Royce Da 5’9″ has never been a stranger to keeping it real, especially when he hits the interview circuit to drop some knowledge. Now, with his latest album The Allegory currently holding down a Grammy nomination for Best Rap Album, Royce took a moment to chop it up with Ebro Darden on Apple Music, covering a variety of topics ranging from racism in the music industry to the rappers that inspired him to try storytelling.

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When Ebro Darden brings up racism in the industry, Royce uses Lil Wayne‘s controversial comments (he previously stated “there’s no such thing as racism” in 2016) to emphasize his point. “Cash Money, they signed their deal in 1997,” explains Royce. “So from then to now, they’ve walked billions of dollars into the Universal building. You can’t tell me that you feel like Universal has been protecting Lil Wayne. Lil Wayne, I heard come out of his mouth in an interview that racism doesn’t exist. Being famous early for a Black person is crippling. My brother, you’re going to jail for the second time. The first time you went to prison, you went for a gun that wasn’t even on you. That’s racism Lil Wayne.” 

On a musical note, Royce also shares a few of the rappers that inspired him in those early days, shouting out Nas‘ “I Gave You Power” song as the track that opened his eyes to storytelling. For those who don’t know, “I Gave You Power” found Nas taking on the role of the gun, rapping from a perspective never before seen in hip-hop

“‘I Gave You Power’ made me want to write stories,” reveals Royce. “Up until I heard that story, I never even thought about the possibility or the idea of writing a story. I was like, ‘Wow. You can just create a story in your mind and just rap it.’ And it just opened up the door to all kinds of just ideas. Some of them may be biting Nas a little bit, some shit might be biting Redman a little bit, but that’s where it all starts. And without that, it’s just raps.”

Check out Royce’s full conversation with Ebro Darden below, and show some love to the legendary lyricist in the comments below.