In his book, There’s a God on the Mic: The True 50 Greatest MC’s, Kool Moe Dee declares that the substantive MC will always have an advantage. Webster’s dictionary defines substance as an essential nature, or a fundamental or characteristic part or quality. Kool comes from a time where your braggadocio was mixed in with your concerns for your social environment, distrust of the government, and affinity for the opposite sex. Substance doesn’t necessarily mean being “conscious”, it just means being distinct or understood. You can be a gangster rapper of substance, or just be yourself and still be substantive. The only time you aren’t substantive is when you fail to convey anything that identifies you.
Cyhi Da Prynce makes himself an example of whom the substantive MC has the advantage over on his new mixtape Royal Flush 2. An Insubstantial rapper, his jokey battle style doesn’t translate that well on to record. One of the few ongoing themes of the mixtape is his affinity for taking other people’s women. At first I shrugged it off, everyone deserves a few gag songs, BUT this tape is 20 tracks deep and 94% of it is devoted to threatening the sanctity of the listener’s relationship to his beloved. Songs like “Emotional” and “Sunday Morning” are not the exception, but the rule. “Emotional” is where the theme collapses on itself, Cyhi laughs and mocks male listeners for getting so emotional for his shorty seducing hijinks. After a while, instead of being annoyed, you begin to genuinely wonder: does Cyhi understand human relationships at all?
Cyhi only insinuates meaningful dialogue. Midway through “End of the Night” he is picking up someone’s girl (not mine), and she confesses to being in a physically abusive relationship. For a brief moment, he find himself having an honest moment with her, telling her “it’s better to lose a lover then to love a loser” but he takes her home, beds her, and that’s it. It inevitably takes this potentially genuine moment, and turns it into a line used to pick her up. Anything goes in the game of picking up other people’s women.
The production on this mixtape is some of my favorite of the year. J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League predominates the mixtape, bringing along NO ID, Big Fruit, and so many other talented producers to craft some brilliantly head nodding, cutting edge production. Still, regardless of the fantastic sound bed he has, Cyhi fails to deliver the goods most of the time. Almost every guest rapper sounds better than he does. Yelawolf has a great delivery and a passion that Cyhi never has on “Bulletproof”, and up and comers like Pill, B.O.B, all outshine the main act, and Pusha T especially obliterates “Thousand Poundz” with a verse so terse and hostile that it grabs you. He’s the only one on GOOD Music who can do that.
Girl stealing and failed puns aside, the worst, most annoying part of this mixtape is the skits. Each one consists of Cyhi rambling about being royalty over fluttering and horns. You’re not sure if it’s a joke or if he’s serious- but if it is a joke it’s not funny. Self-important and incoherent, these interludes become a perfect example of the deep problems with Royal Flush 2
I’ve given my favorite and least favorite Cyhi jokes and the songs they come from.
“New Girl”- “Let me kiss your mouth while I squeeze you butt”
“Sunday Morning”- “Swinging wood like I’m playing cricket”
“Woopty Doo”- “Don’t hate, cause I’ve never been a Confederate guy”
“So Emotional”- “I heard she a meat eater, man we call that bitch a T-rex”
“So Emotional”-“but I don’t sweat these hoes, that’s why I pack a towel”
“Cold as Ice” – “I’m from the Middle East/ you ain’t ran the streets that I Ran”
– Dan- O
You can Download Royale Flush 2 at the address below.
Cyhi Da Prynce
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