The concept of heroism is complicated. They say to never meet your heroes, but so many of those close to end up taking on that role, until they get pushed off their pedestal. On "Hero," Royce Da 5'9" explores all of these themes in the context of his relationship with his father and how his violence did not entirely inform whether Royce still looked up to him. "Hero," which features a beautiful outro sung by White Gold, is the last of the 22 tracks to appear on Royce's recent drop, The Allegory, closing the album with an upbeat sound despite its complex subject matter.
On the track, Royce sets out to explain how he refuses to view his father as pure evil. On lines like, "Even though sometimes a n*gga home would get abusive/But Papa showed us tough love, don't misconstrue us," he dictates this commitment to portraying his father properly, in his eyes. Royce dealt with the topic of the abuse he and his family faced at the hands of his dad on his 2018 album, Book Of Ryan, as well, which he addresses on "Hero." In lyrics like, "I talked about his past, I thought I did it with respect" and later "In retrospect, I feel like you're right, we should've talked first," Royce is acknowledging the apology he ultimately made to his dad for unpacking all of their issues in his music. "Hero" is an assemblage of childhood trauma and familial problems, and Royce illustrates the difficulty of reconciling such a loaded relationship so precisely.
One thing that's phenomenal was the day I decided
To hold myself accountable for my behavior
My bank account would grow
All of the things that Papa instilled inside me
Was like the common denominator