Royce Da 5’9” f/ Dr. Dre “The Way I Be Pimpin’” (2003)
Producer: Dr. Dre
Album: Build And Destroy: Lost Sessions Part 1
Label: Trouble Records, Groove Attack Productions
Royce Da 5’9”: “I wrote that song for Dr. Dre. And it was just an idea. I was just being a little kid trying to figure out what direction Dre should go. I wasn’t much of a visionary back then so that’s what I came up with. It was me, Em, and Dre sitting in the studio one day, going through beats. Dre was told me and Em to pick some shit, go back to the hotel room with it, and write so we could come back the next day.
“So I picked that beat and the ‘Throne Is Mine’ beat. I wrote both songs that same night. When we got back to the studio the next morning, I laid both of those down. They were just reference vocals. I don’t know how those leaked out. ‘The Throne Is Mine’ leaked recently. It popped up online and people thought it was a solo song of mine, like it was new.
“[Working on 2001] was surreal. I hadn’t been rapping that long and here I am, around Dr. Dre and Eminem. And it was kinda crazy because I’d sent my demo when Em was out in Cali. Em had just got his deal and he was spending a lot of time out there. I had sent him my demo and he played it for Dr. Dre. Next thing I know, I’m on the phone with Dre and he’s telling me he liked my shit and he wanted me to come out there and help out.
“It was just like, ‘Wow!’ I was still living with my parents. I tell my father, ‘I’m going out to California to work with Dr. Dre!’ He’s like, ‘What?’ I think that was the moment where it was like, ‘Maybe he’s not just chasing some rap shit no more. Maybe he might make something happen with this.’ I got out there and just did whatever Dre needed me to do and it felt great.
“I felt a little bit accomplished because people found out that I was around Dre and Em. I had taken a meeting with Tommy Boy before, and they had passed. They said they liked the music, but they’d pass. When they found out that I was around Dre and Em after that, I went back and had another meeting with them. I played the same music and got a deal. I didn’t have one new song, it was the exact same demo.
“I didn’t even ask [why my ‘The Way I Be Pimpin’’ didn’t make the final cut] because ‘Xxplosive’ is a way better song. Once I heard it I was like, ‘Okay, yeah, they did that.’ I never asked no questions. That’s how the recording process goes, sometimes things get rewritten, I know I do it all the time.
“Dre always has a vision, he knows how to make albums. I trust his judgment 100%. When I heard it was a whole new song, I was like, ‘I’m pretty sure it’s something better. Whatever he decided to change it to, was better than what I did.’ And it was.”