Royce 5’9″ Discusses “The Most Significant Day Of His Life” & Debuts 2 New Songs (Video)
On the heels of announcing the forthcoming release of Layers (April 15), his first solo album in nearly 5 years, Royce 5’9″ paid a visit to the Sway in the Morning show to premiere the album’s lead single, “Tabernacle.” Over the course of a nearly 35-minute interview, Royce would play not one, but 2 never before heard songs, and reveal intimate details about his history and present state of mind.
Sway kicked off the conversation noting that Royce physically looked like he was in a mentally and spiritually good place. Royce acknowledge that he was, attributing it in part to diet and sobriety. In setting up the premiere of “Tabernacle,” his lead single for Layers, Royce said “It’s a story that I’ve wanted to tell my whole career, but I didn’t decide to tell it until I got sober. It’s the first song that I wrote when I got sober 4 years ago.”
After hearing the song, Sway’s reaction was “Shit. Homie, I had to hold back my tears.” His words were in response to the incredible true story of “Tabernacle,” which details a day in 1997 when Royce experienced the birth of his first child, suffered the unexpected death of his grandmother due to a car accident, and met Eminem, who would become his friend and usher him into Hip-Hop, all within a few hours of one another. Royce said that it was not until he became sober that he connected the dots of everything that happened on that fateful day.
After, Royce candidly discussed his past struggles with substance abuse. He said that he did not drinking until he was 21, and attributed it to hanging around the wrong people. He also spoke about his family history. “My father had some addiction problems. My father was actually addicted to cocaine and he went to rehab when I was real young, and he explained to me at an early age ‘like, look man, you’re not going to be able to do these things that you think you’re going to be able to do like your friends are going to be able to, because you’re wired different. You come from a long line of alcoholics and drug addicts. I didn’t listen.”
In speaking about the new album, Royce said “a lot of people, when they hear the album, I think they’re going to feel like this album is how my first album should have sounded. This is going to be my introduction where you’ll actually feel like that you get to know me a little bit. I never had the desire to be introspective in music, ’cause I just wanted to get drunk and rap reckless shit. So now, I’m kinda doing it in reverse.” Minutes later, he says that had he not stopped drinking when he did, doctors say a couple of months later, he would have done irreversible damage to his liver.
After, Royce takes some calls and a listener inquires about future projects with Eminem. Royce says Bad Meets Evil is something he and Marshall do for fun, but does reveal there are unreleased tracks the two have done together. He also says that he and DJ Premier are going to meet in April to discuss their next PRhyme album.
Before leaving, Royce has another trick up his sleeve. While he did not come with a freestyle, he did record a new song specifically for Sway in the Morning. Titled “Dead President Heads,” the song is the counterbalance to “Tabernacle.” While “Tabernacle” showcases the sensitive and vulnerable side of Royce, “Dead President Heads” showcases the aggressive MC who is trying to lyrically destroy anyone in his path.
Take a look at the entire interview and check out “Dead President Heads” below and at the 25 minute mark, on the dot.
Here’s “Dead President Heads:”