Last week, Royce 5’9, Mr. Porter and Marv Won stopped through #DXHQ for our weekly music meeting. The conversation was streamed live on Facebook and tackled the nuances to Royce’s lyrically impeccable Tabernacle: Trust The Shooter, which received a 4.1 out of 5 on HipHopDX. The Detroit emcee dove into the backstory behind Tabernacle’s “Dead President Heads,” clarifies a Tyrese line found on PRhyme, and got visceral in his description of how difficult it was for him to remain creative while quitting alcohol. Also included, Mr. Porter recalls making the beats for Infinite when he was 18 years old. And in a wild piece of rap history, Marv Won reveals how Proof lodged his name in 8 Mile’s final cut.
“Remember when Proof was battling Mekhi Phifer in the movie,” Marv Won asked rhetorically. “He did a scene and then he came down to the extras because all the extras were rappers. He says, ‘Did you hear me?’ We said, ‘What are you talking about?’ He said, ‘I said my name in the movie. They’ll always know I’m in the movie.’ We were like, ‘What the fuck were you talking about?’ He has the line where he says ‘I’ll Punish Rabbit Or Obsolete Future.’ He’s like, ‘That’s my name. Punish Rabbit Or Obsolete Future [Proof].’ He spelled his name. We were like, ‘Nobody’s ever gonna get that. Glad you did that.’” [Laughs]
“Dead President Heads”
“It’s a mixture of all of that. Some of it is throwaway rhymes. Some of it I went in there with the intent to do throwaway rap. One of the songs, I was really telling the truth when I went on Sway and I did the freestyle called dead presidents. I originally went in there and planned to memorize it to say it. It ended up being seven minutes long. First of all, I’m not gonna be able to memorize this verse in enough time to say it on Sway. So as soon as I was done recording it, I called Sway and said ‘Yo, I’m not rapping when I come on your show.’ [Laughs] When I got on his show, spur of the moment we decided to play a piece of it. People really liked it so I decided to put it on this project [Dead President Heads].”
“It’s a thought in my mind because that’s where the “Layers” concept comes from. The Trust The Shooter EP is just a few different layers of what I do. Sometimes, when you’ve been around for some time like I have, with fans, you have a group of people who only want one thing from you. And you have another group that says, ‘Yo, only do that.’ The album is more well-rounded. For those guys who want to put me in a box and that only like mixtape Royce, they might prefer this. At least they’ll have it.”
“Miss Me With Your Miley’s & Your Tyrese Wisdom”
“That wasn’t really a diss to Tyrese the person. Tyrese Wisdom has taken on its own thing. Tyrese Wisdom is actually a thing now. Because of the internet, memes and shit like that, the Jordan [Cry] Face is not Michael Jordan anymore. It’s just the Jordan Face. So it wasn’t a personal thing to Tyrese. When I do mention artists or mention an artist’s name, they’re going to get sensitive. But nobody’s going to do anything about it. My whole theory is just rap. It’ll make the game better.”
“It started out very very difficult. I’ve been stressing this my whole promo run, the whole time I’ve been out: It’s very easy to get your brain hooked on substances and to make yourself dependent on something to do something. It’s very easy to do that. It’s very hard to shake it. It took me two years of not being able to come up with anything I felt was worthy. Then I had to learn to be patient and just let the thoughts come. I was used to going into the studio with a bottle, turn the beat on, and then thoughts just hit me real fast. I created like that for over 10 years. When I went in there sober with no bottle and the thoughts didn’t hit me fast, I automatically processed it as writer’s block… If you have a history of drug abuse in your family or alcohol abuse or if you feel you’re wired like an addict by nature, the worst thing you can do is pick up a bottle. I’m not trying to sound like an after-school special… These people will sit around and watch you spiral. They’ll sit around and watch you kill yourself. They’ll laugh at you and all the things you’re doing in the press when you’re obviously self-destructing. People will sit, crack jokes, they’ll tweet. And then when it’s all over, they’ll say, ‘Ah, look at that fool.’”
“When you see ‘Royce Da 5’9 Gets a DUI.’ Royce Da 5’9 Get Another DUI.’’ Royce Da 5’9 Goes To Jail. ‘Royce Da 5’9 Caught On Camera By A Girl With His Balls Hanging Out,’ it’s not by coincidence. It’s this dark cloud that follows you when you’re living your life a certain way.”
Mr. Porter: “[Tiara and I] just started recording again recently and we got a crazy single off that. Then we ended up getting another record. Then it became a situation where I can’t do all of it by myself. So Marv Won is A&Ring the project. Royce, the way he talked about his vision, I felt like I needed a real team because we were ready. The same way he is with the pen; the same way Marv is with the pen; the same way Eminem is with the pen; [Tiara is with the pen]—they care about how they write. We’re not in here writing all of her rhymes. She takes it serious. I love artists that are like that. I feel like I only fuck with the best kind of emcees.”
Male Emcees Vs. Female Emcees
“It’s not the same. I’m definitely prejudice in that way. I don’t know why I do that, but when I hear a female emcee, I categorize her as a female emcee first. I think it’s just a natural thing that we do, the way we were raised in Hip Hop. Same way we do white emcees. You can break that fast. Nicki Minaj broke that with me. She’s better than dudes. Period.”
Jay Z, Nas & Eminem
“The thing that’s interesting about them is that they held down that spot for a decade. It’s gonna take these kids a minute to win me over like that—to where I’m picking them over them. They’re destined for greatness. I follow everything they do. I’m intrigued by everything they do. Jay Z, Nas and Marshall? Jesus, man. Put their faces on the mountain… One of Marshall’s strategies was to go away and come back. That’s the old strategy. He was prepared for volume, for sure.”
Joe Budden Lit A Fire Under Royce 5’9
“Joe lit a fire under me. Before I did Bar Exam II, he dissed me for no reason. He said I fell the fuck off. I needed to hear that, man. I needed to hear it. Because up until that point, I was just drinking everyday, not really going to the studio that much. When he said that, it was my mission to prove that wrong.”
Mr. Porter: People press it up. It’s one of those things where it’s a collectors item. I think I was 18 when we recorded that. I had no idea. I was only doing beats for three months. I started off dope.
Royce 5’9: That’s a movie I can sit and watch. When I’m bored, I can definitely watch 8 Mile. I enjoyed it like that.
Marv Won: I watch it because I get paid.
Royce 5’9: It doesn’t do anything for me in terms of being nostalgic. It doesn’t take me back to any particular time. It’s so big production, it’s a Hollywood movie.
Mr. Porter: Yeah, they changed a lot. I didn’t shoot myself… There was a guy named Drunk Bob that used to stay with me. He acted like Cheddar Bob. He was always high. They made Cheddar Bob shoot himself. I ain’t shoot my damn self. They couldn’t say how I got shot.
Royce 5’9: It didn’t capture that because it was loosely based. It’s just a good movie.
Marv Won: I wanna tell you about a story about 8 Mile? Remember when Proof was battling Mekhi Phifer in the movie? He did a scene and then he came down to the extras because all the extras were rappers. He says, ‘Did you hear me?’ We said, ‘What are you talking about?’ He said, ‘I said my name in the movie. They’ll always know I’m in the movie.’ We were like, ‘What the fuck were you talking about?’ He has the line where he says ‘I’ll Punish Rabbit Or Obsolete Future.’ He’s like, ‘That’s my name. Punish Rabbit Or Obsolete Future [Proof].’ He spelled his name. We were like, ‘Nobody’s ever gonna get that. Glad you did that.’” [Laughs]