The eagerly anticipated new Royce’s album “The Allegory” is not going to be just a record. Royce is making it a statement, as a call for action, for unity and for understanding. He is bringing up serious topics to discuss, topics of race, privilege and social justice. Eminem is an important part of this conversation and we are going to hear his voice.
The track Eminem has contributed to is called “Perspective” it is not a song but it is not exactly a skit, it is a spoken interlude where Royce and Eminem discuss the unifying power of music and how hip-hop can bring together people from either side of the track.
The album is out in a week but we can learn something already from recent Royce’s interview with Level:
On one Allegory track, “Perspective,” Eminem runs down an abridged history of racism in America and speaks about hip-hop unifying people. Does that interlude reflect conversations you’ve had with Em about race?
How it came about was we were on the phone, talking about him growing up. A lot of people think he’s from the trailer park. He’s from Detroit; grew up in the hood around Black people. We talk all the time about how tough it was, him being White and into hip-hop, and Black people thinking he’s trying to act Black. They used to beat him up all the time, just jump him. He couldn’t understand why. It wasn’t until he met Proof and Proof took a liking to him [and] started vouching for him that he got accepted at the Hip-Hop Shop.
It goes both ways. I talked to him about a lot of things that I went through in Oak Park, the racist shit that happened to me that started when I was young and didn’t understand. We both came to a very clear understanding. I feel like God put him in my life to teach me that it’s not cool to generalize. Because if it wasn’t for Marshall Mathers, I don’t think I would like Whites — and on the flip side, if it wasn’t for Proof, I don’t think he would’ve liked Black people. He assumed Black people didn’t like him, because they used to beat him up. God places people in your life for a particular reason. Marshall restored my faith in people. It’s not really about converting people; it’s just about gaining understanding.
What do you remember about the conversation that inspired “Perspective”?
He said so many beautiful things, man. He does this all the time. We’ll be talking, and he’ll drop so much knowledge. This particular time, I was like, “If I send you a beat, can you talk on it and express some of these things?” The phone conversation version was way better. When I sent the beat, he talked for 12 minutes. We edited it down. A lot of the album excerpts and shit like that are there for you to know that somebody has that perspective. It’s not necessarily my perspective.
It sounds like you largely agree with his perspective, though.
I think the main point he was making is that hip-hop brings people together, and I 100% agree. I just don’t think we utilize it as much as we can. I don’t think it’s this big kumbaya party in hip-hop, where everybody’s there. Hip-hop can be that bridge. You got great men like Farrakhan, real leaders. They’re trying to touch the hip-hop artists’ platforms, to get them to understand that we’re the new leaders, the people that kids are gonna listen to.
You can read the full interview here.