royce-1_phixrThere are many different ways people view success. Some might view it as obtaining mounds and mounds of wealth, while others might have a different perspective on it.

In Hip-Hop, of course the name of the game involves breaking into the mainstream, and hopefully one day cracking the Forbes list.

For a handful, that day has already come, but for others, they lie in wait—patiently.

Detroit lyricist, Royce da 5’9” can be located on the latter end of the spectrum, but the amount of respect he earns comes from those who are already on the side many artists wish to be on.

The MC who’s been rumored to have ghostwritten for the likes of Sean “Puffy” Combs, and Dr. Dre has managed to keep his career on track in the midst of a one-year incarceration, and beefs with others, to still remain one of the most identifiable figures to command a microphone.

As he sets fourth to release his latest project, Street Hop, the ¼ of Slaughterhouse definitely has a new lease on his career, and so far, it doesn’t look like the repo man will be paying the wordsmith from “The D” a visit now, or in the nearby future…


iHipHop.com: Right now you got the Street Hop album about to drop, the Slaughterhouse project is coming out, and you have The Revival up on deck. So what can people expect from all of that material?

Royce da 5’9”: Well as for The Revival, that’s going to be short…It’s just going to be a 4-song download joint just to get people excited on what I’m working on… That’s coming in July… The Slaughterhouse album is coming in August…

Everybody is going to be piggybacking off each other, and it’s going to be a beautiful thing… My Street Hop album is executive produced by DJ Premier, and it’s my best work…

It’s diverse; it has stories, spit-songs, and concepts… It’s just a complete album… Just how Biggie used to do it, and just how Nas used to do it…

iHipHop.com: Was that basically a conscious decision on your part to have [DJ] Premier come in and executive produce Street Hop?

royce-preemRoyce da 5’9”: I was just looking at the feedback, and how people look at it whenever Preem and me get together…

People get excited whenever we do something, so a light bulb went off in my head, and I asked him to do the next album, and he was with it…

That was a blessing for me, and we decided to go in there and get that sh*t done… So once I said that Preem was going to be the executive producer, I knew that would build a new level of excitement…

iHipHop.com: I’ve been hearing about the Street Hop project for a couple of years now… Why did it take this long for it to finally come to fruition?

Royce da 5’9”: I was working on it, but I went through a little bit of a struggle… So I had to do a little bit of time, but when I got back out, I started working again… But by that time, a lot of the sh*t I had got leaked out…

It leaked out before I was ready to even drop it, so I went in and started cutting some more songs… So I went in there, and did a whole ‘nother album [Laughing]…

The same title, just a whole ‘nother album… It ended up coming out ten times better, so it was kind of like a blessing… I don’t think it was rushed, because I dropped The Bar Exam 1 and I dropped The Bar Exam 2[Click for Bar Exam 2 download]

So those held me over until this project, and then the opportunity came from E1 [KOCH Records] to sign Slaughterhouse… I was ready to go with my album, but E1 wanted us to put out Slaughterhouse while we were on the road, so I pushed mine back…

iHipHop.com: So with all that you have going on in the next few months, you’re not worried about giving the people too much at once?

royce-2Royce da 5’9”: Nah, I don’t think so… Things have changed so much, and you can’t live by the same rules you did about 6-7 years ago… It’s the informational era, and the material is so easy to get…

I feel like the more the actual listening public gets to hear that person, the more they like that person, and they buy into that brand… So my thing now is just visibility, and I don’t think it’s possible to be “too visible.”

If Lil Wayne can get cleared to do a hundred-million verses in one year by his label, and be the biggest sh*t in music because of it, then that’s just showing people a whole new way of marketing… That’s what this new era is about: It’s about new ways of marketing, and new ways of doing business…

iHipHop.com: I just wanted to touch on your incarceration really quickly… When you were going through that situation, did you feel as if that was hindering your progress, and your window of opportunity was closing?

Royce da 5’9”: I went through that like in the first month… I never been much of a panicky person, and I did feel like I could’ve been getting a lot more done… But in the same token, I think God just needed to chill me out for a second, because I was living my life real f*cked up…So I needed to sit down, and put things into perspective, and it was a well needed time off for me…

Then I stopped feeling like that after the second month, and then the time just flew by… When I got out, I knew what I had to do, and I knew I had to make up for lost time… I knew had to prove people wrong, because a lot of them said that I was through…

But you know what? Mothaf*ckas been counting me out for the last eight years, and I’ve been proving people wrong since then… I stopped listening to what other people say, because mothaf*ckas is haters, and then when you get on top, they love you…

s-house-pic-1iHipHop.com:  Plus, I wanted to get into the Slaughterhouse situation… With all of you guys being from different regions, so how did everyone of you initially hook up?

Royce da 5’9”: Joey [Click for Padded Room review] reached out to everybody… He had his mind made up on the MC’s that he wanted on this song, because he wanted a posse cut on his album…

So he went and picked the best mothaf*ckas that he thought were spitting…

Then he called me, and asked me to do it, and I had some personal sh*t that I was going through—because my daughter was born that day…

So I was really just on some sh*t like, “I really don’t wanna leave this hospital because my little girl is here.” So we had our issues, and I was like, “This sh*t better be good!” Then we finally got on the phone, and I asked him who was on the song? Then he told me Crooked I, Joell Ortiz, and Nino Bless… Then I told him it sounded like a slaughterhouse, and he said he just might call the song that…

He said he needed it by the next day, and I didn’t want to miss an opportunity to get on a song with them n*ggas, so I shot to the studio, laced it, and went right back to the hospital… Then it came out, and my phone started going crazy, I thought somebody got killed, and when I answered, people were like, “What’s up with that song you got on the Internet with Joe Budden and Crooked I?” “This sh*t is crazy!!!”

So I went online, and that mothaf*cka was at a zillion hits… So from there,  Joey called within the next two days and was like, “We need to keep this sh*t going, we need another song.” I told him I was with it, and then Chino [XL] was like, “Y’all need to do a group.” Then we started doing meetings, I met Crooked I, and he was cool as hell, [Joell] Ortiz was cool as hell, and we just started talking… It just came together beautifully, and I still can’t believe it…

iHipHop.com: When Eminem came out with Relapse [Click for Relapse review], BET brought back a special edition of Rap City… Then during the interview, Big Tigga asked Em about his favorite artists right now… Then Em said that you were one of his favorite artists, but he feels that you should be bigger than what you are. Is that how you feel about your own career up to this point?

Royce da 5’9”: Sometimes I wake up and feel like I could’ve been bigger, had I made better decisions, but sometimes it be like that… I’m a firm believer in fate, and I believe everything happens for a reason… So maybe it wasn’t meant for me to blow up at the moment when people thought I would, because now I’m getting right back to that point…

Now I can handle this sh*t a lot better… I’m not a kid anymore; I’m a grown man… That’s why I would prefer for things to start happening now, because I can handle it… Back then; I couldn’t handle it… So I’m glad it kind of went how it went… I’m glad Em said that… I’m sure he would have said a lot more if Tigga didn’t cut him off, and was like, “SO, WHAT DO YOU THINK OF ASHER ROTH?” [Click for Asher Roth interview] [Laughs]…

iHipHop.com: [Laughing]…

3635567200_54a4bbdf53Royce da 5’9”: The game is super f*cked up, and we need a makeover… We need Slaughterhouse, we need Eminem, we need Jay-Z’s next album, and we need Nas to come back out…

iHipHop.com: Speaking of Nas, I heard rumors a while back saying that you were going to sign with his imprint or with Puffy at one point… Was any of that stuff true?

Royce da 5’9”: Nah, that’s not true… I never had conversations with Puffy about signing to Bad Boy, and I never had a conversation with Nas about signing with the Jones Project

He made a comment in an interview that I was dope, no different from the comment Eminem made… Nas just said he was feeling me, and he thought I was nice…

Then Puff might have expressed how dope he thought I was somewhere, or something… When people hear that, they’re like, “Okay, he must be about to sign over there.”

These legends don’t make these comments because they want to invest in that person, they make those comments because that’s just how they feel… They’re fans too…

Just cause Puffy thinks I’m dope, that doesn’t mean he’s going to throw a million dollars into me, he got his own thing to be doing… That’s my n*gga…