Royce Da 5’9” recently stopped in to talk with DJ Vlad about the inner workings of the Hip Hop industry and the Hip Hop writing community as a whole. In the interview, Royce gives credit to Diddy, saying “I owe him a lot,” particularly in regards to re-writing. Royce worked with Diddy on “Tell Me” and says he was not keen on re-writing before working with him, but it’s now an integral part of his writing process.
Royce also reveals the lesser known fact he wrote both verses for Dr. Dre‘s “The Message” at 19. With a short but impressive list of gigs as ghostwriter, Royce maintains Dre and Diddy are the only two artists he’s written for.
When asked about ghostwriting, Royce answers while he gets a “certain fulfillment” out of writing for himself and chooses not to work with ghostwriters, he still has incredible respect for those who do, and believes it doesn’t necessarily discount anyone’s artistry.
However, in regards to the general Hip Hop community rules on ghostwriting, Royce feels that for someone to be considered the best lyricist, they must be writing everything on their own: “they must be writing everything on their own to be a top-tier lyricist, in my book.” And when asked specifically about Drake, and if his use of ghostwriters excludes him as a lyricist, Royce says, “It has to. It’s only fair.”