Editors’ Notes If Royce da 5’9 has learned anything over the course of some three decades in the game, it’s the power of honesty. “[There’s] nothing like being able to express your truth in an unapologetic, fearless way,” he tells Ebro during the fifth episode of Apple Music’s The Message. Royce specifically cites his 2018 opus Book of Ryan as the project in his catalog created with maybe the least amount of posturing—an approach to music-making he wishes someone had imparted on him back when he was just getting started. “It's so many different fears and so many different things put it into our brains as younger artists, like numbers and all this shit that you grow to find out that they really don't have much to do with anything,” he says. “It's really about 'Is this shit important or not?' Nobody's going to talk about where it landed on the charts. Nobody's going to talk about the first-week numbers, nobody's going to talk about the bag you made off of it, the chain you had on in the video. Does it matter 10 years from now? Can somebody play it and it either takes them somewhere or it does something for them that's valuable to them?” Royce’s The Message playlist contains a bevy of songs he created with this express purpose, along with contributions from hip-hop all-time greats like Nas, JAY-Z, The Notorious B.I.G., Eminem, LL Cool J, and Wu-Tang Clan.