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Royce Da 5'9" Interview: inside

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  • Royce Da 5'9" Interview: inside

    this is a real interview with Royce. the royce fans can read this for enjoyment but peeps gettin' on my nerves with this "is D12 and royce still beefin'?" "will em and royce ever do another song?"...well...sry if this has been posted b4 but i just gotta post it again so peeps will know what Royce thinks about em, D12, the racist tapes, and the fight him and proof had that ended up with them in jail and well... i'll LET y'all read it....


    Royce 5'9 - Rhyming From The Heart
    By Andreas Hale

    HHS: You really put yourself out there with Death Is Certain, as it is about as honest as an emcee is going to get; you admit your own wife thinks your music is too violent, broach the question of whether you're a one hit wonder, put your manager on blast and even apologize to fans for attempting to go commercial ("I played myself for radio play, I never dance/but the skill itself is a second chance") what prompted you letting down your guard in such a revealing manner?

    Royce: I just was like.... It got to a point where I was listening to a lot of people, not even sayin' no names, and feelin' like they just rock. Not too many *****s had something to say, or not too many *****s had influence. You know what I'm sayin? Like you could just listen to a muthafucka, he might say something, but its only certain muthafuckas you listen to where
    you feel like they influence you. Like they might even influence you to do some dumb shit! Certain people just got that. I just felt like I just wanted to pour my heart out. You know just air everything out, anything on my mind I was going to go ahead and say. And that alleviates me with having to come up with catchy punch lines, which might fade out in three years. I just wanted to keep it all real talk.

    HHS: The LP is really dark and very serious; can we assume this was the state you were in while writing and recording?

    Royce: Yeah....definitely. The state that I was in, it just came out that way you know what I'm sayin? I didn't give a shit! I didn't care about makin no radio record, nothing like that man. It had a purpose. This shit was for me. This album was for me, every song.

    HHS: Build & Destroy created a very healthy buzz, and with it you proved that you can rip beats from not only the undergrounds finest, but those who are considered A-List producers (and some of the producers you previously worked with are now revered as A-List producers such as Alchemist, Just Blaze, Kanye West and Jay Dee). Could you see yourself getting down with a Timbaland, Just Blaze, Jay Dee or even Pharrell or Chad again?

    Royce: Yeah man, any of them. That door is always open, you know what I'm sayin? In fact, everybody you just named, I respect them to the utmost. I'm definitely trying to link up with dudes like that in the future. It's a slow climb though. Like I'm going up the steep side of the hill. I'm the underdog so I'm just taking it one step at a time.

    HHS: Well let's talk about another cat. In an interview with us, Kanye West called you out for including a beat on Build And Destroy he alleges was not paid for ("Heartbeat" which is a dope track) but you also come back with a line on "I Promise" that could be considered a reply "you funny acting ass producers I don't need you/you can keep your beats/rap for money/fuck you and everybody else who acted funny." Was that directed at Kanye?

    Royce: Oh naw, definitely not man. See one thing is like Kanye is not the last producer in the world who is acting funny, you know what I'm sayin? He hasn't done nothing to me for me to single him out. I met Kanye, and he's actually someone who I like as a person. I look at him like, I appreciate what he's doing and I understand the whole pressures that are new to him. With new artists the mistakes they make, a lot of them make. They feel like that they gotta air all this shit out to press, instead of going up to a ***** like a man. You know what I'm sayin? A lot of new artists do that shit because they don't know the press game yet. So I can't really knock Kanye for what he said about me. I felt like is was a little bit immature, especially for a ***** that's doing beats for fuckin J-Lo! As far as the beat that I got from him that I rhymed over, we both knew about the shit. It leaked out. I didn't leak it. That's some shit that's supposed to be explained to him as opposed to me talking to you. But I don't have a problem with Kanye. Like I said I met him and I like him as a person. I felt like he was a cool dude. I feel like he's a little bit high on his horse to be taking shots at me. I'm nobody, you know what I'm sayin? The game is wide open. There's enough money for everybody. Just leave me alone. That's all I'm sayin to everybody.

    HHS: You have formed a really good chemistry with Carlos Broady; did you initially plan on working on so many tracks with him?

    Royce: You know what man? It was like me and Los always had that chemistry. But it was like "whatever you bring, if I come up with something to it then it makes the album." We didn't put a number on it. He came with a bunch of beats. Like a lot of beats he was saying that he was going to pitch to B.I.G. You know what I'm sayin? It was like a whole feel, it was a good feel. I can't even pinpoint which song was which that we did. I was doing like 3 songs a day. It just kind of happened like that.

    HHS: Well then you know that it's always risky to remake classics, were you at all worried about interpolating B.I.G.'s "What's Beef"?

    Royce: Naw cause I didn't feel like it was a remake. Honestly I felt like what I did on the hook, like it came slightly something close to what B.I.G. did on his hook, but I felt like that was paying homage. But I didn't feel like it was a remake. Or I didn't feel like I had to fill those shoes. You know what I'm sayin? Because I'm my own worst critic, like, I would just kill myself trying to compete with B.I.G., a ***** I look up to. I just go, I just go man.

    HHS: March 9th is the anniversary of B.I.G.'s death, and three of the tracks Broady laced you with were initially recorded for B.I.G., which ones were they?

    Royce: Like I was sayin before, I don't even know. Me and Los did so much shit man, we was doing like 3-4 songs a day. I can't even pinpoint which ones. I remember him pointing out certain songs and beats. You know what I'm sayin? But it's not like he would point them out and I would be like "Okay, I gotta do a Biggie song to this" it would just be like "Oooh its
    that shit!" You know what I'm sayin? Like if you listened to the beats you would hear. Like you would probably spot them just by listening to them. The drums and everything just got that "Life after Death" feel. I didn't even try and go that direction with my shit. It just kinda happened like that. I don't know which beats Los pinpointed like that. Like that would probably be something that you would have to ask Los. Like he can probably better tell you. But man, shit, me and Los just got together and kicked it. We just did it! You know what I'm sayin?

    HHS: With "Something's Wrong With Him" you showed a lot of growth by implementing live instrumentation, did that come about simply by experimentation in the studio---because the original version was more by the books?

    Royce: Um, it definitely was just me being in the game for a minute. Like knowing what it takes to take a song from just being a regular song to being a big song. We really pushed the envelope during the mix of a lot of the records. And I'm really going to do it on my next album. I'm going to get real musical on my next album. This album we just pushed the envelope as much as we could, any song we could. Los was wide open to do it, I was wide open for it. We just kept it moving. We had everybody in place. We had all the people play the instruments in place so we just did the damn thing. We had fun with it.

    HHS: The chemistry with Broady aside, no matter who you work with in the future, can you please continue to do at least one track per LP with Primo?

    Royce: Oh yeah! Always. It's always going to be at least one track with Primo every album. As long as I'm around I gotta get one Primo beat.

    HHS: That's cool cause them joints be fire! That's for real.

    Royce: Fo sho!

    HHS: You're a cocky emcee, but I think in the midst of that, fans lose sight that you really drop a lot of knowledge, on "Everybody Goes" you lament "we all borrow tomorrow/this is what God owes us/the biggest Indian giver/he gone take it back/erase you I'm stating facts" do you feel the beef with D-12 and old situations has lead people to stereotype and overlook you as an emcee?

    Royce: I don't think they overlook me. Um...I get stereotyped, I don't think its because of D-12 or the beef,
    I think it's because of the way I carry myself in the booth. You know what I'm sayin? The way I come across on the mic, I think people listen to it and think that's how I am when I step out of the booth. Whereas nobody is the exact same person, you know what I'm sayin? Everybody in the booth is going to get competitive. Like this is rap, this is a competitive sport this shit started with battle. But when I step out of the booth I'm not tryin to compete with everybody. It's like I respect so many people, you know what I'm sayin, its like I'm not that cocky. I'm cocky on the mic. That's how I get my edge. That's how I get my swagger.

    HHS: So you more a less a humble cat right?

    Royce: Yeah. I'm humble when I'm out of the booth, but when I'm in the booth....fuck humble! You know what I'm sayin? When I'm in the booth I say whatever is on my mind. And I think it's that what's causing cats to take me the wrong way. Not even overlooking me. They just looking like "he's this type of *****." You know what I'm sayin?

    Last edited by _shadows_; 03-04-2004, 09:01 PM.

  • #2
    HHS: You were formally signed with Columbia, but parted ways. However, they also dropped the ball on Dead Prez and 50 Cent, does that serve as any consolation?

    Royce: You know what? I'm still signed to Sony. Koch is doing this album right here. I got my eyes on the prize. I'm only thinking about this album right here. Whatever I'm going to work out with Columbia is like some future shit. It ain't even no need to speak on what I'm going to do with them. Everything is just so up in the air. I'm so focused on the future that it don't even matter. I just smooth out all of the kinks as they come along.

    HHS: On "T.O.D.A.Y." you really delve deeply into the makeup of the music industry and not only how it operates, but who its run by "I learned it don't matter who's spitting better /while these rappers kill each other them ***s stick together like glue/and generate more money then FUBU for something made for you by you." With all of the label turmoil you have experienced, do you feel pimped by the industry?

    Royce: Um....I think everybody is pimped by the industry. Not even so much by the industry like (there are) certain people in the game who are just pullin' the strings. All the people in the game who is willing to realize that's the position that they got. That's when it is a spot for them. You know what I'm sayin? You gotta know who is big, who is not big. That's just how
    shit is. It don't even really matter to me no more. Like, it's no label that I can put a sign on to where it's like "Okay, this is the perfect label for me." It's really to a point now where it's like I gotta have my sound and bring it to a label and say "This is the sound I want to bring to your label" either you're willing to do it or you're not. It's either going to go one way or the other. I'm not tryin to be up under nobody no more.

    HHS: Unlike Hiphop's past beefs, which for the most part stayed contained on wax only, today's beefs have taken on violent connotations and are spilling into some street shit at an alarming rate, but on "I & Me" you make a reference what's really important "there's only so many times I can let my temper get tested/I can't handle this/I'll eventually get arrested/I'm on the verge of doing some things that won't help shit/take myself away from my family is so selfish" and that you contemplated retiring because of it. At what point did you realize that this beef shit is just not worth it?

    Royce: I mean before it really even escalated. I always looked at it like its nonsense. You know what I'm sayin? Because it started as just a bunch of rappers talking. And basically you're put into a situation where whoever the public feel like they want to believe at the time is who wins. You know what I'm sayin? And then when the real street shit starts going down, like when people start dropping or shit just starts happening. A lot of shit people don't even hear about. It's not even worth it. It's just not worth it for shit like that to happen just stemming from some shit a ***** can say on a track. It's stupid. It's always been stupid to me. It's been shit said on my part and it's been shit said on their part to where it was not necessary. You know what I'm sayin? You live and you learn. From the very beginning I always thought it was stupid.

    HHS: Speaking of which, everyone knows that you had a very well-publicized beef of your own with Eminem and D-12, but can you please shed light on the event between you and Proof that thankfully lead to the beef being squashed.

    Royce: With me and Proof man its like. I don't want to speak on it too much cause I don't want to make it look like I'm showin' out because he's not here to tell his side. It goes back to the Kanye shit. A lot of muthafuckas get to talking and they don't take into consideration what the next man is feeling or what's on the next mans mind. I'm sure Proof has his side of the story, but basically he came around the corner, we started talking about the beef and the next thing you know we got our guns out like "We gonna squash it? Or what we gonna do?" Next thing you know, we're arrested, we in jail. We're in two different cells and we both felt like idiots. Like, I wish Pac and B.I.G. could've went through this kind of situation because they probably would still be here. You know what I'm saying? The time we spent in jail was enough time for us both to reflect on how stupid the shit was and we just aired everything out. It was just a talk waiting to happen. Me and Proof had not spoke all that time so we did not know how each other felt. We was both gung-ho, we was both ready to do whatever with whoever. We finally met up and shit happened how it happened.

    HHS: Whenever there is a nasty falling out, one where someone you're close to, or were close to, blows up in such a major way, the perception of most lays in "the one, who is not rich, is just crying foul because he's losing money." Obviously, falling out with Slim cost you loot, and you want to get major paper, but it has to be much deeper then that here because of the way it went down and the nature of your relationship.

    Royce: Well with me and Shady man, it has nothing to do with money. It has nothing to do with the game. His friendship is way more important to me. He's a real dude. Like, I got love for dude. I always will no matter what the fuck goes on. It's so much going on around us that I don't think he has the time to actually sit down and look around and say "Okay Royce actually got love for me" It's too much going on. Which I can respect. I don't really give a shit. We can agree to disagree or we ain't gotta speak or whatever. I don't want the public to get the perception like he left me behind and I was bitter. It's not a big deal. Like, the game is the game, I'm gonna always be the emcee. I'm going to always be Royce 5'9" you know what I'm sayin? I rhyme in my sleep with or without the white boy. That don't matter. The only thing he has to do with Royce 5'9" is the friendship. That's all I really give a shit about. You know what I'm saying? I don't care about the emcee side of it. As far as the money, there's always ways to make money.

    HHS: Right, there's always enough money for everybody.

    Royce: Yeah.

    HHS: On "I Promise" you state "my father want me to bring out product without Slim/and prove them wrong" has this been a motivating factor that made you ever hungrier to prove any skeptics wrong?

    Royce: Yeah, that's one of the things. You know my father will tell me in a minute "I want you to stand on your own, be independent, I don't want you to look like you gotta lean on somebody" That's definitely a motivating factor for me.

    HHS: In reality, your relationship with Eminem has been both a gift and a curse. Whether people want to admit it or not, the both of you have an obvious chemistry and no one has really been able to rock with him the way you did (see "Renegades", "Scary Movies," "Nuttin To Do"). And as an end result we, the fans, take the L for that, because we want to see you and Em collaborate.

    Royce: Man.that door is always open. That door will never close. I can only speak from my side. On my side that door is never closed. I will always look forward to working with Em because he's always going to bring out something that I didn't know I had inside me. That's how it is. Like emcees who really give a fuck about emcee-ing, when they connect it's such a competition and everybody's focused on their wordplay it's like line for line. You just go at it. I ain't been able to spar with nobody like that in a long time. I would love to do it but it's like.. shit.... if it happens it happens. If it don't happen it really don't matter. Like I said man Royce is Royce. Definitely.

    HHS: What was your take on the Source's "Eminem Tapes"?

    Royce: My take on the Eminem tapes dawg. when I heard it. I was thinking to myself "How can somebody this fuckin' dope be that wack at that age (laughter). It was like "Goddamn dawg!" how old was he like 17,18?

    HHS: I don't know they've been saying all types of shit.

    Royce: Like he was wack. It was like, he can't even rhyme. How the fuck did he become so fuckin good? That's what baffles me. As far as the Source bringing it up, that's their issue. That's something they go through. I don't know. I'm just an emcee putting in hard work, doing it the good old fashioned way.

    HHS: You're a major label talent, but you're not on a major label, why and will that change after Death Is Certain?

    Royce: Hopefully. Hopefully that's one of the aims. You know what I'm sayin? Like I said, it's not for the money or the power, it's for the respect. When I say respect I'm speaking on the industry buzz too. Hopefully I get a nice industry buzz and the industry gets to talkin. Somebody will actually listen to the album and see the way I'm able to put albums together and put songs together. Maybe somebody will look at me as a commodity, maybe I'll sign with somebody or maybe I'll get a label deal or whatever. Everything I do is like a stepping stone to a better situation.

    HHS: So you really don't feel like there's any certain label out there you be a great home for you?

    Royce: You can't call it. I just feel like I can't call it. I feel like I can set up home anywhere. Any label, from the smallest to the largest, it all depends on what's going on at that time. What kind of records that I'm doin.



    • #3
      HHS: You started your own label, M.I.C. (Make It Count Records), who is on it and what artists are you highlighting?

      Royce: I've got D-Elite, that's my crew. There's five of us: Billy Nix, Cutthroat, June, Myself, my man Tre Little. We just going crazy with it. You know what I'm saying? We're just all emcees. I got my man Kid Vicious, my little brother, my man Birdie. Those are the artists that I'm highlighting. Those are the ones that I know are riding with me

      HHS: Any last words to leave us with?

      Royce: Feb. 24th. Go buy that album! Do yourself a favor! (Laughter)



      • #4
        Yeah I have read this interview before. Thanks alot anway.

        Good interview
        "Say what you will about the sweet miracle of unquestioning faith, I consider a capacity for it terrifying and absolutely vile."
        - Kurt Vonnegut


        • #5

          ...apparently the clueless peeps haven't. maybe i should have posted this in NEWS...but it's not NEWS...but i'm not gonna put it there for attention...it's enuff "NEWS" in that shit...


          • #6
            nice interview.


            • #7
              good find, thanks for postin
              "Get Busy Livin' or Get Busy Dyin'.. Thats God Damn Right"


              • #8
                thx, hadn't seen that
                I'm a white hetrosexual male; a member of the only group of people left in the world that you can say anything about and there wont be a protest the next day.

                "Muthafuckas talk about all this black this and white this. Hip-hop started in the biggest melting pot of America which is New York. You had whites, blacks latinos, and all kinds of shit when hip-hop first started. For people to say that this is strictly for the blacks and shit, uh nobody said that when all the white kids started buying NWA albums when they had no radio play. But now it's a problem cause they are buying the Eminem records?" - Proof


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