In an interview with VladTV, Royce Da 5’9 was asked about his ghostwriting for Diddy, and the veteran rapper shared that he “walked away from that process a much better artist. I think I owe Diddy a lot.” Royce went on to say that he’d learned how to be a rewriter because of Diddy’s ambitions with the Press Play album. He also revealed that he doesn’t usually go with the first verse he writes anymore.
But when Vlad asked Royce about last year’s Drake/Meek Mill beef and the reaction to Meek blasting Drake’s use of ghostwriters, Royce explained that he was surprised that more fans weren’t critical of Drake after the ghostwriting claims. Nonetheless, Royce acknowledged that nothing stays the way that it was.
“The rules do have to change a little bit when you’re talking about ranking these artists. Where they stand as ‘best lyricist,’” Royce continued. “You still have to put them in there as a great artist…but when you’re talking about ‘best lyricist,’ it comes down to what being a lyricist means to you. To me, a lyricist is a writer. The word ‘lyricist’ and writing go hand-in-hand to me.
“So you automatically can’t be a top-tier lyricist if you’re not writing everything. You gotta write everything to be a top tier lyricist in my book. I’m not gonna compare you to Rakim. I’ll call you the greatest of this era. I won’t’ say that you’re better than Rakim and I won’t say that you’re better than Kendrick [Lamar] and I won’t say that you’re better than [J. Cole.] As a lyricist.”
And when asked if the controversy knocks Drake out of contention for “top lyricist,” Royce’s answer was succinct:
“It has to. It’s only fair.”