Respect Royce da 5’9″

Detroit Rapper's Latest with Eminem Inspires

BY: Rudie Obias

Caterpillar” is the new single from Detroit native Royce da 5′9” (whose real name is Ryan Daniel Montgomery) from the rapper’s seventh studio album Book of Ryan. The song features a clever hook from singer King Green, while long-time collaborator and friend Eminem contributes a hot verse. Man, this song is FIRE!

Starting with the words from soul and jazz poet Gil Scott-Heron’sThe Revolution Will Not Be Televised,” the song rocks with a steady beat, while it raises in rhymes about empowerment and respect through the lens of professionalism in hip-hop. It’s a very thoughtful and considered look at Royce’s career as a whole with deep seeded triumphs over family dysfunction and addiction with lyrics like,

“Never let someone who’s not as smart as you
Gas you up and tell you something you never knew
Always stay professional
You always gon’ make revenue
Don’t let people next to you that don’t want what’s best for you.”

The music video, directed by James Larese, takes the song and performances and places them against imagery of a caterpillar battling a butterfly. This deepens the metaphor and perfectly captures the themes and lyrical style of Royce da 5′9” and Eminem.

However, in the remix of “Caterpillar,” which is available as a bonus track, Eminem’s verse is replaced with one from Logic, who raps about racism, materialism, and mental health. Honestly, I prefer Eminem’s verse, which is a question between skill vs. raw emotion. And I’m giving the edge to the former.

“Logic is on the ‘Caterpillar’ remix,” Royce told Complex. “He’s spitting that brutal honesty and he spit for like 50-something bars. It’s one of those shut-the-internet-down-for-a-couple-of-days verses for sure. I’m proud of him for that one.”

Book of Ryan is out now! Both versions of “Caterpillar” are available on Spotify and YouTube.