There’s a brilliant bit in “Where My Money” when Detroit rapper Royce da 5’9” throws hip-hop down the stairs, claiming he’s the genre’s “landlord” and that he’s going to get that money out, Joe Pesci style. From that Rolls Royce parked outside the Detroit Savings Bank to the numerous references about being ignored by the industry, Success Is Certain seems another near-concept album from the artist who has complained about this for years, but this time the attitude is a streetwise spin on the Law of Attraction, as if Royce could thug-charm money into jumping in his pocket. Musically, the results are a brighter, tighter, yet more elaborate version of the man’s best work, with tracks like “Security” and “Merry Go Round” sounding both flashy and meaty at once. Brand-new flavors come when “My Own Planet” apes the early Prince style of funk, while the mystical, stately monster the Alchemist lays under “I Ain’t Coming Down” is entirely unique, as are the handful of Mr. Porter-helmed cuts that dot the record. Joe Budden (fellow Slaughterhouse crew member) and Eminem (new label boss/recently reunited partner in crime) both help Royce celebrate his recent upturn in attitude, and with little influence from outside the inner circle, Success Is Certain plays out like a fan-aimed album designed to bridge the man’s dark past with his bright future, or a right-sized (11 tracks) Shady soundtrack for the supposed “Detroit Renaissance” of 2011.
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AllMusic Review by David Jeffries