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Interview:
Royce da 5'9" and PRhyme at Saint Andrews, 5 Things To Know
 

By Gary Graff
ggraff@digitalfirstmedia.com, @GraffonMusic on Twi

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These are busy times for Royce da 5’9”.

The Detroit rapper (real name Ryan Montgomery) recently released not one but two new albums -- “Book Of Ryan,” the most personal and introspective of his seven solo efforts, and “PRhyme 2,” a second collaboration with DJ Premier, this time building songs on samples from AntMan Wonder. Royce has been popping up as a guest at festival shows by Eminem, who’s featured on “Book Of Ryan’s” “Caterpillar,” and is on the road with PRhyme, with plans for a tour of his own later this year.

Busy he is, but Royce still had time to talk about the good things he’s up to...

• Royce, 40, says by phone that while the studio is his preferred place of creation he’s refreshed to be out of it and promoting the two new albums. “It’s been a long time coming. I’ve been working a couple years, just being quiet, just going to the lab every single day and recording. So this is the flipside of it; I’m finally out of the studio and back traveling, releasing music and getting feedback. I prefer recording, but this side is fun, too.”

• Royce calls PRhyme “easy work, like a commercial break in our lives. We get to kick our feet up and just actually have fun. There’s no expectations other than dope beats. dope lyrics. It’s a side project; We come together and do something that’s gonna add balance in hip-hop. Me and Prem have the greatest relationship in the world. With PRhyme we want to develop the trust in people, knowing you’re gonna get dope beats and dope rhymes.”

• Royce says complete trust in DJ Premiere is what makes PRhyme easier to write for than his solo albums. “Whatever beat he makes, I know I’m gonna like it. And if I pull up a beat on the (studio) board and I like it, it’s really easy for me to write to, 100 percent of the time. There’s no issues ‘cause it’s all feel from there.”

• Royce’s “Book Of Ryan” album celebrates the rapper’s six years of sobriety and features frank, revealing raps about his family, his upbringing and other life issues, as well as some political viewpoint. “I’ve always felt like every artist who has somewhat of a poetic side to them is responsible for at least one album that says who that person is. It’s like, ‘We want to know about you, at least give us that one album.’ Usually it’s that artist’s first album. With me it’s my seventh just because I felt like I needed to get in the game and just go through some things first. Had it not been for me getting sober, I don’t think I’d have gotten a lot of those memories back that inspired these songs.”

• Though Eminem -- Royce’s partner in the side project Bad Meets Evil -- has contributed some hooks to previous Royce albums, his feature spot on the track “Caterpillar” marks the first time he’s ever contributed a full verse to one of Royce’s solo projects. “The reason why was because I never asked him to,” Royce explains. “I try not to ever ask him for anything unless I feel like I need him. Yes, I wanted him to rap on some of my albums before, but I didn’t really NEED him to, so I didn’t want to ask him to go out of his way and do it. But on this particular project I just felt like it was time. It felt like he should be on this. This album feels like he NEEDS to be on it, so that’s why I reached out to him.”



If You Go:

• PRrhyme

• Thursday, June 7. Doors open at 8 p.m. p.m.

• Saint Andrews Hall, 431 E. Congress, Detroit.

• Tickets are $30 advance, $35 days of show.

• Call 313-961-6358 or visit saintandrewsdetroit.com.

Web Site: www.saintandrewsdetroit.com

Send your thoughts and comments to Gary Graff

 



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