The King's A Ruler, The Ruler Rules | Album Review Of Crown Royal By RUN-DMC

crown royal cover.jpg

Classic Rating: 4 out of 6

Released: April 13, 2001

Sadly Crown Royal was RUN-DMC’s last album, also it was more of a “Run” album because of DMC’s vocal problems at the time. It’s their seventh album and it was released only 18 months before Jam Master Jay’s murder. Despite many critics belaboring the album for a supposed lack of direction, or for straying too far or not far enough from their roots, this album is solid. Crown Royal is packed with contemporary hip-hop tracks (in 2001), with excellent production, solid rhyming, and catchy hooks.

 The photo shoot for  Crown Royal  shows the trio together, but in reality they were splintered during the recording.

The photo shoot for Crown Royal shows the trio together, but in reality they were splintered during the recording.

Crown Royal is filled with big name features, naysayers will cite too many rock artists (yet, that was always their style), but there are also guests like Nas, Prodigy, Fat Joe, and Method Man. This is real hip-hop anno 2001, with a couple slices of crossover hip-hop/rock like we’ve always seen from the boys. Let’s get into the best tracks on the album.

 In fact,  Crown Royal  is more of a Run (pictured) solo album, than a Run-DMC record.

In fact, Crown Royal is more of a Run (pictured) solo album, than a Run-DMC record.

Best Tracks

The album pops off with “It’s Over” featuring Jermaine Dupri, which is dramatic sounding, with choir singers and a ultra bouncy beat courtesy of the So So Def producer Don Chi Chi (JD). In spoken word, JD really lays the praise on the trio from Queens, which of course is totally deserving. They are legends!

  Advertisement

Advertisement

 Jam Master Jay (pictured) does a great job of creating an authentic, yet timely, hip-hop vibe on his productions for  Crown Royal.

Jam Master Jay (pictured) does a great job of creating an authentic, yet timely, hip-hop vibe on his productions for Crown Royal.

The second track, “Queens Day” is as “real” as it gets with special guests from Queens, Nas and Prodigy. The beat (by Jam Master Jay) is the kind of beat that old school fans fiend for, with a smooth piano loop and boom-bap drums, while the guests drop memorable verses (so does Run). This is possibly the collaboration of the century, all that’s missing is DMC, sadly.

Related Reading

Read The Inspiring Personal Story Of The Devastating Mic Controller: D.M.C. and cop his book while your at it!

 DMC (pictured) scarcely appears on  Crown Royal , but when he does, his presence is felt, like on the title track.

DMC (pictured) scarcely appears on Crown Royal, but when he does, his presence is felt, like on the title track.

Speaking of DMC, he’s present in his full glory on the third track “Crown Royal”, although only on the chorus and in sample form, but it does the track justice.

“The king's a ruler, the ruler rules, The king's a ruler, the ruler rules”

Musically it’s another home run by Jam Master Jay with a moody piano loop with special effects spliced in, while the epic chorus features majestic horns. This song is an ace!

Of all the rock songs on the album, “Take The Money And Run” is without a doubt the best of the bunch. It features the country-tinged white rapper Everlast who lends his voice to the chorus while Run handles the rapping (which is good for the song). Lyrically Run drops the classic RUN-DMC style message about the pitfalls of being a bonehead. The country style guitars work perfectly and musically this track has really stood the test of time!

 Sadly DMC is missing from most of the album, thus half of what made Run-DMC so great is missing on  Crown Royal .

Sadly DMC is missing from most of the album, thus half of what made Run-DMC so great is missing on Crown Royal.

Summary

While Crown Royal starts out really strong, the second half does level out, although it never becomes weak in any sense. This album was rightfully panned by critics for not being a true RUN-DMC album, but anybody who said/says this album is no good was/is a bonehead!

“The king's a ruler, the ruler rules The king's a ruler, the ruler rules Our father, who art in heaven Hallowed be thy name, thy kingdom come, thy will be done, forever…”

 The back cover of  Crown Royal  shows the silhouettes of trio as if they are leaving, it also shows the track list.

The back cover of Crown Royal shows the silhouettes of trio as if they are leaving, it also shows the track list.

How CLASSIC is Run-DMC's Crown Royal?

CLASSIC: None! | Great: "It's Over", "Queens Day", "Crown Royal" and "Take The Money And Run" | Solid: The rest of the tracks
Alexander Ramalho