Royce da 5’9” has so many successful projects in his bag that his expert opinion is welcome in any hip-hop circle. Slaughterhouse, however, remains the one that the fans are still grieving about.

Royce sat down with “My Expert Opinion” podcast to discuss all things rap and faced the question: How did the split happen and to what extent Royce agrees with his friend and bandmate Joe Budden who blames Shady in the band demise. Royce, diplomatic and thoughtful, did not rush his explanation:

He’s speaking to you from his perspective. From where I’m sitting I definitely won’t let anybody just put everything on Joe. It wasn’t just all on Joe. We all played our part, you know, whether it was purposely or not. There were certain times that we got on the phone and we spoke about going back in the studio and I wasn’t available. I was doing Prhyme, I was doing something. And it’s kind of difficult when you get on the line with some guys that you did seven years straight with and then it’s like, “Well I can’t get in there now, can you wait until such and such day and can we reconvene then?” That’s not an easy pill to swallow. And then what happens is when we reconvene somebody else is busy and then somebody else. It’s difficult to get four people on the same page and just working in that way. And then there were small label issues, you know. So one person may have an issue with something with the label or one person may have an issue with this or that.

Was it just Joe?

I mean, no, no it wasn’t just Joe.

Because he did have an issue. He said another Slaughterhouse project cannot happen with him being involved until you guys get away from Shady.

Joe has his way of voicing things, you know. There wasn’t always an issue between Joe and Shady. The issue with Joe and Shady now is just the way he voiced his opinion about Marshall’s album. Marshall didn’t like that. It wasn’t because he had an opinion about Marshall’s album, it was the way he publicly voiced it. I actually had a problem with that too. But me and Joe spoke about it. We spoke about how we both felt about it and it was not a heated discussion but it was an active discussion. We actively was telling each other how we felt. I wasn’t like checking him and he wasn’t like checking me. It was just like, “Yo blah blah blah blah blah”. And then the end of the discussion was he apologised to me because of the way that I was made to feel and I accepted his apology. It was no longer an issue between me and him.

Was there an apology to Em?

No. So that’s one of the things that’s in the air. So that’s just one thing. It’s not the reason, it’s just one thing.

But what do you think triggered Joe to react to the album the way he did, so publicly? What was the animosity?

He doesn’t feel like he spoke with animosity. But it was taken this way. Because anybody thought that it was coming from a place of animosity He was just taking his disrespect, you know, and a lot of other words got thrown in there that he didn’t agree with. So what happens is he has a platform where he’s saying how he feels about it and then Em uses his platform, which is his album, to speak about how he feels about it. And you know, Slaughterhouse becomes collateral damage, apparently.
Anything can be worked out but it’s not just that. There are other things. There were things behind the scenes going on that brought certain vibes into the studio as well. Two people had some disagreements and some business dealings separate. I’m not gonna say who those two people were. And that caused a little something and then everybody in the group decided to go do separate albums. Like Joe did an album with rap music, Joell did one with Illmind, Crook did one with Static Selector. That ate a whole year up right there. And then Just Blaze, he was the executive producer, he had some publishing issues behind the scenes he was working out with the lawyer. That ate up some time. It wasn’t just one thing, it was a lot of things. But nobody came away from it bitter at anybody.

Slaughterhouse is still signed to Shady.

Yes, as a group yes. We’re not signed as solo members.

Joe says he won’t do a project until everybody’s off of Shady.

Yeah, he just wants to get a release from Shady as the group. He wants to get it released from Shady because he doesn’t want to release it through them. But he’s basically saying he’ll still play ball. You know, ownership is a big thing to Joe right now. He’s evolving. Just in terms of understanding the importance of equity. He looks at the brand as something we built, which we did, you know.
I do agree with him in terms of just ownership in general. But it’s not a situation where we gave the group to somebody. We’re just actively in a contract where we didn’t fulfil the agreement at that time and it’s just something that we need to talk about. The label just happens to be some people I have a personal relationship with. It’s not problematic like that. It’s not something that can’t be worked out even if it’s taking the brand somewhere else and doing it somewhere else. The problem is, if we’re gonna go through doing all of that it needs to be understood that we’re actually gonna do that. like it’s gonna get they’re not gonna do the album. If we are not gonna do the album then I don’t even want to have conversations unless I know that everybody’s down to rap. I don’t want to force anybody to rap, man. Joe’s having a good time doing what he’s doing, Crook is super successful. Joell Ortiz just got married. I mean, I’m just happy where everybody is, where we are as men. I’m happy about that.

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