Royce Da 5’9”: “We needed something for the album for both of us to be on. We had ‘Rock City’ done already, but I didn’t have an Em verse and he was executive producing the project. So he went to his house—that’s when he was recording at his crib, in his home studio. When I got there he was already making the beat.
“As soon as he was done making the beat, I took it home. I wrote some stuff to it, then took it back to his house the next day. When I got there he already had his first verse and the first half of the hook done. I went in and did the second half of the hook, laid my verse, and then we finished it from there. I did that after Em did ‘Dead Wrong,’ so I [used the same flow he used] because I was on a song with him. It was a pretty easy breezy session.
“Jay-Z was at a deadline and he had been asking Em to get on something. Em didn’t want to miss Jay’s deadline because obviously he respects him. I don’t think he had time to go in and do a whole new joint, so he called me and asked if I was cool with just giving Jay that one and we’ll just do something else. I was like, ‘Yeah, that’s cool.’
“Why would I feel regret if that’s one of Em’s signature songs? That’s a great thing for him and I don’t think the song would’ve reached the potential it reached with him and Jay-Z if it was me and him because Interscope wouldn’t even clear him for that song anyways.
“I think it was something where they were willing to give us video rights for ‘Rock City,’ but if they cleared ‘Renegade’ we wouldn’t get single rights. It was a long time ago so I can’t really remember, but I do remember there was a little bit of politics involved to where I’m glad that he gave it to Jay because the song would never have reached the potential it was supposed to reach. It’s a good thing.”