Haven’t heard of Royal-Tee yet?

Let’s get you up to speed.

He’s a rapper on the rise who resides in your own backyard.

Born Ade’ (pronounced ah-day) Adisa Vanderhorst in Charleston, S.C., Royal-Tee considers the Q.C. his hometown (his family moved when he was only 2). 

He gained some buzz when he released his debut album, “Alumni,” in 2007.

Now at 26, Royal-Tee is making plenty noise on the heels of the recent release, “Charlotte Forever,” a collaborative effort teaming him with Young S-Dub, Revenue and King Carter for a sample of Drake’s latest hit “Forever.”

The Charlotte-based rappers show love to their hometown, and Royal-Tee says a track showing the Q.C. that kind of love is long overdue.


Editor’s note: Questions were answered by e-mail. Responses have been edited for brevity and clarity.


QCityMetro: How did “Charlotte Forever” come together? With so many anthems dedicated to other American cities, was it a song who’s time had come?

Royal-Tee: (Charlotte entertainer) Sporteodie came up with the idea about us doing … “Forever.” He told me the artists that would be featured on it, and I was ready. 

We all recorded the song in the studio that night. The vibe was krazy. The real reason we did it was to show people, “It’s our time, and be proud to rep yo city.”


QCityMetro: What has fan reaction been like? 

Royal-Tee: They love it. The feedback is great. We (artists) make music for the people, and whenever I’m out and about, I hear people talking about it so that’s the beauty of it. 


QCityMetro: More about you. How did you get the name Royal-Tee?

Royal-Tee: My given name is Ade’ … which means “royal priesthood.” It’s Nigerian – that’s how I came up with the name Royal-Tee. 


QCityMetro: Who are your biggest influences? What are you listening to right now?

Royal-Tee: My biggest influences as far as music: Nas, J-Dilla, Jay-Z, Russell Simmons, 2pac. I’m listening to Royal-Tee music; the “Charlotte Forever“ track, Nipsey Hussle (look out for him) Pac Div from the West Coast, Maxwell … “Seeing Sounds” album by N.E.R.D. I listen to anything by Marvin Gaye … I love music — all genres: hip hop, soul, pop, rock, alternative, jazz. 


QCityMetro: Besides the upcoming video for “Charlotte Forever,” where can fans see and hear more from you? What new projects are you working on?

Royal-Tee: If you’re looking for me, I’m all over the Web:  www.royalteemusic.com, www.iamroyaltee.com, Facebook, www.youtube.com/iamroyalteetv and I’m always on Twitter.

I’m working on my mixtape with DJ Skillz, “The Voice of Reason,” (due out) Dec. 3. … We’re pushing two singles right now, “Thinking Outside the Box” and “Sneaker Fiend.” It’s all over the Web.


QCityMetro: What is something people don’t know about you that they should?

Royal-Tee: Besides music, I’m a movie fanatic! I’m a sneaker fiend. Literally, I collect shoes. I’m addicted to retail. Shopaholic.


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