Last week, Royce Da 5’9’s The Allegory was recognized by the Recording Academy as one of rap’s best albums of the year. The highly praised project features the likes of Westside Gunn, Conway the Machine, T.I. and Vince Staples, but it turns out the Compton wasn’t meant to be on the album.
According to the “Black Savage” emcee, Cordae originally recorded a verse for his song “Young World,” but he was forced to remove it when Atlantic Records refused to clear the “Have Mercy” rapper. He called Staples, and the Compton native came through last minute.
“[Vince Staples] sent his verse last day because originally YBN Cordae was there in that spot,” Royce said during an interview with PSA Hip-Hop’s Threeletterman3. “Atlantic would not clear YBN Cordae, so I had to take him off. They said they wanted to keep him young. These labels, they are so caught up young, young, young, young.”
He continued, “Obviously the kid wanted to do it, otherwise, he wouldn’t have done it! So why put him in that position? And now the album is nominated for Grammy. You don’t think that in retrospect was a bad move from them?”
Royce’s The Allegory is nominated for Best Rap Album alongside Freddie Gibbs and The Alchemist’s Alfredo, Jay Electronica’s A Written Testimony, Nas’ King’s Disease and D Smoke’s Black Habits. “It feels good to be recognized by your peers, first of all, and it feels good for people to notice it. It’s cool,” he said of the recognition.
Though it’s his first-ever Grammy nomination, he reveals his Book of Ryan project could have very well received a nod, but Entertainment One never submitted it. “Thinking about it in retrospect, after getting nominated,” he said. “I could be mad about it! It can hype myself up, but I’m not mad about it.”