Royce Da 5’9” can relate to Watch the Throne’s No. 1 debut on the Billboard 200. As one half of Bad Meets Evil, the Detroit MC topped the charts with Hell: The Sequel, his collaborative effort with Eminem. So what does he think of Jay-Z and Kanye West’s album? Royce speaks out on Throne’s importance to hip-hop and the differences between the rap duo’s projects.
“I think it’s real good for hip-hop that they did that,” Royce tells Rap-Up.com. “We put ours out, they put theirs out, Drake and Weezy allegedly putting one out. On the other end of the spectrum, you got Gucci and Waka putting one out. It’s good to have that balance. I don’t know if I would compare our project to theirs, if only because they’re so different.”
Royce, who just released his solo album Success Is Certain, went on to contrast Bad Meets Evil’s style—composing a few songs at first with no initial plan for an EP—with Throne’s constructed thematic vibe. “They went more for the album feel. It sounds like they were 100 percent comfortable with putting this sound of music out and it’s the same with us,” he explains. “We went in there and did kind of the opposite; just going back and forth and sparring lyrically. We just tried to rap on another level and didn’t try and worry about making a complete album.”
While Throne’s genesis goes back nearly a year, with a massive promotional buildup planned for months prior to the album’s release, Royce said he and Em consciously took a more low-key approach. “Our thing was we didn’t even want to raise expectations,” he admits. “We just wanted to announce we were doing it after we were already done and put it out 30 days later. Let hip-hop get a dose of what we could do and not worry about anything else.”