Detroit rapper Royce da 5’9” has coined a new musical term with his fourth solo album — “Street Hop.”
“It’s a mixture of street music and hip-hop music — not too street and not too hip-hop,” explains Royce (né Montgomery), 32, whose collaborators on the album include D-12’s Denaun Porter, Gang Starr’s DJ Premier, Streetrunner and others. “It’s that mixture. People that are in the streets, going through the struggle, they can feel it. People who are into straight-up hip-hop, earthy music, can feel it, too. It straddles that fine line.
“That’s basically my mind frame of how I view music. If the (stuff) sounds too hip-hop, I probably won’t like it. If it’s too street, too over-the-top, I probably won’t like it. I like music right in the middle, so I do my (stuff) the same way.”
“Street Hop” wasn’t Royce’s only project this year. He’s also part of Slaughterhouse, the all-star rap group that also features Crooked I, Joe Budden and Joell Ortiz. The quartet released its self-titled first album in August, and though Royce says he’s “not good at multi-tasking,” he hopes to keep the group alive alongside his own career.
“When four egos of this magnitude get in the same room and don’t clash, that’s God’s work,” Royce notes with a laugh. “We’re like brothers. We got to the point in our relationship where we’re friends first before it’s business. So far, so good; nothing makes me think this ... ain’t gonna last. All the signs are good so far, so we’ve got to keep our fingers crossed and hope everybody can stay as grounded as they are now.
“I feel like we can do this for the next 10 years. That’s the vibe of right now. Things can change, but I’m just gonna be optimistic about it.”
Royce da 5’9”, Trick Trick and Nate Kane perform Saturday (Dec. 19) at the Eagle Theatre, 15 S. Saginaw St., Pontiac. Doors open at 8 p.m. Tickets are $25 general admission, $50 VIP. Call (248) 858-9333 or visit www.thecrofoot.com.
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