Royce Da 5’9 Joins Brown and Scoop on CBS Radio @ScoopB Royceda59

ROYCE DA 5’9” INTERVIEW on Brown and Scoop on CBS Radio’s Play.it

Hosted by Jake Brown and Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson

Listen above and here are some of the highlights:

ON LAYERS ALBUM:

“It’s definitely my most personal body of work to date, but I always like to show

growth every project. I feel like that’s what I’m doing. I call it Layers because I’m

basically peeling back all the layers from each project that I’ve done collaborative

and all the layers of myself and all of the personal things I’ve been kind of holding

back as an artist. When I went through my long sting of alcoholism, my inability to

be introspective due to being so inebriated all the time, peeling back those layers

and just kind of opening up and letting the world get a glimpse of who I am as a

person instead of just the technical MC, fundamentally sound MC. I created it as a

body of work. I went in and did a certain amount of songs, I lined them all up, and

then we went in and we scored it. We basically have segway music, we have skits.

We treated it like an album in the traditional sense, in a throwback sense of the

world album back when listening to entire albums meant something and the music

wasn’t as accessible. The good old days.”

ON MUSICAL INFLUENCES:

“Biggie, Jay-Z, Nas were in terms of albums were the first albums that I was able to

appreciate from a technical, lyrical standpoint. I’ve always been influenced by Red

Man, Rass Kass, the Helter Skelter album was a big album in my household, D.O.C,

criminally slept on as a MC out of the west coast. I think had he not had that accident

he shoots to top three easy. Big L, criminally underrated. I think Big L was better

than Jay-Z at that time, just in my opinion. He was better back then. It doesn’t

mean he would have ended up being better, because Jay-Z turned into

something else. He turned into probably my favorite rapper of all time. I don’t

know where Big L would have went lyrically. I don’t know if he would have hit that

ceiling. If he would have got as much better as Jay-Z did from where he was, that’s

scary to imagine what that would even sound like.”

ON BEING TAKEN OFF RENEGADE:

“No it didn’t bother me. It wasn’t like it was the three of us on the song and I got

taken off for some reason. How it happened was it was my song. Me and Marshall

recorded that song for my album on Sony…on Columbia. What happened was we did

two songs. One was Rock City and we did Renegade. Interscope was only going to

clear Marshall for one song for my album so we chose Rock City because Sony

wanted to go with Rock City as a single. Renegade was just a song that we had

sitting. He called me and was like yo, basically HOV had been calling me and I think

he missed the last one that he asked him to do because he was so busy and we look

up to Jay-Z. He was like who would want to keep telling Jay-Z no? You don’t mind if I

just give him this, do you? Because he didn’t have a lot of time to go do some newer

stuff. And I was like what? Do I mind? I want you to give it to him. Number one, I

want my homie to be a part of something like that. Jay-Z was working on the fucking

Blueprint. I want you to be a part of the Blueprint and you asking me like you got to

get my permission. You Eminem. I was just happy that he even extended me the

courtesy to even call me and ask me, but that’s just the kind of guy that Marshall is.

He gave it to Jay and they went on to make a classic out of it. It didn’t really have

nothing to do with me at that point….I can’t really remember what I said on the

track to be able to rap it straight to you right now, but it’s online. You can find it

online. It’s more aggressive. Jay-Z took a smoother big homie approach. I was the

young, aggressive lyricist on it. I made it more hip hop. Jay-Z made it cool as hell. He

made the street dudes follow it.”

ON THE NAME ROYCE DA 5’9”:

“I got the name 5’9” in high school. I was the starting point guard for Oak Park High.

There was another guy. He played the backup point guard to me. Him and myself

were the only two guys that were on the roster that were 5’9” four years straight. So

we just started calling each other 5’9”. Then we ended up forming a group called the

Main Focus where we rapped together. People started calling me Royce because I

had this chain. I had a Turkish link with this big R pended on it. I was working

at the Detroit Zoo and I was stealing money out the register. That’s how I was

able to get this chain. They can’t come and arrest me now. They don’t even

know me. You’re not going to get it. I had this chain. I had this other kid calling

me and this is even crazier. My name is Ryan, his name is Kyan. He started calling

me Royce because he said the R looked like the Rolls Royce R. I start calling him

Rolls. So we forced a group called Rolls and Royce and we rapped together. So

anyway, the name Royce just stuck and eventually I started calling myself Royce da

5’9” when I was ready to really tell people that I was rapping. Before I can even

think to change my name to anything else, Marshall had already pulled me into the

business as a baby so I was already Royce da 5’9”, it was set. The thing at the

hospital, 5th floor, 9th floor, I wasn’t able to put that into perspective until after I got

sober and was able to look at it and reflect on it. That’s just a crazy universal

connection. If you don’t believe God is real, maybe you need to go through

something.”

BECOMING SOBER:

“It’s changed everything. It’s changed every single thing that you can imagine. You

don’t really see it until you’re looking at things clearly and you’re able to see how

weird everything is. When I first got sober, everything was weird. I started learning

how dependent I was with doing everything. At first I just thought it was something

I recreationally did in the studio…drink or when I went out to bars or strip clubs or

clubs or whatever. Once I got sober I realized that I used alcohol for everything. I

would do interviews I was feeling weird. I’d feel nervous. I’d get anxiety when I’m

speaking to somebody I never spoke to before, who I don’t know. Everything

became a trigger. I find myself having urges to drink in all kinds of situations where

I never thought that they would be triggers. So I had to rid myself of it. I had to fight

through it going in and recording. Everything was weird. It look me about two years

to be able to sit in the studio and have the patience to just be in there and create. I

would go into the studio for four, five hours and leave frustrated, lock the doors,

leave frustrated, go home and complain to my wife how I can’t come up with

nothing. It’s over. It’s over. I thought I needed, well I probably needed it at that time,

but not it’s second nature again. You got to wait yourself out. You got to dry out. You

got to dry all the way out and it’s mind over matter. You just got to wait it.”

“At the beginning, I was just a binger. I’m wired as an addict. My first addiction was

probably chewing gum. In high school, I used to have this kid named Ryan Johnson

stop at the gas station and get me two packs of double mint every single day. I used

to chew gum every single day and I got addicted to chewing it, but if I wouldn’t chew

it I would grind my teeth. So that was an addiction for me. So now it’s like anything I

get my hands on like on my way here I ate a whole pack of cookies cause I just ate

one. I didn’t want to, but I ate one cookie and now this whole thing is gone. These

are delicious. I kind of have to watch myself with everything that I do. My daddy

warned me about this early, just addictive patterns. So now what happened was

when I was 21 years old, I picked up my first drink and after a while I picked

up another drink, another drink, and after a while I was going on binges and

then eventually I went on about a 10 year binge…drinking every single day.

What would happen was when I wasn’t drinking I didn’t feel like I needed it,

but if I had to be drinking two days in a row, I needed to drink that third day.

So now, I’m addicted to sobriety. Along the way, I developed things that I

needed to pour liquor on top of due to the decision making that drinking every

day caused me, but it didn’t start out with anything that I needed to medicate.”

“Admitting that you have a problem is when you’re at your strongest…we all do it.

All of us addicts. The first thing you do, you admit to yourself that you have a

problem, but you’re scared to let other people know. So as soon as you let somebody

know whose in the know…in my case, I called Marshall. He told me right now you’re

at your strongest. You found the courage to admit that you cant stop on your own.

What’s stronger than that? Why would you sway away from calling somebody and

telling them that? You at your weakest when you’re in denial. That’s the first step

right there. Once you take that step, all the rest of the steps are a breeze if you really,

really wanna stop.”

“If I didn’t feel like I had him (Eminem) to call, I probably wouldn’t have turned that

corner. I wouldn’t have made that transition. I feel so comfortable talking to him

about that. I look at him and see myself. He just went through it before me.”

RELATIONSHIP WITH EMINEM:

“We see the same therapist. His sobriety date is coming up on 4/20. Nothing is

intentional in sobriety. Things happen when they’re supposed to happen.

That’s the lord. He’s eight years sober.”

“The biggest misconception between me and him is that me and him fell out.

We never fell out. We were never beefing with each other. We stopped talking

due to circumstances that surrounded us and I think it’s because we’re both

wired-like addicts and we kind of address confrontation in the same way. I go

through this thing with my wife now. Since I know a lot of her patterns in the

way that she handles arguments and disagreements, I’m like okay I’m just not

going to have the conversation. I do it all the time. That’s how I want to handle

it. Her thing is…I hate the fact that you handle me that way. I need to talk about

everything. That’s where the disconnect is. Me and Marshall are a lot alike in

that way. We were basically in the situation where there were things that we

needed to say to each other that we just weren’t willing to say so we ceased

communication with each other while everything else around us just went

awry. It was never me versus him. So a lot of people think Royce and Em were

beefing. No, not at all.”

HOW DID YOU MEND THAT FENCE?

“Em called me. First he called me and cursed me out. He called me and cursed

me out because I dissed Obie Trice. I dissed Obie Trice as soon as I got out of

jail. I shouldn’t have did that. I did that because I thought that he was dissing

me on a song and then ended up finding out that he wasn’t dissing me on a

song. At least he said, he wasn’t dissing me on a song. It’s lyrical law. If

somebody says they weren’t dissing you, you got to roll with that. You got to

just be the bigger man and say my bad maybe I shouldn’t have came at you and

jumped the gun like that. When I did that, I got a call from Von from D12

saying Marshall wanted to talk to me about it. So I’m just thinking he wants to

talk to me. I haven’t talked to him in years. Man I got on the phone and he

cussed my ass out. I was like ‘yo’…he was like ‘what up’…I was like ‘what

up’…he was like ‘yeah this Em’…’and I was like ‘what up Em’…I can’t remember

exactly but he was like ‘what are you talking about my family’..he said

something about talking about his family and before I can get a word out he

just started yelling ‘keep yo fuckin name blah blah blah’…I was like wow. This

is not how I imaged our first talk would have been. Before I can get a word in

he just click click, hung up on me. I ain’t talk to him again until probably a year

later…maybe a year later he called me. He reached out again and said he

wanted to talk to me. I was like hows the conversation going to be? I used to be

cussed out by my big brother all the time. I don’t never like the way that feels.

It was like if he’s going to cuss me out again, I don’t even really wanna talk.

Nah nah nah he just wants to talk to you. When we got on the phone it was like

‘yo’ and he was like ‘yo’ and as soon as we both said yo the same way, we both

just started laughing…and then from there we both started reminiscing like on

all kinds of stuff, just kind of picking up from where we left off so it’s all cool.”

FUTURE MUSIC WITH EMINEM:

“Yeah, it’s always a possibility. We see each other all the time. We constantly

playing each others music, constantly trying to keep each other sharp. I think

that’s really important at the points that we are individually in our careers.

We got music sitting around that we haven’t done anything with that’s going to

be happened at some point for sure. This year…is pushing it. I got so many

things that I’m trying to do. I don’t even know what hes doing right now. I don’t

know what hes working on right now. I know I’m going to see him on his

sobriety birthday. I’m going to make a special trip up there to do that.

Normally when we talk to each other it’s normally just kind of catching up or

just seeing how each is doing…we talk a lot about boxing. Very rarely am I like

‘yo man let’s do Bad Meets Evil.’

ON EMINEM EVER USING THE ‘N’ WORD’:

“No…you know what…only when he was cutting reference vocals, and he didn’t

like it. Em is not one of those kind of guys. You got to push him for certain

things, but he’s not one of those guys that comes around and gets comfortable

and just starts acting crazy. He’s about the culture and he’s about respect. I

think that’s why we’re so close and I was always able to make a connection

with him at such an early age. One day same as the next…consistent.”

ON TABERNACLE SONG OFF LAYERS ALBUM:

“Tabernacle is basically about the span of December 28th and December 29th in the

year of 1997. It was the day that my oldest son was born, my grandmother died, and

I met Eminem. All of these things happened on the same day.

I had to do a show opening up for Usher that night. I really left because I didn’t like

seeing my mom hurt like that. It was a lot for me at that young age. I went ahead and

did the show. Got off stage. Kino was there and Marshall was there selling his local

EP, the Shady EP. A cassette tape…he had a cassette booth. Kino introduced us. Of

course I already knew who he was. I was on stage and I did an acapella verse and I

said ‘I’m iller than standing in front of a gorilla holding a banana.’ That was ill back

then for some reason, I don’t know why. That’s the line that I said. Marshall really

liked that line so we started kicking it, started getting on the phone. After that I left,

went back to the hospital…when I got there they told me my granny didn’t make it. I

didn’t have a cell phone or nothing like that. They were wheeling my son right past

me as soon as I walked in. I just missed the birth. 5 or 10 minutes later, I was able to

get him. He looked like me to me. It was my first time feeling that. I was still feeling

the emotion of my grandmother. I looked at him and just cried. December 29th, 1997

that was my day. God giveth and god taken away. When you factor in the 5th floor

and the 9th floor. Eventually Em got signed to Dre and the only song he had on his

demo that was featuring somebody that they wanted to use was the song that we

did. I went out to LA to recut my vocals for bad meets evil. Me and Em started

getting real close.

He hooked me up with Dre. Dre ended up calling me. Cold calling me out of

nowhere when I was at my dads house. My dad came in the room and said

‘somebody named Dr. Dre is on the phone for you.’ I was just sitting in the

room getting a call from Dr. Dre on a house phone, not a rotary, just a regular

house phone. I get that call and I eventually went out there and started

working with Dre on the Chronic album and after that all the labels I was

taking meetings with that slammed doors in my face ended up calling back

because they found out I was running around with Marshall. I was Marshall’s

hype man. They found out I was working with Dre. I went back and did

meetings with the same labels and played them the same music and got a deal.

ON NEW COMPANY BAD HALF ENTERTAINMENT

“I put out Trust The Shooter to give people an idea of whats to come for the

company. I’m putting Layers out through Bad Half. That’s my company. That’s my

label. Im going to be looking to sign artists and we gonna see where it goes.”

“I got so much stuff prepared. All I’ve been doing while I’ve been quiet is loading up

this huge clip. Clip of wonderful things to shoot out in the public. Wonderful,

wonderful things.”

ROYCE’S TOP 5 NBA PLAYERS EVER:

“I have to put Kobe top 5 all-time. Michael Jordan has to be number one on every

list. Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, Jerry West…Wilt Chamberlain, Magic Johnson.”

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