With Bad Meets Evil’s debut EP Hell: The Sequel hitting stores today, Royce Da 5’9 is reflecting on a darker period in his life. Nickel Nine recently broke down his 25 most essential songs for Complex.com, revealing that his struggles with alcoholism led to depression and anger, all channeled into his rhymes.
“All I rapped about was beef, having problems, losing, failure…I couldn’t snap out of it. If you were to ask me to make a club record at that moment, I wouldn’t have been able to do it,” he said. “That’s just not the zone that I was in. I wasn’t ‘hanging out.’ I just wanted to kill everybody. I was fighting all the time, getting drunk all the time, it was bad. I’m happy to say that I’ve turned that around. My life is the absolute opposite now.”
He recalls getting arrested for a DUI, which came during a point near rock bottom. “I was [in an] abusive period. I pulverized bottles, I was abusive towards that. I was abusive towards my girl—not physically, but mentally and verbally. Abusive to my enemies and they were abusive back,” he continued. “I might’ve drank so much just to keep my mind off of what was going on and to let my inhibitions go. If I’m drunk and see somebody, I’ma just shoot them. That’s how I felt. It was a terrible way for me to be living my life but it was just…what it was. I felt that it was all brought on by music because I didn’t’ have these problems before I was in the music industry.”
The Detroit, Michigan rapper also spoke on being skeptical of joining Slaughterhouse at first, given his dicey relationship with Joe Budden. “[At the time] there was something in the air, where [me and Joe Budden] were taking shots at each other. So it was kind of like a point where we came to like, ‘Okay, either we’re going to beef or we’re going to get together so we can do something,” he said.
Jumpoff Joey reached out to Royce to put in some work, which he was weary about. “I was like, ‘Man, I just don’t like the nigga.’ [My manager] Kino talked me into it, saying it would be good for the Internet and about putting Crooked, Joell, and Nino Blessed on there. I was like, ‘Okay, if he’s gonna put them on there then fuck it, I’m going to do it.’”