Royce Da 5'9" Talks J.Cole, HipHop Age Gap, New Album + More!

What’s The Word sat down with legendary emcee, Royce Da  5’ 9” to discuss his recently released 7th studio album Book of Ryan. Royce speaks on how the album is his most complete and introspective work to date, explaining that he feels that the album defines him both as an individual and as an artist. “Us Black people, we have issues....we’re used to sweeping shit under the rug and not really dealing with it.” Royce says, in response to his track entitled “Cocaine” about his father’s addiction. Royce chose to face his issues on this track as well as the entire album, he states that he believes the things that we go through make us who we are as people and artists.

Book of Ryan features various artists such as T-Pain, J. Cole, Marsha Ambrosius and Hip-Hop heavyweights like Jadakiss and Fabolous, just to name a few. There is also production from Boy Wonder and Key Wayne along with a host of others. Royce also teams up with his long time friend Eminem on this project, for the track “Caterpillar.”

Royce talks on consistency being a key to longevity, he says that making good albums is specifically a key for artists to have longevity, opposed to being focused on singles. When asked about artists today glorifying drug usage in their songs today, compared to lyrics that spoke more about drug dealing in the 80s and 90s, Royce stated, “I don’t think the youth are using drugs more than they did [back in the day]....it’s just a new wave. I think balance is important in content. OG’s need to teach the youth the importance of having a platform and put that out there.       

Be sure to watch the full interview with Royce Da 5’9” above and to check out more exclusive content on the site and subscribe to the What’s The Word youtube channel.

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Trae Tha Truth Talks "HomeTown Hero" Project, Being Houston's Dark Knight & More!

"There are three ways to write about Trae Tha Truth. One is to talk about his music, and that’s important because he is a rapper and making music is what he does. The other is to talk about him as a human, and that’s important because he has done some truly monumental and impressive things. The third is to talk about the intersection of him as a rapper and him as a humanitarian because that’s where Trae really belongs. Only a handful of people have ever blurred the borders of what it means to be a musician, and what it means to be a civic leader and then able to blend them together as well as Trae has done."

After taking months off from making music to help with hurricane Harvey relief, Houston's Dark Knight and Hip-hop artist Trae Tha Truth held a listening party in Chicago earlier this week, to give the city an exclusive listen to his new album "Hometown Hero". At this event, I was able to talk with him about his album and more.

Sitting with Trae The Truth was a milestone, not to often journalist get the ability to sit in a presence of a hero. A man before Hurricane Harvey was dedicated to improving his city. listening to his album, Hometown Hero, I get why he is so loved by his community. The album was dedicated to Houston, its the album that will "motivate the city" says Trae Tha Truth. With features from Lil Boosie, T.I, Young Thug and more, this is a project that will give the city another spark. He mentions that it is Houston's time to get that music wave back and add to the success of the city's sports team such as the Astros and the Rockets. After the interview I was invited to Trae Day 2018 which will be July 22nd by the rapper, I'm excited to join Houston's Dark Knight in his effort to uplift his community. 

In the above interview, Trae touched on lean and drug usage in hip-hop. Some might think its strange that the Houston rapper doesn't indulge in drugs at all. Especially lean, he emphasized that he doesn't like talking about it. It is a really sensitive topic for the rapper, "I lost a lot of homies, too that" said Trae Tha Truth. He goes on to say he will help guide the youth who abuse lean and drugs. I believe his street credibility and philanthropy will allow youth to buy into his messages.

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Dough From Da Go's "Mineral Water" Will Change Chicago Hiphop Culture

Understanding the landscape is a step that young musicians tend to skip over. The rush for fame and fortune, without understanding what they are getting themselves into. That’s why is very important for hip hop culture to have liaisons to help guide artists, help build infrastructure. In Chicago that’s where Dough From Da Go comes in.

 Dough From Da Go is a Hiphop  industry mover and shaker. Dough is credited with starting the infamous Stack Or Starve Movement, Stack Or Starve mixtapes, DVD & Stack Or Starve Dj crew who are partially responsible for breaking many of Chicago's artist on the drill music scene.

 As a tastemaker he has assisted labels such as Def Jam Recordings in Lifestyle Marketing & Promotions in the Chicago market. He has lead the push in mixshow & street team campaigns for some of the biggest recording artists in the world that include: Jeezy, YG, Jadakiss, Big Sean, Pusha T, Jhene Aiko, August Alsina , Jeremih & many more!

Sitting down with Dough, He explained the importance of rolling out an project properly. He understands that Chicago lacks a certain infrastructure, and that artists are naive to how the music business works. His current goals are to pass down the knowledge he has obtained in the music industry to local artists.

His much anticipated self Executive Produced album release "Mineral Water The Album" which will include some of the most promising artists, producers & musicians from his hometown of Chicago. We be the first of many initiatives to help push the Chicago culture forward. The them for the project series is “Chicago Stand Up”. 

Through mineral Dough plans to give Chicago artists, producers and creatives a detailed look on how to effectively produce and rollout an industry project.  This major for the city because with a lot the talent we have brewing in the city, it’s important that we keep our artist home. Artists usually leave and go to other markets to obtain this knowledge, but through the efforts of individuals like Dough we can build an industry here.

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@YG new album #StillBrazy Out Now! #WeAreDefJam #DefJamInfluencers #SummerJam

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Rising Star Moses Talks Detriot's New Music Wave, Being Compared to Dej Loaf, Women In Hip Hop

Rising Detriot artist Moses aka Moses The God, talks about being the next up from the D and laughs at her Dej Loaf comparisons.  She answeres questions on why Detriot artist don't reach back to uplift some of the other rising artists from the city.  Her answers to the questions were quite intriguing. It would seem a like city with artists such as Eminem and Big Sean, wouldn't have any issue with getting a wave going. According to Moses, the issues is not a talent thing but more of politics between the city's gatekeepers. 

We talked how Dej Loaf got her rise to fame, and how there are rumors of her having a ghostwriter. How too many from Detroit, Eminem is not a hero who cares about pushing the city's culture forward. We talked Tee Grizzley and Big Sean, the artist had nice messages to relate on their behalf from the city.

WATCH "IN MY BAG" MUSIC VIDEO

Moses talked about being the next up from the D and the feedback she's receiving for being a lesbian in Hip-Hop. She gave me Insight on how she has the struggle to gain acceptance from certain fans because of her sexuality; even family members turned their nose up at her. She explained how this made her feel abandoned at one point, but now she uses it as fuel. Hint why she named her debut album "With or Without You". 

Moses is a unique talent, she reminds me of a female Drake, with her R&B influenced rap vocals. the d-town native loves classic hip-hop music and embraces the rich history that Detroit music has. In the in above interview we talked about the new wave of Detroit artist, and why do you think people forgot about the legendary sound that  Motown produced. She gave her insight saying no one forgot because the majority of Detroit's producers samples Motown music in their beats with confidence and not coming from a hateful place. It was if she was speaking for her city. She is very talented and outside of her musical ability, I admire her hustle. She is a home owner, full time worker, and she still finds time to provide the people with great music. 

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SABA Talks Rapping Against Mick Jenkins, Chance The Rapper, and New Chicago Wave

SABA Talks Rapping Against Mick Jenkins, Chance The Rapper, and New Chicago Wave

The city of Chicago is most known for its south-side rappers, but as a native of the city I would say don’t sleep on the City’s westside. One artist in particular is Saba. Many people may know Saba from the feature he did with Chance The Rapper on the “Angels” track, 

Phor Talks Choosing Music Over Tattoos, 2nd Chi-Town Remix With Shagg Nice

Shaggy Nice Chops it up with Phor about the Ch-Town Remix and his debut album "Butterfly" available now on Tidal, Itunes, and AppleMusic. During the interview, Phor explains to Shagg how music is his first love, and how he moved to New York City to pursue his career for two years before coming back to join Ryan Henry and the 9 Mag family as a premium tattoo artist. 

His single "Chi-Town" has been getting a crazy buzz on the midwest airwaves, the people loved it so much that the rapper was forced to make a remix. The remix includes Chicago heavy hitters such lil Durk, Bump J, and Twista. He stated that he had received over 11 verses from Chicago's top artist, the list includes Shawna a hip-hop legend from the City. Phor hinted at a possible remix to the remix which may be an all-female joint. We don't know for sure but be on the lookout for more exclusives from Phor.....ONE CHICAGO!!!!

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Q Money Talks Herion Drug Case, Chicago Music Influences & More!

Putting in work has been a message that I’ve preached for years, Ironic that's the hit single from the Cleveland artist Q Money. The artist got his rise to fame from Instagram, he was pretty lit on social media which increased his social clout. The rapper wanted it to be known that he is not a typical Instagram celebrity, he is not comedian turned rapper, he just a thorough street guy with a great personality that loves to have a good time.

He explains him dancing on social media is just a marketing strategy, he puts his song in the videos to help with exposure. His #QmoneyChallenge went viral. He had artist like Meek Mill reposting. 

In conversation, we talk about him beating a drug case, which he was set up by what he thought was a loyal customer. He had left the drug game for a minute, this was his return and ended up getting caught. He facing was 3 year, but ended up serving 3 months.

He gives us insight on how he feels Chicago hip-hop influences those in Ohio and others. "When we use to trap, all we listened to was lil durk". He talks how the Drill wave is responsible for artist such as Tay K. His views are accurate, and not to be a biased journalist. I agree that the wave of Chief Keef, Lil Durk, and others has major influences on the rappers today.

Q Money might be different he has a more fun vibe, he has his own style, I can sense a little Atlanta in his music, but he resides in the south currently it's only right that the Trap influences are put to use.

Q Money provides great vibes, and I'm wishing him much success in his career. In the meantime sit back and watch him WORK.