Wishing you could have a moment back is a common human emotion, even for rap superstars.
Such is the case with Royce Da 5’9, the emcee’s emcee whose last two albums with DJ Premier under the moniker PRhyme set the (ahem) bar for ’90s hip-hop revivalism. Sprinkled in between have been mixtapes like Layers and the latest installment of The Bar Exam. Both were rap with a capital “R.” In an exclusive interview with 92 Q Jams, he sat down to talk about giving up alcohol, and the eventual Jigga man hit that he somehow let slip out of his hands.
“There were comments made from people that I love that just stuck with me,” he said of his sobriety. “I woke up in a hotel room, and I’ve always believed in God, but this was something else… And the only thing left for me was death or prison.” Those kinds of choices are the ones that stay with you. He’s been sober six years since.
But, if you’re an emcee, it’s his next story that gives you fits. He reveals that “Renegade,” the infamous Jay record with Eminem that gave Nas some firepower against Jay, was actually his song. “It was ‘Renegade,’” he says. “That was my song.” What? It turns out that Interscope would only allow one record with Eminem’s voice on it, and it was either “Renegade” or “Rock City” from his eponymous 2002 album. Well, Royce explains his choice this way. “I basically was supposed to choose between the two,” he explains. “I basically was supposed to choose between the two. And when I thought about it I said, ‘Man, I think we can top that.’ I took it for granted. And then Jay-Z took it and they basically took my verses out and Jay-Z wrote his verses and his hook.”
Now that’s crazy. Let that be a lesson to you boys and girls. When it comes to Eminem verses, take nothing for granted. Check out the interview in its entirety up top.