Later this month, Eminem will be releasing his new double-disc Shady XV album that will feature one CD with all brand new songs from the Shady Records lineup and one CD of the label's greatest hits. To help build the anticipation, Shady has put together a special series of cyphers that will showcase different members of the label doing what they do best.
With home turf instead of a beat to rap on, Crooked I, Joe Budden, Yelawolf, Joell Ortiz, Royce Da 5'9", and Eminem each spit their verses a cappella. Who had the best? Let us know, but first, a primer:
Location: Long Beach, California
Best line: “I smoke philosophy, I snort science / That mean I’m higher than higher learning / Look in my eyes, that’s where the fire burning.”
Kxng Crooked takes us for a lap within his always active, deeply lyrical mind in his verse.
Location: Jersey City, New Jersey
Best line: “These n***** only want to ask me if the verse if ready / Not a how do I feel, not a how do I deal / If that’s life n****, then how is it real?”
Budden has always been one to flesh out his feelings in his music, and this cypher verse is no different. There’s a whole lot on his mind away from the mic that he vents about here.
Location: Gasden, Alabama
Best line: “I got my name on a bath robe / And the flame on the back porch is lit / Guess who’s coming to dinner? Andre 3000 and Hank the Third, go figure.”
Yelawolf isn’t lighting up the blogosphere like he was in 2010, but he’s doing just fine. Let his verse set against a picturesque southern farm remind you that he’s still relevant (dinner with Andre 3000 must be nice) and cashing checks.
Best line: “I don’t like to divide dough / So I multiply flow and subtract maggots.”
Joell Ortiz’s verse comes against the calm of the East River, but his verse carries plenty of irritation and angst—he’s definitely plotting on the bigger picture right now, and he’s letting us know.
Royce Da 5’9”
Best line: “We both got marketing plans / Yours is to sell records and try to net more than you grossed before / Mine is to punch you in your face if you ever disrespect me and then go and invest it in a grocery store.”
Nickel’s verse is extremely apathetic, but insightful nonetheless. He claims that, “the person I had a bond with was a bail bondsman,” and that the only celebrity who gives less of a fuck than him is Marshawn Lynch. Eminem lurks in the background during Royce’s verse, seemingly stepping side-to-side in approval of his bars.
Best line: Not Applicable
RAP GOD, NO QUESTIONS ASKED. JUST WATCH HIM.