Backed by an ensemble selected by music director, producer and longtime friend Denaun Porter, the Detroit rapper coasts through four tracks spread across three of his albums: 2018’s Book of Ryan (“God Speed,” “Anything/Everything”), 2016’s Tabernacle: Trust the Shooter (“Dead President Heads”), and 2002’s Rock City (“Boom”).
During the 18-minute set, which was filmed in his private studio near Detroit, Royce revealed that he’s celebrating eight years of sobriety.
“This is my sanctuary,” Royce said between songs. “This is where I spend all my time, and no, we’re not open to the public. You can’t come rap. I’m also celebrating eight years of sobriety. I decided that I didn’t want the game to chew me up and spit me out. I made a promise to myself: I was gonna leave this motherfucker with everything I came with.”
Later in the performance, Royce expressed his support for comedian Tony Baker, whose son was killed in August in an alleged street racing crash near Los Angeles.
Since dropping his latest album, The Allegory, in February 2020, Royce has stayed busy dropping scene-stealing guest verses, including his featured appearances on Shady Records’ signee GRIP’s “Placebo” and on Ransom’s “Greed.” The latter verse earned the Detroit OG the No. 7 spot on Complex’s Best Rap Verses of 2021 rankings.
Watch Royce’s full Tiny Desk performance up top.