The Breaking Anonymity podcast is in full swing. With a focus on addiction and recovery, the inaugural episode debuted on September 28 featuring special guest Brandon Novak, who rose to notoriety as a skateboarder, best friend of Bam Margera and co-star of the Jackass film franchise.
Danny Boy of House of Pain told his story in Episode 2 and Royce Da 5’9 made an appearance for Episode 3, which aired on Wednesday (October 13). During the conversation, Royce Da 5’9 opened up about his journey from struggling alcoholic to sobriety.
Somewhere along the way, he wound up serving jail time after being busted for yet another DUI. As Royce left that morning for court, he thought he would be home shortly — but he was wrong.
“I made everything more difficult,” he admits around the 17:30-mark. “I turned everything into the long way. It just got to a point where I got DUIs, like a lot of drinking and driving, so I end up going to jail for a year. I was leaving the house, like I think I gave my son a high-five, thinking I’m going to another day in court. My lawyer told me I’d be fine, I was like, ‘Yeah, I’ll be right back.’ I came back a year later.”
Royce Da 5’9’s attorney was confident he’d walk without any jail time, which translated into Royce feeling like it would just be a quick court appearance.
“The prosecuting attorney recommended probation, but the judge was like, ‘No, I’m going to do that,'” he explains. “She said, ‘Mr. Montgomery, do have anything to say before I sentence you?’ I was like, ‘I don’t have much to say your honor. I’m sorry,’ whatever I said. Whatever it was, it wasn’t good enough. It wouldn’t have mattered anyway.
“Swifty, she was referring to, ‘I just put one of y’all in jail’ — and then she referred to Proof — ‘and the other one just died.’ She was like, ‘Now I got you here. You just got two of these in a row.’ She was like, ‘I gotta shut you down, sir.
“‘I’m sure alcohol and drugs are free-flowing in your business and you can’t seem to control yourself so I gotta shut you down, so I’m going to give you the maximum amount of time, and that’s 365 days in jail. Step up to the bailiff.’ And my lawyer started stuttering, ‘Your honor, do you think we can talk about work release?’ She was like, ‘Not at this time.'”
Wearing a three-piece suit, Royce was cuffed and hauled off to his cell where he was smacked in the face with a healthy dose of reality. But that year also gave him ample time to do some soul-searching.
“That whole process gave me the opportunity to get some of the best sleep I ever got,” he says. “It gave me the opportunity to not be in control of the speed at which things were going. It made everything slow down. It made me do some thinking, be alone. Once I accepted the fact I was going to be there for a minute, it became easy. The time just started flying by. A lot of people drew their line in the sand, relationship-wise, and showed me who they were, which was necessary in that moment.”
After Royce was released from jail in 2007, he got right back to work and soon formed Slaughterhouse with Joell Ortiz, Joe Budden and KXNG Crooked then Bad Meets Evil with Eminem. But he didn’t stop drinking until five years later when he finally decided enough was enough. That fateful day, he checked himself into a hospital, spent the night with an IV in his arm and hasn’t had a drink since.
With the help of a 12-step program, therapy and support from his wife and friends like Eminem, Royce has been sober since 2012. Royce celebrated his nine-year sobriety anniversary on September 12 with a simple Instagram post that read, “9 Years (3287 days total).”
Check out the full episode of Breaking Anonymity with Royce Da 5’9 above. The podcast airs every Wednesday and will feature guests such as Run-DMC legend Darryl “DMC” McDaniels, Mobb Deep’s Havoc, KXNG Crooked and more. Find more episodes here.