Royce Da 5'9" Breaks Down His 25 Most Essential Songs

Royce Da 5’9” “My Friend” (2002)

Producer: DJ Premier

Album: Rock City (Version 2.0)

Label: Game Recordings, Koch Records

Royce Da 5’9”: “I don’t know how I came up with it, but that was one of the rare instances where I had a concept before I even had music. I got on the phone with Premier and told him about the concept. I told him I wanted the beat to be a little more quirky than his usual self. Nothing dark, just try to make something around this concept.

I told him what I wanted to rap about and he was like, ‘Man, you a fucking fool.’ He went in with the concept, made that beat, and I think it fit. Once I got to the studio and heard the beat, I wrote it relatively fast and laid it down up at D&D studios.

“I don’t know why [I love rapping about my dick]. I get so many jokes cracked on me by my friends—mainly Slaughterhouse—that I don’t even do it no more. I definitely went through a phase where I did a lot of rapping about my guns and my dick. But that’s kinda like an ongoing joke within my crew now.

“Joey and Joell man, those dudes are really funny. They didn’t say it like it was a bad thing, they just joked on me. I’m not usually the butt of the jokes, I’m usually the one joking on people. So whenever someone’s got a good joke on me that people are laughing at, I usually try to fix it.

“I think the first time that came up was when we were in Phoenix shooting the ‘Microphone’ video. We went to the studio and we were listening to a beat Sha Money gave us. We did the song and I think [my manager] Kino might’ve been like, ‘I ain’t heard the song yet, but I’m guessing Joey made a sports reference, Joell said something about some food, and Royce said something either about a gun or his dick.’ Everybody just cracked up laughing so it was like, ‘Alright, maybe I’m doing this a little bit too much.’

“I’m the kind of person that I won’t know that I’m driving something to the ground, I just do it. Someone will have to pull my coattail and let me know that I’m overdoing it, then I’ll stop. I think I unconsciously do it, but now I’m more conscious to not do it. I [rapped about my dick] on the Bad Meets Evil EP, but I was kinda poking fun at myself when I did it. I didn’t do it seriously, like I used to do before.”

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