On Feburary 21, 2020 Detroit rapper Royce da 5’9″, mostly recognizable for being a half of Bad Meets Evil duo (the other being Eminem) and supergroup Slaughterhouse, released his eighth studio album titled “The Allegory”, a full length 22-track project featuring artists such as DJ Premier, T.I, Vince Staples and Cyhi the Prynce. On a single track titled “Tricked” Royce da 5’9″ raps about things he believes people who have power in society lie about to an average man. A relatively common trope in hip-hop. One of the things that the “Rock City” rapper warns against are… vaccines. On two controversial lines he raps: “From day one at the hospital they target our children/Say they gonna immunize ’em they somehow get autism”. Vaccines are still a hot topic in the U.S so, unsurprisingly, they quickly caught the attention of listeners and media.
Asked about his controversial position on vaccines in an interview for Complex Royce da 5’9″ explained his anti-vaccination lyrics in a following way:
“I have a child on the spectrum. All of my kids have been vaccinated. Within the last couple of years, I started being just real, real information junkie. I started doing a lot of fact-checking and a lot of reading—a lot more reading than I was doing. You got the regular facts that get presented to you, and then you have the other facts that you got to go research. Well, I found that I was able to draw a correlation between autism and vaccination. I found vaccinations link back to autism in many ways. And my wife is not anti-vaxx. So if I was ever going to have any more kids, we’d probably have to figure out a way to meet halfway. So I’m not in any way trying to encourage people to not get their kids vaccinated. I encourage you to believe what you want to believe.”
While on one hand it’s unfortunate that that a whole album will be looked at differently because of two lines, it is even more upsetting how much miseducation there still is in society, no matter the socio-economic status. You can listen to “The Allegory” on Spotify and see the music video for tricked down below.