There were a lot of rap releases this month, with records from A$AP Rocky, Rae Sremmurd, KYLE, MC Paul Barman, and a Pusha T vs. Drake feud brewing, but surprisingly the best verse of the month came from Royce da 5’9″. Not that the Bad Meets Evil/Slaughterhouse-rapper doesn’t have talent, he’s a fantastic rapper, but that he’s usually a hip-hop purist rhyming over DJ Premier beats or sharing bars with Eminem.
On his latest record, Book of Ryan, Royce talks about his struggles with alcoholism and mental health, commenting on the song “Strong Friend” that you should check up on your friends to see how they’re doing, because if you think your strongest friends are doing okay, and they’re really not, then your friend who is outwardly struggling must be in a very bad place. He then quotes other artist’s who have commented on the importance of mental health in the rap community.
Read the lyrics via Genius and listen to Royce da 5’9″’s “Strong Friend” below:
[“Strong Friend” Verse 2 and outro]
You need to check up on your strong friend
The one with strength that’s never gon’ end
The one with sense, take care of several grown men
Pay they rent and then they trade on him, the Devil play to win
I remember I had Maia Campbell in my Mercedes Benz
You probably thought she gave in to the plot Satan’s sin
She got demons greater than, you and I
And this message is to Denaun and to Shady, you say we friends?
Well take care of Lyric, 80 and baby Quinn like they Hailie then
Well shit is my funeral, y’all should play all of my songs too
Hope my body look beautiful, while I lay in my strong suit
Rumors spread about me that ain’t true, that’s how the fake do
If I’m the strong friend, then what the fuck do that make you?!
Check up on your strong friend, uh
“It’s funny, they laugh at me because I’m different, but I laugh at them because they’re all the same.” – Kurt Cobain
“We’re all just suicidal kids telling other suicidal kids suicide ain’t the answer.” – Kendrick Lamar
“The worst thing to call somebody is crazy. It’s dismissive, I don’t understand this person so he’s crazy. That’s bullshit, these people are not crazy, they’re strong people. Maybe their environment is a little sick.” – Dave Chappelle
“Black people don’t know a goddamn thing about therapy.” – Self
Capital STEEZ, Taheim, Chester Bennington
Rest in peace my strong friends
What do you think? Drop your thoughts in the comments below.