Menu

Archives

Search

Royce Da 5’9″ Interview (“The Revival EP,” Slaughterhouse)

July 8, 2009

royce

By Brandon Dunlap
In the realm of Hip Hop these days, the word “beef” evokes two eye-rolling connotations: an artist’s over-hyped publicity stunt or premature hot-headed misunderstandings. But for iconic Detroit rap veteran Royce Da 5’9”, controversy has become the brick and mortar of his new super group Slaughterhouse. After he and Joe Budden avoided a brewing dispute by collaborating on a song with Joell Ortiz, Crooked I and Nino Bless for Budden’s album Halfway House, the group’s (sans Nino) undeniable chemistry spawned a handful more tracks they leaked to the web. Each member is releasing an EP of material to prime listeners for the group’s album in August. Royce holds up his end of the bargain with The Revival EP, which contains four tracks from his much-anticipated Street Hop album with DJ Premier. Surpassing his 2002 debut Rock City (Version 2.0), for the past six years he has reestablished himself as one of Motown’s rhyming juggernauts through the Internet and tour circuits with numerous cameos and his The Bar Exam mixtape series. Not even the bars of a prison sentence or struggles with alcoholism can impede his vision for himself and what Hip Hop should be: authentic and inspired. “I’m stepping into that Eminem, Jay-Z and Nas realm. It’s time for you to start comparing me to the greats now,” Royce says. “I got a classic album on my hands and I can do it on that level. I just want to be looked at like that, and I’m not going to stop until they do.”
The Revival EP which drops Tuesday, tell me a little about it. Is this going to be primer from Street Hop?
Yeah, it’s going to be four joints off the album [that hits stores in] September. I just picked four I felt were suitable for digital download, something I felt they would definitely eat up. It’s definitely going to be a tight little four-prong package. It’s going to be like a package of four pills, like drugs. … I feel they’re going to think it’s incredible; they’re going to feel like I stepped it up.
It is speculated that Slaughterhouse came together from your beef with Joe Budden. Can you tell readers how you all came together, making a song turn into this idea for a super group?
Yeah me and Joey had a little issue at that moment, but that’s not what started the group. I mean that’s probably what got me on the song that initially triggered everything, the song called “Slaughterhouse.” It was on Joey’s Halfway House project. He picked the emcees to be on the song, I had nothing to do with that. He just called me—this was our first time talking since we had issues—like, “I need you on this joint.” When I asked who would be on it, he said “Me, you, Crooked I, Joell Ortiz and Nino Bless.” I was like, “Aw shit, that’s a slaughterhouse.” He was like “yeah, I might call it that, while you’re bullshitting.”
From there it kind of manifested itself after the song came out. It put the streets in a frenzy, they were fucking with it crazy. He called me and said, “Yo, we have to do something else, we have to take advantage of the buzz we have off this song.” And it just went from there, a few songs, a few freestyles, a few meetings, a lot of hanging out later—and here we are.
Can you give me the real deal with your beef with Joe Budden? What was your side of the situation?
I think it was a misunderstanding. Well actually, it wasn’t a misunderstanding; it was very cut and dry. He made a song…but the original version got out, and he didn’t call me to let me know he changed it. So I didn’t know. So when it came out I thought he was fucking with me, so I just started fucking with him. He got tired of me fucking with him so basically he got some interviews to say basically: if you keep fucking with me, we’re going to do this. … Before it could get to that, the Slaughterhouse song happened. And I’m so glad it happened because my life has changed tremendously. I’m glad I took (Royce’s manager) Kino’s advice because I was definitely about to try and tear Joey a new asshole.
Did the beef you had with D12 in the past influence your mindset in handling your issues with Joe?
Yeah but not even the D12 shit, I don’t even like to talk about that. But just so many things I’ve been through in terms of the streets. I know how it feels to be in a situation like that where you constantly have to watch your back. You’ve got to always hunt, because if you don’t you’re being hunted. It’s not a good way to live, nobody wants to live like that. So I try to keep Joey from getting in those types of situations, because he is younger than me so he’s like a firecracker. He says whatever is on his mind. If you set him off he’s coming to get you. So I just tried to show him another way to look at shit, to prevent him from living his life like that. The nigga is too talented to live his life like that. You start living your life like that, other stuff like that money and the business slow down. Beef costs money. Buying a bunch of AK’s and putting hits out on people, that shit costs, who wants to do that? That’s why I laugh at these rappers when they talk that beef shit. They glorify beef but half of them ain’t really been through it.
There have been many Hip Hop super groups that have come together before. Considering the current state of the game, what is Slaughterhouse bringing to the different to the table?
We bring the fire back to Hip Hop. We’re the lighter in under Hip Hop right now. There are other people that got movements but it’s not like us, not what we’re doing. We are brining raw Hip Hop back. Filling what I consider an extremely huge void in the market place. Look we leaked two freestyles to the internet and got a record deal off of that. It’s because of how extreme that was. Then we’re the first group to actually execute: you’ve got the Four Horsemen, Jay-Z, Murder Inc. and the DMX thing, they were trying to do. None of those guys saw that whole process through. We’re actually done with the album, have a release date and on the road promoting it. We’re the first one to execute; we bring that to the table.
As you are working with three other top caliber lyricists such as yourself, was there anyone in particular that made you want to come harder when you all were in the booth?
They all do that’s the beauty of it. It’s hard to single somebody out when you have niggas that dope. The good thing about Slaughterhouse is everybody holds their own, then we build on that. Crooked is untouchable line for line, so he comes to the table and brings those lines. I’m an excellent songwriter, so I bring that to the table and write songs. Joey is a crazy introspective songwriter. Joell Ortiz is a perfect personal songwriter, he brings that to the table. So it’s a balance, it’s hard for me to single anybody out to say this one nigga made me rhyme harder because all three of them do. Every time they go in the booth I get butterflies. It’s all of them not just one.
The Slaughterhouse song “Move On” talks a lot about the industry politics. How does what you’ve encountered influence the way you guys work now—especially together in the group?
I think the fact that we have all been through the bullshit, is the main reason we were able to work. We all may not have been able to do this shit if we were 23 or 24. It probably all would have imploded before it started, but our mind frames were different back then. But we are all more mature, been through the bullshit, we know how to deal with people now in the business. We know sometimes you have to bend on something you would do for your soul, for the situation to work. As far as the ego thing, a lot of people are worried about that. But that’s the least of everybody’s worries. We all have huge egos and we haven’t had to put them aside yet. The industry shit we’ve been through, I’m so glad we did because it helps to relate to each other now.
Earlier you referenced The Four Horsemen with Canibus, Kurupt, Ras Kass and Killah Priest and there have been so many others like The Firm that have these crucial MC’s come together but don’t last. Do you feel like Slaughterhouse as a group has greater lasting potential past this debut joint disc?
Definitely, I got the shit tattooed on my hand. It’s going to last, I’m not worried about that. If I felt the shit was shaky, I would’ve never got this tat. I have all the faith in the world in us, I trust them niggas.
Would you guys only use this super group to further your own respective hype as solo artists?
I mean, I can only speak for myself but that’s not the agenda I’m on. I want this to work for Hip Hop. It’s not just to build excitement to say, “Oh yeah, I have an album coming out.” When I get with three other MC’s that people love and respect, and say that we all have an album, that’s automatically more excitement. It’s not just a side hustle.
MHH: What’s changed about Royce Da 5’9” since “Rock City” dropped in 2002? If you feel its one thing that you’ve progressed with, what would that be?
Royce Da 5’9”: I’m mature, not only as an artist but as a man. Now I’m stepping into that Eminem, Jay-Z and Nas realm, it’s time for you to start comparing me to the greats now. I got a classic album on my hands and I can do it on that level. I just want to be looked at like that and I’m not going to stop until they do

In the realm of Hip Hop these days, the word “beef” evokes two eye-rolling connotations: an artist’s over-hyped publicity stunt or premature hot-headed misunderstandings. But for iconic Detroit rap veteran Royce Da 5’9”, controversy has become the brick and mortar of his new super-group Slaughterhouse. After he and Joe Budden avoided a brewing dispute by collaborating on a song with Joell Ortiz, Crooked I and Nino Bless for Budden’s album Halfway House, the group’s (sans Nino) undeniable chemistry spawned a handful more tracks they leaked to the web. Each member is releasing an EP of material to prime listeners for the group’s album in August. Royce holds up his end of the bargain with The Revival EP (purchase HERE), which contains four tracks from his much-anticipated Street Hop album with DJ Premier. Surpassing his 2002 debut Rock City (Version 2.0), for the past six years he has reestablished himself as one of Motown’s rhyming juggernauts through the Internet and tour circuits with numerous cameos and his Bar Exam mixtape series. Not even the bars of a prison sentence or struggles with alcoholism can impede his vision for himself and what Hip Hop should be: authentic and inspired. “I’m stepping into that Eminem, Jay-Z and Nas realm. It’s time for you to start comparing me to the greats now,” Royce says. “I got a classic album on my hands and I can do it on that level. I just want to be looked at like that, and I’m not going to stop until they do.”

Tell me about The Revival EP drops Tuesday, July 7. Is this going to be primer from Street Hop?

Yeah, it’s going to be four joints off the album [that hits stores in] September. I just picked four I felt were suitable for digital download, something I felt they would definitely eat up. It’s definitely going to be a tight little four-prong package. It’s going to be like a package of four pills, like drugs. … I feel they’re going to think it’s incredible; they’re going to feel like I stepped it up.

It is speculated that Slaughterhouse came together from your beef with Joe Budden. Can you tell readers how you all came together, making a song turn into this idea for a super-group?

Yeah me and Joey had a little issue at that moment, but that’s not what started the group. I mean that’s probably what got me on the song that initially triggered everything, the song called “Slaughterhouse.” It was on Joey’s Halfway House project. He picked the emcees to be on the song, I had nothing to do with that. He just called me—this was our first time talking since we had issues—like, “I need you on this joint.” When I asked who would be on it, he said “Me, you, Crooked I, Joell Ortiz and Nino Bless.” I was like, “Aw shit, that’s a slaughterhouse.” He was like “yeah, I might call it that, while you’re bullshitting.”

From there it kind of manifested itself after the song came out. It put the streets in a frenzy, they were fucking with it crazy. He called me and said, “Yo, we have to do something else, we have to take advantage of the buzz we have off this song.” And it just went from there, a few songs, a few freestyles, a few meetings, a lot of hanging out later—and here we are.

Can you give me the real deal with your beef with Joe Budden? What was your side of the situation?

I think it was a misunderstanding. Well actually, it wasn’t a misunderstanding; it was very cut and dry. He made a song…but the original version got out, and he didn’t call me to let me know he changed it. So I didn’t know. So when it came out I thought he was fucking with me, so I just started fucking with him. He got tired of me fucking with him so basically he got some interviews to say basically: if you keep fucking with me, we’re going to do this. … Before it could get to that, the Slaughterhouse song happened. And I’m so glad it happened because my life has changed tremendously. I’m glad I took (Royce’s manager) Kino’s advice because I was definitely about to try and tear Joey a new asshole.

Did the beef you had with D12 in the past influence your mindset in handling your issues with Joe?

Yeah but not even the D12 shit, I don’t even like to talk about that. But just so many things I’ve been through in terms of the streets. I know how it feels to be in a situation like that where you constantly have to watch your back. You’ve got to always hunt, because if you don’t you’re being hunted. It’s not a good way to live, nobody wants to live like that. So I try to keep Joey from getting in those types of situations, because he is younger than me so he’s like a firecracker. He says whatever is on his mind. If you set him off he’s coming to get you. So I just tried to show him another way to look at shit, to prevent him from living his life like that. The nigga is too talented to live his life like that. You start living your life like that, other stuff like that money and the business slow down. Beef costs money. Buying a bunch of AK’s and putting hits out on people, that shit costs, who wants to do that? That’s why I laugh at these rappers when they talk that beef shit. They glorify beef but half of them ain’t really been through it.

There have been many Hip Hop super-groups that have come together before. Considering the current state of the game, what is Slaughterhouse bringing different to the table?

We bring the fire back to Hip Hop. We’re the lighter in under Hip Hop right now. There are other people that got movements but it’s not like us, not what we’re doing. We are brining raw Hip Hop back. Filling what I consider an extremely huge void in the market place. Look we leaked two freestyles to the internet and got a record deal off of that. It’s because of how extreme that was. Then we’re the first group to actually execute: you’ve got the Four Horsemen, Jay-Z, Murder Inc. and the DMX thing, they were trying to do. None of those guys saw that whole process through. We’re actually done with the album, have a release date and on the road promoting it. We’re the first one to execute; we bring that to the table.

As you are working with three other top caliber lyricists such as yourself, was there anyone in particular that made you want to come harder when you all were in the booth?

They all do that’s the beauty of it. It’s hard to single somebody out when you have niggas that dope. The good thing about Slaughterhouse is everybody holds their own, then we build on that. Crooked is untouchable line for line, so he comes to the table and brings those lines. I’m an excellent songwriter, so I bring that to the table and write songs. Joey is a crazy introspective songwriter. Joell Ortiz is a perfect personal songwriter, he brings that to the table. So it’s a balance, it’s hard for me to single anybody out to say this one nigga made me rhyme harder because all three of them do. Every time they go in the booth I get butterflies. It’s all of them not just one.

The Slaughterhouse song “Move On” talks a lot about industry politics. How does what you’ve encountered influence the way you guys work now—especially together in the group?

I think the fact that we have all been through the bullshit, is the main reason we were able to work. We all may not have been able to do this shit if we were 23 or 24. It probably all would have imploded before it started, but our mind frames were different back then. But we are all more mature, been through the bullshit, we know how to deal with people now in the business. We know sometimes you have to bend on something you would do for your soul, for the situation to work. As far as the ego thing, a lot of people are worried about that. But that’s the least of everybody’s worries. We all have huge egos and we haven’t had to put them aside yet. The industry shit we’ve been through, I’m so glad we did because it helps to relate to each other now.

Earlier you referenced The Four Horsemen with Canibus, Kurupt, Ras Kass and Killah Priest and there have been so many others like The Firm that have these crucial MC’s come together but don’t last. Do you feel like Slaughterhouse as a group has greater lasting potential past this debut joint disc?

Definitely, I got the shit tattooed on my hand. It’s going to last, I’m not worried about that. If I felt the shit was shaky, I would’ve never got this tat. I have all the faith in the world in us, I trust them niggas.

Would you guys only use this super-group to further your own respective hype as solo artists?

I mean, I can only speak for myself but that’s not the agenda I’m on. I want this to work for Hip Hop. It’s not just to build excitement to say, “Oh yeah, I have an album coming out.” When I get with three other MC’s that people love and respect, and say that we all have an album, that’s automatically more excitement. It’s not just a side hustle.

3 Comments »

  1. UNCLE P says:

    Great story! HIP HOP NEEDS THIS RIGHT NOW!!!
    THIS IS MY MOST ANTICIPATED ALBUM OF 09!

    July 8th, 2009 at 12:15 pm

  2. MichiganHipHop.com » Royce Da 5′9″ Interview With Ms. Drama (Video) says:

    […] Royce Da 5′9″ Interview ADVERTISEMENTS: sr_adspace_id = 1000000189507; sr_adspace_width = 300; sr_adspace_height = 250; […]

    October 2nd, 2009 at 12:02 pm

  3. MichiganHipHop.com » Royce Da 5′9″ Breaks Down Songs From “Street Hop” says:

    […] greats now,” Royce Da 5′9″ said in his last interview with MichiganHipHop.com (click to read). “I  got a classic album on my hands, and I can do it on that level.” It’s […]

    November 5th, 2009 at 2:21 pm

Leave a comment