As Royce Da 5’9″ walks in and takes a seat in our New York City office, the first thing I notice about him is his tranquil demeanor. He’s relaxed and isn’t at all famished, despite being a tackled by a slew of media obligations in lieu of his new solo album Layers. Royce has been through this all before. He’s accustomed to being pressed by media outlets about what’s he cooking up with Eminem or about what studio stories he has in the tank with the legendary DJ Premier. Rather than nose dive into those waters of conversation, we spoke on what matters most at this juncture of his life.
Years ago, the embattled rapper had a vicious bout with alcoholism. Instead of succumbing and letting his demons drag him into oblivion, he mustered up the courage to dropkick the habit out for good in September 2012. Because of that, his lyricism is sharper than ever, his flows are crisper, but more importantly, his life is in better shape. Once a mercurial rapper, Royce is aware of his decision-making. He’s conscientious in his approach and knows what matters to him most: family and music.
By forging partnerships with the likes of DJ Premier (PRhyme), Eminem (Bad Meets Evil, and Slaughterhouse), it’s safe to say that Royce has the right people in his corner. But as we previously stated, it’s not about those guys, it’s about Royce and his second start at life.
On Friday, Royce will drop his first solo album in five years aptly titled Layers. The album will showcase a man ready to showcase his astute lyricism and candidly open up about his life in ways he never has before. With “Tabernacle” serving as our appetizer into Royce’s life and new album, it’s safe to say that he’s ready to give us the him, the real him, this time around.