No need to introduce Royce Da 5’9″. Being in the game for more than 15 years with classic records under his belt he has made a name for himself. Currently, Royce is working on three new projects – a follow up to The Bar Exam mixtape and two albums independent Street Hop and The Revival which is going to be released on a major label. In this interview Royce talks about his recent beef with Mistah F.A.B. and says that the beef could result in a much more serious thing.
You are working on two albums – The Revival and Street Hop. What´s the difference between them?
Street Hop will be an independent project geared more torward the underground. The Revival is my baby. That will be on a major (label).
Well, it basically means that it´s up to me as the artist to raise the bar and it´s up to you, the consumer, to examine each bar. It is a two-way test
You said that Street Hop is a concept-driven album. Can you tell more about it?
Both albums will. I have been doing a lot of different stories and a lot of different concepts. I have been trying not to do a whole lot of throw away records. Everything is pretty much about something. (It is) very visual that´s why I call them concept driven albums.
What´s the label situation with your upcoming projects – The Bar Exam 2, The Revival and Street Hop?
We’re still looking right now, but that´s never been a problem for us in the past.
You´ve been through a few beefs during your career. Why is that?
In one of your interviews about the Mistah F.A.B. thing you said that „there are places where he´s never sold a record like Prague“. What made you say that?
It was just a response to some silly s**t he was saying in his interviews. (I) just (wanted) to let people know what it really is. My whole focus was to take the integrity out of everything he decided to say which was very easy because he told countless lies. But we straight though
The Mistah F.A.B. thing is over now. Why did you decide to squash it?
Because when he did his last diss record he said a lot of shit that can get you in trouble where I´m from. I´m from the era where rappers kill each other over rap and whatever else. I have been through that already and I know where I´m willing take shit. I reached out to some of the people whose name he was saying on the record and they all felt like it should be squashed before it gets serious. Because I have been in wars. I have a first hand understanding about how this shit goes, so I went out to Frisco and resolved it before anything stupid could happen. Lord knows we don´t need no more funerals in hip hop.
When you have a beef do you try to enjoy it and it´s more of a challenge or are you sick of it?
I try not to have a beef with anybody! I love peace but I don´t mind the challenge if there is one. But it´s hard for me to feel challenged though, I ain´t gone even lie to you.
You´re a ghostwriter too. How do you feel when you turn on the radio and hear someone else rapping your lyrics?
Well, they’re not really my lyrics at the end of the day (laughs). I´m just kidding. It feels great as an artist to hear a finished body of work no matter if it is an album, single or someone else´s s**t. I just love the art form and feel blessed to be able to express myself creatively
You wrote a few tracks on Diddy´s last album and there were rumours about you signing with Bad Boy. Would you accept his offer? Would you fit in Bad Boy´s roster?
I would accept any offer that is a good one. I have a tremendous amount of respect for Puff because he’s a real n***a. As far as fitting into his roster is concerned, I´m a very versatile player. I can adapt to any position and come up with a win. Right now I´m on God´s path so I’ll end up where I´m supposed to be at the end of the day. I truly believe that.
Almost two years ago hip hop lost Jay Dee aka J Dilla. Did you know him personally?
Hell yeah. That was my n***a, for real. We did like 5 songs together and was talking about doing more.
You dropped a 16 for DJ Wich´s album which is one of the most anticipated albums out here (Czech Republic). Do you rember this collabo? What´s it like working with European producers?
I love it because it´s something different. It´s a challenge! Yes, I remember. Shout out to DJ Wich.
You are close to Premier, what do you think of the Gang Starr break-up?
Gang Starr didn´t break up! They straight man, trust me, they’re just doing there own thing right now.
Do you know that there is a hip hop group called Royce out in Chicago? Being in the game for more than 15 years, do you take it as disrespect?
15 years? Damn, I´m only 30, please don´t give me more years (laughs). Nah, I don´t take it as disrespect at all. Inquiring minds think alike