In our interview with Royce Da 5’9”, we get an illuminating and personal perspective on his inspirations, sobriety, and opinion of the rap game.
Royce Da 5’9” has been in the game for a minute. First coming onto the scene in Detroit before quickly finding a kindred spirit in Eminem, he’s been known as one of the most lyrical spitters in the game and one of the only who can go toe to toe with Em. He recently went on an extended hiatus from solo music, getting sober in the process and finding himself driven to create new music.
We sat down with Royce in the HotNewHipHop lounge to discuss more than a few things, and he was happy to share.
Starting off with the influences for Layers, we discover that Royce Da 5’9” left out some crazy details from his already specific song “Tabernacle.” Apparently, he didn’t know that his son was born on the 9th floor and his grandmother passed on the 5th floor until after he had gotten sober. Royce adds, “one thing I didn’t share in that story was the guy that hit my granny in the car accident… he was drunk.” Insane coincidences? Maybe, maybe not.
There’s one project where he thinks he made the biggest leap. “Bar Exam 2, lyrically, is probably my favorite body of work that I’ve done. It was my first time really focusing on rhyming punchlines.” Don’t think that means he’s constantly trying to recreate that sound, though. “I don’t come to the table now thinking to myself ‘Yo man, I wanna gonna go punchline crazy’. I just do what I feel, and I try to incorporate all the elements, all the new layers I’ve added to my style.”
With over 15 years under his belt in the hip hop industry, we got some unique views on how hip hop is aging. He says that “the internet is the new streets,” which is pretty undeniable. Nickel Nine also shows respect “the whole lyrical wave. Out of the whole lyrical wave, there’s none of them that I don’t like. I like Drake, I like Cole, Kendrick, Wale, [Big] Sean, Meek, I love of all of them.” We do too, Royce.