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Royce 5'9" On ‘Layers’ Album, Turning Down $200K From Dr. Dre & Sobriety

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Royce 5'9" stopped by the Complex offices to sit down with our Editor-in-Chief Noah Callahan-Bever to speak in-depth on his career, getting sober, and more. The inimitable Detroit rapper is currently gearing up to release his next album, Layers, next month, and spoke on the journey towards his new album, which includes his decision to get sober back in 2012. "I just woke up one day and I felt like I was up," he says. "I made the necessary phone calls. I called Marshall [Mathers] and said, 'Yo, I'm stopping drinking.'" Subscribe to Complex for More: http://goo.gl/PJeLOl Check out more of Complex here: http://www.complex.com https://twitter.com/ComplexMag https://www.facebook.com/complex https://www.instagram.com/complex/ https://plus.google.com/+complex/ COMPLEX is a community of creators and curators, armed with the Internet, committed to surfacing and sharing the voices and conversations that define our new America. Our videos exemplify convergence culture, exploring topics that include music, sneakers, style, sports and pop culture through original shows and Complex News segments. Featuring your favorite celebrities, authoritative commentary, and a unique voice, our videos make culture pop.
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Text Comments (277)
D P (8 hours ago)
NO wonder I heard this for the first time on a pirate radio station, so underated, the masses want shit
Derek D (19 days ago)
interviewer with that Rogue haircut
Derek D (19 days ago)
so he's like an onion
sizhan (27 days ago)
lmao and guess who is president.
Mr Good (30 days ago)
i made a channel youtube. and I need support. subscribe to my channel ..... thank you very much
wade wilson (1 month ago)
Royce is better sober!
JDMC Music Aus (2 months ago)
Love Royce one of the dopest ever period no argument, dude is so humble I’m glad he’s doing so well, keep killing it homie you’ve come so far but still have a long way to go I feel, he’ll be rapping till the day he passes away
Brandon Francoeur (3 months ago)
This dude has aged like fine wine. He's only getting better
Michael Ledford (9 months ago)
Good for Royce turning down a weak ass $200 Grand, unless your a broke ass $200k isn't shit and ain't worth compromising yourself .
roknkawk (9 months ago)
The Bar Exam 4 is an incredible album/mixtape
roknkawk (9 months ago)
1/4 of slaughterhouse btw. Not 1/3
Ace Dragon (1 year ago)
royce became doper after he was sober damn that was a bar
Snacks (9 months ago)
and the game for other rappers is over
Bean (1 year ago)
I fucking love Royce
I Do Monologues (1 year ago)
Thank you, Royce for not being a celebrity on the sidelines when it comes to Trump. Respect you for supporting a real politician like Bernie! Also, thank you for your endlessly dope career.
Valor University (1 year ago)
i would have took the million instead of 200K and unltd of dre beats. He really doesnt make his own beats anymore. Plus the Game showed you how to make a sucessful album without dre's ear.
September 12th dude? That's my birthday. lol
brian rwehumbiza (1 year ago)
shit looks like a coffin in front of them
Edward Okonta (1 year ago)
Ladies and gentlemen. A TRUE MC...
John Calixto (1 year ago)
He reminds me of Russel Westbrook
Greg Hendrix (1 year ago)
@0:19 someone find me the picture where royce is next to eminem when he's the most fucked up
TheYking90 (1 year ago)
Greg Hendrix (1 year ago)
Kwame Johnson (1 year ago)
Royce should've stayed silent on the political topic. "It's all about self-preservation." says Royce, but he supports Bernie Sanders, a candidate that embodies dependence on the government (the same thing that caused the Flint, MI water crisis, and the opposite of self-preservation). Every candidate sucks unless we're talking John McAfee, but voting is pointless anyway. The "winner" was decided a long time ago, and we all know what her name is.
Off Top (29 days ago)
Kwame Johnson shows what you know
pain killa (1 year ago)
who instrumental is playing at the beginning of the interview???
Travis Rios (1 year ago)
Complex must suck a good dick to get a reporter this good vs the kids they usually get.
Kevin Mincey (1 year ago)
what is the song when they say he's 1/4th of Slaughterhouse?
Juwan Clark (1 year ago)
I agreed with him on everything !!
Room 203 (2 years ago)
Willie wright (2 years ago)
I'm working on my first album I had to scrap it an start over once a heard his album also check out my mix tape on YouTube the art of dying by Jim Krow killer dope under hip hop
claro1dab (2 years ago)
Royce been nice believe that
Ben Starzec (2 years ago)
Aghhh what was that beat at 3:51
Ben Starzec (1 year ago)
+Matt Aaaaahh alright thanks. I knew i recognized it i just couldn't fucking remember.
Matt (1 year ago)
Detroit vs Everybody
hugo sanchez (2 years ago)
his shades are always on point
Patrick Green (1 year ago)
+hugo sanchez thats cause he needs them to see dog, spectacular sight thru the spectacles burns mics.
JUANofTHEgreatest (2 years ago)
Now put young thug or riff raff in the same interview same questions hahahaha
hiphophead555 (2 years ago)
royce is a top 10 emcee of all time. he has it all, you have to ask ya self the question how many emcees could stand toe too toe with eminem and still shine and in some cases outshine! royce is a fucking monster with raw lyricism and one of the greatest flows hip hop has ever fucking seen!
rogue tabajara (1 year ago)
stat ista (2 years ago)
"unlimited Dr. Dre Beats" That must be a Rappers heaven.
midnizite (2 years ago)
What's the name of that beat in the background?
Over There (2 years ago)
+midnizite No problem fam
midnizite (2 years ago)
Thanks so much!
Over There (2 years ago)
+midnizite That's the instrumental from Boom, produced by Dj Premier
SONtzu I (2 years ago)
GOD is REAL???? I think he is STILL drinking GASOLINE! silly kid!
SONtzu I (1 year ago)
I think you mean , We get it , you are an atheist. Fuxking hate ignorant boys lol
Camil Abu Nasra (1 year ago)
We got it, you an atheist....but do you really have to make it so clear?...Fuxking hate atheists and vegans ffs..
Sgt. Slaughter (2 years ago)
Joe Kerr (2 years ago)
Jesus christ can he have an interview without mentioning Em. Plus signing with Dre would have killed his career.
Valor University (1 year ago)
agreed, signing with Dre would have been devastating
Super Mario (2 years ago)
When i was in HS was the 1st time i really started listening to Royce, when he dissed Em and D12 , he said something about Lowering Bizarre outside with a Cheeseburger, thats when i was like yeahhh this dude crazy with it. R.I.P PROOF
Eric McQuade (2 years ago)
Nickel is in my top five. One of the dopest ever.
Lets switch to politics.... ugh why
StillHdz17 (2 years ago)
Royce dresses so fckng nice man. I would take his clothing line over Kanye's anyday even if it was ridiculous pricing.
Greg Hendrix (1 year ago)
frtuuh4513 (2 years ago)
I swear, Royce that deep nigga that I wish woulda been my dad
Marcus (2 years ago)
250 and unlimited dre beats and a turn down? Damn... I'm sure dre woulda been getting deep in his pockets like he did with Kendrick, Snoop, and The Game, but hey... lol
Justice Will Rise (2 years ago)
Bar exam 3 is that flame its lit!!
Kwame Johnson (1 year ago)
+Justice Will Rise Bar Exam 2 is better, IMO. That's when Royce elevated his game exponentially. Layers is like the second exponential elevation I've seen from Royce. Bar Exam 3 is still crazy tho.
Marcus (2 years ago)
yes sir! i went crazy when that mixtape dropped.
Good interview. One thing I notice is the best interviews are when people actually seem like they want to know the answers and not just reading off of a sheet of questions and rushing to get to the next without hearing what the person previously said.
BroKhalidMuhammad (2 years ago)
Classic example why rappers opinions on politics don't mean s**t. He couldn't state 1 political policy he supports.
Go Away (2 years ago)
lol nobody is hating on royce
Josh Navarro (2 years ago)
Outsidaz are lol
overdose (2 years ago)
+Cashy Cash no reason
Mark Whippy (2 years ago)
A lot of guys who signed with Dre never came out. So maybe Royce did the right thing by not signing. King Tee, Hittman, Rakim, Raekwon, Stat Quo, Bishop Lamont, Joell Ortiz were all signed to Aftermath, none of their albums came out on the label.
LiftedSeven (2 years ago)
Everyone needs to download Royce - M.I.C. (mixtape) and Build and Destroy Disk 1 and Disk 2 (mixtapes) Go to Datpiff
Billy94 (2 years ago)
Good interviewer, you can tell he's been at it for a while. Cant wait for this Royce album.
Johann-Sebastian (2 years ago)
Ems face 0:18
Flash Korvette (2 years ago)
Royce is deadly
Gonja Sensai 2 (2 years ago)
I thought he met Em way before 97.
nu range (2 years ago)
he's a lot more humble these days. Growing up definitely does that a lot!! im glad ppl get to actually see a human being and not just a rapper guy.....
Marc Regal (2 years ago)
Been listening to Royce since 2000. Always one of my favorite
Diko Avtorizacija (2 years ago)
Great interview can't wait to hear the album.peace!
nychris ny (2 years ago)
Damn! This interviewer is mad legit
Betbettington54 (2 years ago)
Salute to Royce. Best out the Midwest
Jacob Morales (2 years ago)
How old is the reporter dude said 20 years ago!?
Gabriel De Leon (1 year ago)
He was born in Em's cars then he interviewed him and Royce
Will Greene (2 years ago)
Street Hop is one of the greatest hip-hop albums of the past 15 years
FreeTheArtists (2 years ago)
W for Royce. To me he's the most underrated hip hop artist period
Liam Burr (2 years ago)
Royce 5.9 can stand he's hone side by side with eminem. Really under rated. But he as bars for sure. Can't wait till he drops this project.🔥🔥🔥
Warren London (2 years ago)
This guy always seems miserable in his interviews. You can tell he's annoyed at the fact that he's music is not really appreciated by the masses
born 9 12 89, catch u later . #SSS
Frank Wave (2 years ago)
His rap style was a lot more aggressive when he was drinking.
T.E.D. tech (1 year ago)
hell yes ! he said pissed off at first
TheYellowBrickRoadTV (2 years ago)
-+Frank Wave Bruh....😧 that's very factual.
Ollie Weir (2 years ago)
Its cool to see royce open up, hes one of my favourite rappers and its good to see hes off bad habits
idkAusername1000 (2 years ago)
i dont like this nigga noah
idkAusername1000 (2 years ago)
+Over There yea nigga, talk shit get clipped
Over There (2 years ago)
+idkAusername1000 You stabbed a motherfucker over less petty shit than this? Talk about a bad temper damn son
idkAusername1000 (2 years ago)
ive stabbed people over way less petty shit than this ahaahaa so come say waddup playboy
idkAusername1000 (2 years ago)
+Over There lmao do something pussy i told you where i stay at. And i never said i would or could do anything over the internet, thats why i told you to come to the bx son.  and nobody upvoting they own comments the same guy liked both of my comments pussy
Over There (2 years ago)
+idkAusername1000 You say that like you can actually do shit to me over the internet. Guess what dumbass, you can't and even if I met you in real life I would fuck you up, so get the fuck outta here. And quit upvoting your own comments you bitch made faggot lol
Jon Jini (2 years ago)
great questions and awesome answers - #realshit royce be one of the best today tho
silas daik (2 years ago)
This reporter is a lot better than the other ones
Lilah Katharine (2 years ago)
nuclear pistachio (2 years ago)
so real. easily the most underrated
Marv (2 years ago)
what is that snapback?
Marv (2 years ago)
+Marv anybody knows the name or where can i buy it?
Daniel Jman (2 years ago)
Tabernacle pure fire tho
2high (2 years ago)
I remember a time before Slaughterhouse when I honestly thought we would never hear Royce's bars again. I'm so glad I was wrong!
Joe Breeze (2 years ago)
Another underrated MC
Zack Daoui (2 years ago)
What's the name of the first song playing in the background ?
Hollywood Chronic (2 years ago)
+Zack Daoui no prob
Zack Daoui (2 years ago)
Thanks +Hollywood Chronic 
Hollywood Chronic (2 years ago)
Scoop2427 (2 years ago)
Jamisterr // James (2 years ago)
Can anyone tell me the background beat that is playing at the begging its so familiar just cant put my finger on it
jay williams (1 year ago)
Jamisterr // James Boom
M (2 years ago)
if you're a Royce fan......listen to his collection till you find it
MACAVEL1 (2 years ago)
The first time I ever heard of Royce was when I was a kid playing GTA 3.
Nicholas Baker (2 years ago)
Same here
MACAVEL1 (2 years ago)
Royce is a go.
MACAVEL1 (2 years ago)
Royce is a go.
ROBERT TIDWELL (2 years ago)
The only Mcee that has ever out rapped Eminem on the same song
Jack Nehoff (8 months ago)
Above the Law. Hate to say it, but Royce took that song from Em
TheYellowBrickRoadTV (2 years ago)
+Dextrouz Psn I think he might be talking about "Bad Meets Evil" or "Scary Movie"!!! Then again I could be wrong (Jordan shrugs)...
Dextrouz Psn (2 years ago)
which song?
Jonty (2 years ago)
Em looks so fucking HIGH in that pic lol
My Two Cents (2 years ago)
@0:19 Em looks drunk and high as fuck lol. Still one of the greatest tho.
TheYellowBrickRoadTV (2 years ago)
+Goodfellas2211 Yeah he was lol. I agree one of the greatest. His storytelling and rhyme patterns is crazy.
KicksAndAGame (2 years ago)
He probably was lmao!
tone j (2 years ago)
I fuck wit royce since day one...Detroit stand 6
CBASS D (2 years ago)
Sound like this nigga has it together
Sperm Dealer (2 years ago)
i swear down... this interview can sell more than future and young thug album
ollietheocta (2 years ago)
this interviewer is legit, keep this dude on the payroll
MC RHYMES (1 year ago)
way better than Vlad bitch ass
amacm69 (2 years ago)
Royce aka the guy people only know as that guy who stands by em
C.L.K. (2 years ago)
The guy *you* only know for standing next to Em*
Metal Mickey (2 years ago)
2016 lookin like its gonna be better than 2015 we got all these Legends droppin'
Hiphopniac MusicKing (2 years ago)
Hiphopniac MusicKing (2 years ago)
MrHackstory (2 years ago)
mad respect for royce. He is so calm and fuckin smart. true OG! thumbs up for the interview, Complex!
PSTRILLA (2 years ago)
him and Em were/are beasts on the mic, go check that slilm shady lp, hell when royce was dissin d12 and proof, and after he deaded the beef with em and they linked up to do the bad vs evil album, & joined up wit slaughterhouse
Adam Carson (2 years ago)
I was hoping this was Hot Ones
Jacoby Degges (2 years ago)
Royce is so damn real ✌🏻️✌🏻✌🏻✌🏻
Shoemanati (2 years ago)
Never knew that about Dr dre imagine if he would have been dropping mainstream in 98 when Em popped Royce should have been so much bigger he should have went to aftermath fuck tommy boy damn!
Daniel Maia (2 years ago)
The beat at 0:05 and on is from what song?
JomamaSealion (2 years ago)
+Daniel Maia Boom

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