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Some of you might remember this from when it first dropped here on HipHopSite some years ago. There is a little history surrounding this mixtape – it basically was right after Shady Records signed 50 Cent, and Royce felt that the relationship between himself and the label was finished. This was his first mixtape, released right after Rock City 2.0, one that would find him dissing Eminem, D12, 50 and others, and freeing up a number of unreleased recordings he did with J. Dilla, Kanye West, Just Blaze, Dr. Dre, Alchemist, and more. The CD was given an official release later by Groove Attack, but was a scaled down version missing several of the more controversial or unclearable recordings. This is the complete version.

Some other fun facts about this mixtape:

* The “5’9 Intro” was my idea – to loop Puffy’s lyrics from “Who Shot Ya” in reverse to say “5’9 Motherfuckers!” rather than “9-5 motherfuckers”. Royce would later use this concept in 2010 on The Bar Exam 3.

* The CD was commissioned by Matt Conaway for HipHopSite, and mixed by DJ The D. DJ The D is just a one time pen named used by DJ Pizzo. The problem was that we were cool with both Royce Da 5’9′s camp and Eminem’s camp and we did not want to co-brand ourselves with the mixtape, because we did not want to pick a side in the beef. At the same time, we did not want to let it go. Now that everyone is friends again, we can own up to it.

* The RJD2 beat blend caused some controversy, which found “Boom” vocals over elements of RJ’s “Ghost Writer”. Originally meant to be only an underground mixtape, we never thought Royce would later make an official release of this thing, which we were not a part of. RJD2 was a little pissed because they released this thing to retail without his permission. Whoops.

* The Kanye West produced track, “Heartbeat” also caused some issues, as Kanye later had some unkind words to say about Royce, which you can read right here on HipHopSite in our 2003 interview.

* The CD was called Build and Destroy. The first disc was dubbed “Build”, because it focused on everything he had done up until the release of Rock City. The second disc was “Destroy”, because it was all about burning bridges, which it did successfully.

Despite the controversies surrounding this release, it was one of the best projects we have ever been a part of and in the end helped define Royce’s career today.


Royce Da 5’9 – “Build & Destroy (O.G. Version)” (Mixtape)

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