In this episode of People’s Party, Talib Kweli and Jasmin Leigh sit down with rapper, songwriter, producer, and one of your favorite emcee’s favorite emcees — ROYCE DA 5’9″.
The deep level of mutual respect is clear as Talib opens up by telling Royce how much his work has impacted him and his own evolution as an lyricist. Then show kicks off with talk about the history of Detroit hip hop and the infamous Hip Hop Shop. They go on to discuss and dissect Royce’s song ‘Tabernacle’, Royce’s path to sobriety, where he speaks to if he feels he’s become a better artist because of it. Royce also talks about his longtime friendship with his manager Kino, he answers the question of if he regrets not signing on with Dr. Dre’s Aftermath Records. They discuss Royce’s long-time friendship with Eminem, and he’s asked if there’s anything he hasn’t shared about Em, and if he thinks it’s true that their styles mirror each other, he shares how he feels about the old tapes of Em disrespecting black women, they discuss Em owning up to white privilege and Royce answers to why he felt the need to speak out against Lord Jamar and his public criticism of Em’s relevance to the culture.
Later, Royce speaks to his beef with fellow Detroit native Proof. He tells how a stand-off in downtown Detroit led to them being locked up together, and squashing the long-standing conflict. Royce also digs into his relationship with DJ Premier, linking up very early in Royce’s solo career, and how they continue to be regarded as one of hip hop’s most dynamic duos. Royce also tells the fascinating story of how the supergroup Slaughterhouse really came to fruition. Royce is asked to expand on bars from several of his songs like ‘Overcomer’, the significance of naming his album ‘The Allegory’, he talks about his friendship with the hip-hop collective Griselda, as well as responds to questions about bars from his song ‘Upside Down’ in regards to leaving a lasting legacy in the game. He also touches on his work with the ‘Marshall Mathers Foundation’, creating opportunities for Detroit’s inner-city youth.