Royce da 5'9 conducted by Bill "Low-Key" Heinzelman  

Royce da 5'9: Die Another Day

October 2004

Can you see the fire in Royce Da 5'9's eyes? The man once destined to take Detroit's throne has been through his share of ups and downs the past couple of years, but through it all he has preserved and survived the storm. Now back and better than ever, Royce is hungry to reclaim what was one within his grasp, superstardom. With his Death Is Certain album ushering him back into the game, Royce has been hard at work all year, trying to build his buzz back up once again. Royce's latest release, M.I.C. Mixtape Vol. 2, is a fitting tribute to an emcee who will not quit, and is another solid building block for Royce. MVRemix recently caught up with Royce to discuss his resurgent career, as well as his new M.I.C. Mixtape. Haters beware, because Royce is back!

MVRemix: I see you are working real hard, as you got your second release this year with the new M.I.C. mixtape. So what is the goal of this new album? Is it to continue your buzz, as well as get your crew some shine?

Royce 5 9 interviewRoyce: Yeah, that is exactly what it is. Plus, to brand the name of my company, and to get people familiar with what I am doing. I just want to let people know that I am a self contained unit. A lot of the songs on this mixtape are just tracks that I have been working on through a day to day basis. I wasn't trying to give it no particular theme, that is why I call it a mixtape. But like you said, I just want to keep the buzz going and to give the people I have been working with some shine as well. But overall, I just wanted to bridge the gap between the Death Is Certain album, and my next one.

MVRemix: I gotta say, you seem real hungry on this album. I mean, you are spitting ferociously on this album and on "Death Is Certain". So do you have that feeling like, "I'm in the zone right now"?

Royce: Yeah, I feel like I caught my zone a little ways back, like a year ago. And I tried to stay in it, I tried not to put myself in a situation where I can sway, where my mind can sway, or I can get distracted by anything. So I just try to keep the formula of going to the studio and crib, studio and crib. I go do shows here and there, but I am really just trying to come up with that record, and that album, to really get my foot through the door and to let people know that I am for real.

MVRemix: Let's talk about some of the tracks on the album. On "Basic Rap" you send a message out to all the simplistic rappers, but are you talking about old school emcees who still rap, like a Krs-One for example. Or are you just talking about shitty rappers in general?

Royce: Definitely, shitty rappers in general. People like Krs, if he is basic right now, he has a right to be. But that song is actually paying homage to the rappers from back in the day. And that is a song I did a couple of years ago, and I got tired of sitting on it, so I decided to throw it on the mixtape. A lot of the songs on this mixtape are ones that I have, but I don't want to just have them laying around. I would rather put them out and have people hear different sides of me. So "Basic Rap" was definitely a record that I made when I felt like that one day.

MVRemix: Which rappers would you say belong in the category of basic rap then?

Royce: I don't want to say no names, I don't want to offend nobody and have people thinking I'm some type of mad rapper.

MVRemix: On "Jump" you state, one minute they want me in the game, the next minute they don't. So why do you feel that way?

Royce: Well, everybody is so fickle. I can go on the internet one day and everybody will be like, "Oh, Royce is the illest shit and Em is making a mistake by not fucking with him". The next minute they will be saying I fell off. People are so fickle, one minute they want me in the game, the next minute they act like they want me out. So that's another record where I felt like that one day.

MVRemix: Do you go on the internet and keep up on what cats are saying?

Royce: Not like you would think I would. It's just more so of me having my ear to the streets. I try not to get on the computer too much and play into that stuff too much. Because 99% of the time its people actually making up stories from I don't know where about me and throwing them on the internet. The time these people must have on there hands.

MVRemix: Keeping on the topic of fickle fans. A couple years ago you, before you dropped "Rock City", you had a huge buzz, and everybody was talking about you. But now, the buzz isn't as big, so do you think people are quick to jump on the bandwagon when they think it's the cool thing to do at the time?

Royce: Yeah, definitely. I think that is how fans treat every artist. That is why I am a strong believer in that every artist is one hit away. No matter who you are, if you are Vanilla Ice or Young MC, you are one hit away. And people will jump on you if you become hot. But I think if people see you get real hot, and then you cool off, they put you in the category of people who haven't been able to bounce back from it. They assume that is how you are going to be, and they treat you like so. But you just have to stay grounded, even when you are hot, because you gotta know when people are just treating you nice because of the moment. So you have to keep a level head and don't shit on anybody.

MVRemix: The production on this M.I.C. mixtape is real dope, you have that one cat Asar, he's got some crazy beats on the album. So can you tell us about him?

Royce: Asar is only 22 years old. He is an up and coming producer, and he is incredible! He plays real instruments and everything. So he is someone I kind of latched onto before I did the "Death Is Certain" album. He has his own studio, so me and him just zoned out every night. So you can definitely look forward to hearing more of him, as he is going to be doing a big percentage of my projects in the future.

MVRemix: What about Nottz? Are you guys still going to do an album together?

Royce: Yeah, we are working on it right now.

MVRemix: What is the title for that?

Royce: We don't have a title for that yet, but I plan on dropping another mixtape before I actually drop that album, just to set that up. So look out for that sometime next year.

MVRemix: And that mixtape, is that going to be vol. 3 of the M.I.C.?

Royce: Yeah.

>> continued...

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