The next big thing in hip-hop ... again?

· by Steve Bittrand
The next big thing in hip-hop ... again?

[Part 2 of 2]


Here is the second part of the interview with Royce da 5'9" ...


 

[more:]Prefix Magazine:
The name of the album is Death Is Certain. It's definitely one of the darkest, hardest hip-hop albums recently. What was your state of mind when you recorded this?

Royce da 5'9": Part 2:
It was the time when I was going through all my dramas and beefs and a lot of people were choosing to go against me for whatever reason. And that was my mind frame. I felt like it was me against the world. I felt like how Pac felt when he did Me Against the World. I just felt like nothing's guaranteed. Not your life, not your career. Anything can die. I wrote the album in like two weeks. It didn't take a lot of time because I had so much to say. All I needed was the music.

PM:
Sometimes an album seems rushed when it's done so quickly, but in this case I think it worked out well. It's like the listener is looking into your life in those two intense weeks.

Royce da 5'9": Part 2:
It was just a real serious time. I wasn't partying, so I wasn't going to do a party record. It wouldn't have come out natural. I just did what felt right to me.

PM:
You talked on the album and mentioned in this interview that people pretty much turned their backs on you when you were down. Were these people that were real close to you? Friends? Family?

Royce da 5'9": Part 2:
None of my family. Those are the only people I can depend on. The people I met through the music business. Just the experiences that I've been through have shown me that those aren't real friends. Anything can happen in the business. Especially if someone starts making more money than you. People can turn their backs on you really easy. That's basically what I was expressing. Never my family, though.

PM:
What's a regular day for you right now?

Royce da 5'9": Part 2:
Right now I'm on the road. I'm actually in the liquor store. "Can I get a liter of Bicardi Limon?" [To checkout clerk.] Yeah. So, we're in the liquor store right now. We're driving to Chatanooga. We'll be there for an hour and probably hit up the radio station. And then drive to Carolina and spend the night there. We're in Atlanta right now, fourteen hours from Chicago. We've been here for twoo days. Everyday is work. Even when I go to a club, it's work, because my job is to meet the deejay and have him play the record and just get everybody excited about the project. It's not about partying or anything like that.

PM:
So what are you drinking? What's your drink of choice?

Royce da 5'9": Part 2:
Bicardi Limon.

PM:
You have to get a sponsorship or something from them.

Royce da 5'9": Part 2:
I've been working on it.

PM:
What artists are you feeling right now?

Royce da 5'9": Part 2:
I like Jay-Z, Nas, 'Kiss, Cassidy. I really like R. Kelly. I think he's so far ahead of the game it's pathetic.

PM:
What about yourself as an artist. Do you think you can keep improving at this point?

Royce da 5'9": Part 2:
There's always room for improvement. That's why I work so much. I try to learn so much. That's probably the only reason I listen to other artists at this point in my career. Even if I feel an artist is not better than me, I feel like I can still learn from them. I can learn from other's mistakes. There's something about keeping your ear to the streets and in the loop.

PM:
Definitely. I noticed that in your photos you have a lot of tattoos. Are you still getting more or are you set?

Royce da 5'9": Part 2:
Nah. I'm gonna get more.

PM:
How many do you have?

Royce da 5'9": Part 2:
I got about thirteen of them. But I'm really picky with what I get. I don't go to tattoo parlors and pick nothing out of a book. 'Cause that's something that someone else can get. I have my wife design them, and then I take the design into the tattoo parlor.

PM:
How long have you been with your wife?

Royce da 5'9": Part 2:
I've been with her for about eight years.

PM:
Wow.

Royce da 5'9": Part 2:
I've been married for about two years.

PM:
So you've been with her since you were a kid growing up?

Royce da 5'9": Part 2:
Definitely. When I started rhyming.

PM:
Does that make it tough to be a hip-hop artist, since you're often on the road and also dealing with all the beef and drama and then having a family to take care of?

Royce da 5'9": Part 2:
Yeah, it makes it a little hard. There's been points in my life where I thought if I didn't have wife and son or people in my life and I was just independent, I'd just be out here beasting people. I'd just wake up every morning wanting to do something to somebody. That's one of the things that's keeping me grounded. I'm not going to put any of that on the line.

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