Royce Da 5’9” f/ DJ Premier “Hip Hop” (2004)
Producer: DJ Premier
Album: Death Is Certain
Label: Koch Records
Royce Da 5’9”: “Preem sent me the beat. I was in Detroit. That’s when I was recording Death Is Certain, which is the darkest period in my life. I was going through a lot of shit back then and Preem was one of the only producers that still was messing with me. I didn’t have access to a lot of producers on that level. He sent me that beat, and it was real simple. I just did it, sent it back to him, and he laid the scratches and put it out.
“I was going through all kinds of stuff [around that time]. I was in Detroit, getting into beef with all these different people. It was a period where I just felt like it was popular to not like me in Detroit. Once I fell out with Em, Em was really taking off.
“I feel like people were trying to get his attention and trying to get in good with him, so I had people purposefully going against me. I had beef with D12, I had beef with a whole bunch of people in the city.
“All I rapped about was beef, having problems, losing, failure…I couldn’t snap out of it. If you were to ask me to make a club record at that moment, I wouldn’t have been able to do it. That’s just not the zone that I was in. I wasn’t ‘hanging out.’ I just wanted to kill everybody. I was fighting all the time, getting drunk all the time, it was bad. I’m happy to say that I’ve turned that around. My life is the absolute opposite now.
“Premier is a good friend of mine. Sometimes you meet people and work with them and y’all click and you’re like, ‘Yo, I fuck with this dude.’ We talk on the phone a lot, did a lot of music together, and just got close. No matter what I went through, he always managed to come through in the clutch for me.’”