Royce da 5’9 Juggles Family, ‘The Festival’ and Slaughterhouse
Rapper Royce da 5’9 is the poster child for work-life balance. He manages to juggle all of his projects — which include a tour and forthcoming albums by himself and Slaughterhouse — yet still finds time for his three children.
“As long as I’m at home, I have babies to take care of,” he said via telephone from his Detroit-area home. “I have one on a swing. I have another I have to constantly chase around that we’re trying to potty train, and an 11-year-old outside that never wants to stay in and help us.”
Royce has taken a break from the family life to embark on the Rock the Bells tour with Slaughterhouse, a super group of sorts that also features Joe Budden, Joell Ortiz and Crooked I. The 10-date festival tour runs through Aug. 9.
“Everybody’s going to have a good time,” Royce said. “Everybody’s looking forward to it.”
The bi-coastal conglomerate is touring in support of its self-titled debut LP due out in August. The group came together only 10 months ago when Budden was working on a song for his ‘Halfway House’ album and enlisted the services of Crooked I, Joell Ortiz and Royce for a song called “Slaughterhouse.” Inspired by the vibe of the track and the immediate chemistry of the four rappers, a plan was hatched to form the super group.
“‘Slaughterhouse’ is classic,” Royce said. “It’s what you expect from Slaughterhouse and then some. We actually making records. I don’t think a lot of people can say that. They’re expecting lyrics from the jump. First thing they’re gonna want to hear is lyrics. You’re going get that front to back. But you’re also going to get great songwriting, great song structures, great feel, all the group members show versatility with this album. Everyone just stepped up. I’m really proud of everybody.”
The Slaughterhouse invite came on the heels of Royce finishing his solo album called ‘Street Hop,’ due for release in September. It features guest performances by Busta Rhymes, Phonte from Little Brother and Kid Vishis, Royce’s younger brother.
“I had one body of work that I was just about ready to turn it in,” Royce said. “Then it leaked out. I had to actually go back in. I kept a couple of songs, then I went back in and gave the whole project a makeover. It was a year or two in the making, working at a steady pace. It was a good thing that happened, though. What I have now is about 10 times better than what I had before. Things happen for a reason.”
Royce, who is releasing a digital-only EP entitled ‘The Revival’ on July 7, said he always wanted to name an album ‘Street Hop.’
“My dream album is an album that you can combine hip-hop with the streets,” Royce said. “It’s not too hip-hop. It’s not earthy and happy. Then it’s street but it’s not so, ‘Oh my God. I’m gonna kill, kill, kill. There’s still a hip-hop element there. I found that balance. There’s a fine line between the two styles.