Royce 5'9 conducted by Brian Blondy  

Royce 5'9


The career of Detroit's own, Royce Da 5-9, has been short but it has become one of extreme potential. Through very good career decisions, Royce has created a very good name for himself. Blowing up on tracks the tracks 'Scary Movies' with Eminem, his own track 'I'm The King' and most recently the incredibly successful 'Boom' produced by DJ Premier, Royce has become the talk of the hip-hop industry. His unexpected arrival onto the hip-hop scene has been embraced and welcomed by the true heads because of his excellent contributions up to our ears. Now, we will all have to wait and trust that his new album will back up all the high expectations we have all built up for him. His new album is expected to be out in stores early 2001.

MVRemix: What emcees influenced you, helped you to improve your style?

Royce 5'9: I didn't rap when I was little, when I was eighteen I started rappin'. I'm twenty-three now, before that whoever my brother was listening to, I listened to. When they put out their songs, I just repeated them, and I did that good. Eighteen, is when I started doin' my own shit, know what I'm sayin', right when I graduated high school, cause I was a basketball player in high school, and I just jumped into my own thing. I started rhymin' and took it from there, I didn't know I was gonna be good- I just went with it, I wasn't serious being about it at all. When I was eighteen, I started freestylin' like anyone else would do, when they was just playin' around, doin' it because they liked rap music, I started realizing I was good like after about a year. People started tellin' me I was good, so I paid attention to it and got serious about it. My girl got pregnant- once that happened I got super serious about it and I was like this has gotta be my career. I gotta gets down, I gotta do it. That's what I did.

MVRemix: What do you get out of hip-hop?

Royce 5'9: I like to rhyme, after a certain point though I had to look out for my family. That was like my first priority. Now when I rhyme, I rhyme with those things in mind- looking out for my family, payin' the bills, but the very first thing is just to rhyme. I really just like to rhyme but you can't help the politics. Everything else comes into play and you just gotta take care of your responsibilities.

MVRemix: Where did you go to school?

Royce 5'9: After high school, I went to college for a semester but after that one semester, no more college for me. I went to Wayne State because I feel like college is cool but it's not for everybody. It's for some people, it's not for people who're not meant to be students. I was put here to do music, I know a lot, know what I'm sayin'. College is not for me, I went for a semester and all it did was cost me money. Some people if they don't have college they won't make it because they're so smart, I'm not one of those people. I'm one those people where it's meant for me to get out on the stage and do music, I've gotta do that.

MVRemix: Do you come alive when you're on stage?

Royce 5'9: I'm never dead. I come alive when I wake up in the morning. It's a rush when I get onto the stage, I can't explain it to ya, when I come onto the stage I pretty much vibe off the crowd.

MVRemix: What kind of atmosphere or mood do you need to get into your style of flowin'?

Royce 5'9: It all depends, like, I could be walkin' through the airport and just think of something and write it down. I'll put one line on what I call a scrap piece of paper, Eminem taught me to do this, writin' it down. When it comes time for me to write a rhyme for something, I might pull that piece of paper out with like a zillion thoughts on it. Know what I'm sayin' and I can either piece them together or just come up with something off the top of my head with the beat planned. Either way I can do it.

MVRemix: Is it a part of the process to make a rhyme without hearing the beat first or you have the beat first and then you make the song? What's harder for you?

Royce 5'9: It's not hard either way but when I hear the beat, I can make it go with the beat better. If I don't hear the beat and I just gotta write a rhyme, I gotta match that rhyme with the beat, I usually like to write to the beat to make that rhyme fit that beat perfectly. Every beat has a rhyme that fits it perfectly, that's how I like to do it.

MVRemix: Do you use syllables or count words to match the beat?

Royce 5'9: Each beat tells me the style, know what I'm sayin', depending on what the beat is. That's what the style is gonna be and any beat can open up a new door for Royce Da 5-9's style, that's just how I get down. If I like the beat it might bring out some kind of style that I've never done before, I never knew I could do. I look at it like, Wow, I just did something else. Now, depending on the beat- if it moves me and it's dope, then I can make it happen all day.

MVRemix: What's the deal with Premier's style and yours?

Royce 5'9: Me and Premier just clicked automatically, he did two songs for me. The first time I made a song with him, I told him the concept and everything and he just nailed it. The second song, I just told him that I just wanna spit. He gave me a beat, it worked and we did it. It's kinda like the whole producer and artist thing- we connect like that. He's one of those producers that can connect with just about anybody.

MVRemix: Did he charge?

Royce 5'9: Yeah, he charged. Everybody's got a price, it's never free- never free. Premo's gotta eat and I've got a recording budget, some of that money is entitled to him when he's doing music for me. The money isn't even what we look at, the favors, we look at something beyond the money. Money is like cut and dry, favors is beyond the money. A favor is not a freebee, not a free-beat, it's something beyond what the money is. The money's not a problem cause it's what the record label is giving you and you gotta pay it back. Use the money to spend on the producers that you need, pay them their price, and get the best beats you can get. That's my thing."

MVRemix: Your success in the industry has probably interested record companies to get you on compilations?

Royce 5'9: I got alotta interest, for the most part. I just wanna do my album, stay on the low and when it's time for my album to drop and put it out and it blows. I don't really wanna overdo myself before my album comes out. I've been involved in a lot of stuff but really I'm just tryin' to stay calm and stay away from blowin' up fast. As far as the Scary Movies shit, they ran it by me. I thought it was a good movie and I like the Wayans brothers. They wanted the original Scary Movies, the song I did with Em. After they wouldn't clear Em, they wanted me to do a solo version of it. I didn't mind going back into the studio and writing a solo version of it because I wasn't doin' anything at the time and I wanted to get into the studio and do something else. I figured why not and do it, it would be something new for me to do.

MVRemix: Will 'Scary Movies' be on the album?

Royce 5'9: Nah, 'Scary Movies' has already been released independently but I might, I might, you never know. I'm thinkin' about it, I might make it a bonus track, but it's classic. I love that song but as far as the core of my album, I really wanna do some real new shit. I want it to be like, the new Royce Da 5-9, I don't want it to be a lot of outdated material.

MVRemix: What's the deal with the album?

Royce 5'9: I'm working on it now, I'm redoin' the album but keepin' a couple of the songs I did with Tommy Boy. I'm gonna ditch the rest just because I don't want to have my album to be outdated. I want it to be, sound new, always, whenever somebody hear Royce, I want them to hear the new Royce. Never the old Royce.

MVRemix: New album, you were on Tommy Boy and moved over to Game Records. What's the deal with that?

Royce 5'9: Tommy wasn't showin' support, I left, it's that simple. Now I'm on my way to Interscope."

MVRemix: Distribution wise?

Royce 5'9: Nah, what they were puttin' behind me, I didn't agree with it.

MVRemix: What did they do?

Royce 5'9: It's what they wasn't doin', which was nothin'. Anytime you saw me in The Source, it wasn't because of Tommy Boy, it was because of me. You never saw a Tommy Boy logo when you saw me in The Source, it was based on the street credibility that I had, that's all. It never was Tommy Boy paid for the ad, know what I'm sayin', it was no push. Though, fuck em'. Fuck Tommy Boy, I'm goin' somewhere else. That's all.

MVRemix: Who do you have appearin' on your new album?

Royce 5'9: Wall Street, that's the only given, everybody else is to be announced. I did some shit with some people but I really wanna focus on all the new songs I'm doin' right now. So it's really TBA- To Be Announced, know what I'm sayin'.

MVRemix: You gonna be hookin' up with Em on the new album?

Royce 5'9: Eminem will definitely be on the album cause he's executive producing it. He's gonna be on three songs, at least.

MVRemix: And finally, how did the Bad Meets Evil album come together?

Royce 5'9: Well, I didn't put it together; I just was called to do it. Eminem called me, and was like 'yo we gonna do this shit' and we just did it. Jonathan Shektor, is the head of Game Records, who I'm signed to right now and we're taking that deal and taking it to Interscope to get a better deal. He put that together, the independent record.

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