Royce Da 5’9 is a native Detroit rapper and songwriter that has been making waves for years. He’s been known to work with industry heavyweights such as Eminem, Dr. Dre, Sean Combs and many others.
Rolling out recently spoke with Royce about his upcoming concert with the Roots that’s set for on Friday, Aug. 31, 2018, at Chene Park, his memories of Aretha Franklin, and his latest project, the Book of Ryan. He also cleared the air on his “ghostwriting” credits.
What current projects are you working on?
I started a company called Heaven Entertainment. It started out as a studio, it’s not open to the public yet. It’s a private studio but I have a lot of young artists from the area come in and work, Chavis Chandler, Ashley Cherille just to name a couple. We just started building and it started to feel like a family and a vibe. My original company was Bad Half Entertainment and I decided to switch it and name everything Heaven, so everything falls under the same name. Everything that I put out moving forward whether it be solo stuff or group stuff you’ll always see the Heaven imprint on there.
So, how did you come up with the name Heaven Entertainment from Bad Half Entertainment?
Heaven came from when I first looked at the studio space, I was like, “Bro this is like heaven.” This is somewhere I can spend all my time, this is like heaven on Earth for artists. Everything we need is under this roof, we don’t have to outsource for anything. We don’t have to outsource for instruments, everything is here, we have as much space as we need, we can spend days at a time here, this is like heaven; so, we decided to call the studio Heaven.
You’ve worked with some well-known artists in the industry, namely Marshall “Eminem” Mathers. Do you have any plans to come out with something new?
We have a lot of stuff that’s been sitting that we did a while ago. I [have] definitely been trying to tie up a couple of loose ends over here, so I can get over there to his studio, so we can record some new stuff.
Have you ever collaborated with any other Detroit artists such as Big Sean or Kash Doll?
Yeah, I [collaborated] with [Big] Sean a few times. Kash Doll I haven’t had the opportunity to. Me and her, we don’t cross paths much, but I would love to, I would be honored to.
So, how did the Chene Park concert with The Roots on Friday, Aug. 31 come about?
I just got the call saying that we were doing it. We always wanted to do something in Chene Park, [since] it’s a legendary historic venue. I know that there was some type of issue the last time that The Roots came to perform, and a lot of the guys missed their flights or it was something going on with the weather and they [couldn’t] perform. I think it just made sense for us to come together and do something that is kind of like a re-do for that show.
What can your fans expect to see from a Royce da 5’9 concert?
They’re going to see what they normally see. A lot of energy. I am no stranger to performing in Detroit. What they usually come out and see, the high energy, they can expect to hear all the new songs that they’ve been vibing to and supporting that I am ever so grateful for them doing that.
Aretha Franklin’s funeral is this coming Friday, Aug. 31 at Greater Grace Temple in Detroit. Do you have any fond memories of the Queen?
I never met her in person but just watching as a fan and a kid growing up, it’s too many [memories] to name. Anytime that she has shown her face on TV or when my mom or dad played a record, there [are] no bad memories I can tell you that.
Tell us about your latest project, the Book of Ryan.
The Book of Ryan it’s out on all platforms right now. It’s my most personal project to date, definitely my most well-received project, and it’s doing great. We just released a video called “Summer on Lock” that’s featuring myself, Pusha T, Fabolous, Jadakiss and Agent Sasco and that’s doing well. I have a single called “Boblo Boat” with J. Cole and another single called “Caterpillar” with Eminem. It’s just climbing, it’s doing everything we envisioned it doing. We take pride in doing things the right way, not cutting any corners and grinding. Everything is falling into place so far and we’re proud of that.
You mentioned the song Boblo Boat with J. Cole. Many people don’t know what Boblo means because it’s a Detroit reference. Give our non-Detroit readers a brief description of Boblo and the song, and what it means to you.
Boblo is an island right off the Detroit River, it’s between Detroit and Canada. It was an amusement park built on an island. On my album, I talk about a lot of bad moments and I talk about a lot of good moments of me growing up, [in] the Book of Ryan. The album pretty much sums up me as an individual and me in all my experiences being good or bad. Boblo was one of the experiences that I wanted to touch on that were good experiences.
Is it true that you’re also a ghostwriter?
Contrary to popular belief, I am not really a ghostwriter [and] a lot of people think that. I think it’s because I wrote some stuff on The Chronic 2001 on [Dr.] Dre’s album and I wrote on Puff’s [P. Diddy] album Press Play. I wrote on those two albums and I think when people saw writers’ credit from me they automatically assumed that I was a ghostwriter. I don’t really have a lot of experiences of my writing for other people. Around that time when I did do that for Dre and Puff I may have kind of been running with that but, I never actually evolved into [ghostwriting].
Thank you for clearing that up. Last question. Tell us where can your fans can find you on social media?