done lost a lot of friends over the years
I’ve been losing a lot of hair
Been told that I’m out my mind
But if you only knew what was inside it
You too would choose to stay out of there
-Royce da 5’9, Off
Go get layers here:
WAIT!!!! HOLD THE HELL UP!
No Slaughterhouse Collab?