We always have a trick up our sleeve here. Whilst we’ve been putting the finishing touches on bringing together some of the world’s most talented MC’s, we’ve been in touch with another who was gracious enough to spare some time out of his hectic schedule for an exclusive OTU interview.
Royce Da 5’9″ is Detroit’s shining star and aside from being an OTU favourite, Royce has famously worked with Eminem, D12, Dre and DJ Premier to name only a few and is now taking the industry by storm with the lyrical powerhouse Slaughterhouse.
Read the exclusive interview after the jump to find out what Royce had to say about squashing the beef with Proof, how Twitter has helped engage with his fans and who he’s feeling from this generations’ current crop of emcees…
How are you feeling after finally getting BE3 out there? Have you been satisfied with the general feedback?
I feel good. I put a lot of work in my BE albums so I’m always anxious to see the people’s reaction to the music. I love the feedback so far. I’m thinking about BE4 now.
As a growing entity ourselves at Overrating the Underrated, we realise the importance that social media plays now in interacting with our fans. As one of our favourite tweeters you often come out with a few 140 character gems, how has Twitter and @TheRealRoyce59 helped develop your relationship with your fans?
Twitter has allowed my fans, and even people who wouldn’t normally listen to Royce, a chance to see my personality without having to rely on just hearing my music, reading interviews or getting second-hand info
Do you have any personal favourite tracks from the entire Bar Exam series?
I love all of my music but “Skinny Jeans” would definitely be one of my favs.
What’s it like working with Premo, often considered the greatest producer of all time? It must be an honour to work with him as he is notorious for only working with artists he believes truly have talent.
Working with Premo is not only a honor but he’s one of the people in this industry I consider a friend. He’s a really good guy.
My (Murray) first exposure to Royce Da 5’9″ was on The Game Radio FM on Grand Theft Auto 3. This is often seen as the beginning of your movement away from your ties with Em. What was it like realising you were getting your tracks out into a more mainstream audience and going it alone?
I never really saw it that way. It was a opportunity that came to me that I thought was a good idea to be part of and it just turned out to be a big success.
As we have often alluded to in some articles on Overrating the Underrated, you are never afraid to speak your mind and this is something the industry clearly respects you for. There is often some confusion surrounding several of your beefs / relationships however.
Firstly, it must have been a tough decision to cut ties with Dre after he suggested you end your relationship with your manager? Did this have rippling effects across any of your other relationships such as Em or any of the Aftermath team?
That never happened, and I never had beef or was asked to part ways with Kino because of that. It’s just one of the rumors that wasn’t worth explaining. Me and Dre nor anyone at Aftermath has ever had a problem
As big fans of yourself and Proof, I’ve (Indi) always wanted to have been a fly on the wall when (if this urban legend is even true) you two patched things up in a police cell. Could you shed some light into that conversation?
The short version of that story is that we knew the only way things could end was to: A) Settle our misunderstandings, B) End up dead or C) Kill someone and end up in prison. Choice A was the logical and right decision. Proof was and will always be a dear friend to me. So to have the the chance to clear up a lot of misunderstandings and reconcile our differences before he passed is a big deal for me.
Following on from that, what was the best memory you have of Proof? He’s always struck me as someone who loved to have fun.
There are too many memories to even begin to pick one. Every time I hung with him I’m sure there was a story to tell at the end of the night lol.
With the benefit of hindsight, what was the best mistake you ever made?
I don’t believe in mistakes, but there are always lessons to learn. If you learn from things that happen in your life then it’s considered a learning experience, not a mistake.
Which is your favourite Royce studio album to date and why?
I love everything that I do. My music is a reflection of where I am in my life.
We enjoyed the recent freestyle with Mr. Porter, Eminem and you, and obviously Session One from Recovery. When’s that Bad Meets Evil collab going to happen?
You’ll just have to wait to see!
Speaking of Eminem, there are obviously moves being made to get Slaughterhouse on Shady Records. Have you talked much about the direction Slaughterhouse will be taking? If so, can you share any details with us?
We are still working that out but we have some big things coming before the end of this year.
We were pretty surprised to hear you dissing Saigon on BE3, in that it’s taken you so long to respond. What was the reasoning behind keeping that record on lock for so long? (Assuming you actually wrote it a while back?)
I don’t think I dissed Saigon. I was just responding to something he said regarding SH.
Without causing any infighting, who do you believe is the best lyricist in Slaughterhouse? Is there anyone who consistently makes you go “Damn!” in the studio?
All 3 of them make me go “damn” they are all very talented guys
How are you feeling about the current crop of rappers? Outside of Slaughterhouse, is there anyone in particular you’re finding yourself really appreciating?
I like Drake, Nicki, Yelawolf, Asher, Wale, J Cole. There are too many new talented people to name
What’s next for you? You focusing on the Slaughterhouse stuff, or are you working on another mixtape/album?
Taking over the world.
Thanks go out to Royce himself for sparing the time to answer our questions. If you haven’t already, make sure you get your hands on Royce’s Bar Exam 3 here and read our review on Royce’s acclaimed mixtape.
Keep your eyes peeled for Royce’s upcoming solo and Slaughterhouse work, you can be sure to hear it here first!