Royce Da 5’9 understands the influence his peers can have with their words in these trying times, but he also doesn’t feel they should be required to speak if they’re not ready or equipped to. Talking to HipHopDX in a sit-down recorded last week before J. Cole’s polarizing new track “Snow On The Bluff” was released, the Detroit native addressed the still-relevant topic of the responsibility celebrities carry to speak out in a time of unrest.
While artists like Cole and Kendrick have previously come under scrutiny for not speaking out, others like Lil Wayne and Floyd Mayweather have received criticisms for addressing the topics of racism and police brutality as if their privileged economic position makes them immune to the effects. As it pertains to the former, Royce sympathizes with wanting to hear from people you admire but he believes the people demanding it of the rappers are doing so simply to avoid having to do any work themselves.
“Dave Chappelle is my guy when it comes to that, so I always look to hear from him – but it doesn’t mean I’m challenging him,” Royce explained to DX. “Then you got other people who are challenging J. Cole and Kendrick to shift some of the focus off of them because they ain’t doing shit. So I think there’s places where it’s valid and there’s places where it’s just bullshit. It’s just like trolling.”
He went on to express how he hopes Kendrick didn’t make his recent public appearance because he felt pressured to.
“And I think Kendrick coming out a couple days later and popping out at a Compton rally,” Royce exclaimed. “I don’t know if that was something that was already planned or if he just did that to tell people to kind of shut the fuck up. But if he was made to feel like that, I’m not cool with that.”
As it pertains to Wayne and Mayweather, Royce chalked up their perceived detachment to the dedication to their work.
“Like Lil Wayne as much as I love Lil Wayne, his comments and then his attempt to clean up the comments just shows his detachment from what’s going on” Royce told DX. “And it’s like, we can’t really come down on our brothers for that. We can’t come down on Floyd Mayweather for not having the slightest idea of how to get involved with anything or the slightest idea of how to express sympathy, empathy, love or anything without just writing a check about it. There’s a deeper problem there. That’s what happens when you give your entire life to your craft. ..People who are that great and who invest their entire selves to something are like fishes out of water when they’re not doing it no more.”
Watch the full conversation about the responsibility of celebrity up top.