Royce 5’9″ has recently sat down with Cipha Sounds and Peter Rosenberg on Juan EP Is Life podcast, where the Detroit legend talked about Hip-Hop Shop days with Eminem, how their friendship formed, meeting Dr. Dre for the first time, his career highlights and more.
About Hip-Hop Shop
“After the school graduation, I started going to Hop-Hop Shop. First time I went to Hip-Hop Shop I rapped and I got gonged. I almost was not a rapper. That killed my confidence. I thought I was not ready. I walked in there and I seen Proof, Elzhi, Marshall, all of them killers. Hip-Hop Shop was an open mic slash clothing sore that was owned by Maurice Malone. So what you do is, you stand around in the circle and Proof is like the host, he just passes the mic around. If you get it, you gotta rap. And DJ Head is up top on the ones and twos and if you don’t get reaction fast enough then he puts on gong music and you gotta pass the mic. Proof was known as the best emcee. When I walked in there, I didn’t know anybody. I already heard about Proof. Marshall did not rap that day.”
After Hip-Hop Shop / meeting Eminem
“After I succeeded at the Hip-Hop Shop, I just kept going. Bad Meets Evil the vinyl was probably the first thing that I was a part of. Around ’97. I heard ‘Infinite’ before I met Marshall. ‘Infinite’ and ‘The Slim Shady EP.’ Mr. Porter produced the whole ‘Infinite’ album. Me and Eminem get close as soon as we met. I met him the night my son was born. We have already heard about each other. I was opening up for Usher at the show. He heard me kick the acapella on stage. And he asked me to meet me. So, we met each other, exchanged numbers and we started talking on the phone and that’s how the song Bad Meets Evil ended up happening. Once we did that, he took a liking to me, he got his deal with Dre and the rest is history.
About Bad Meets Evil deal
John Schechter, he’s a good friend of mine but he was introduced me through Paul Rosenberg who’s Em’s partner. I already had friendly relationship with Paul Rosenberg. I can’t remember exactly all the particulars but Paul wanted to set it up to where Em can do things outside of his deal. Also to help build me. So we just kept doing s–t together. And at that time, I also became Em’s hypeman for a minute. We were just together all the time. We were just building.
Meeting Dr. Dre
I remember sending out my demos to Marshall when he was out in Cali so he can listen to the songs. I get the call one day, my dad comes into the room and says ‘Ryan, It’s Dr. Dre on the phone for you.’ I answered the phone like ‘hello’ and he’s like ‘Yo what’s up, it’s Dre.’ I’m like WOW. So, Marshall basically played my s–t for him and he was feeling my s–t. So he was like ‘would you be down to come out here and work with us?’ I said ‘hell yeah.’ So I went out to Cali and we started working on The Chronic two (2001). From there, I ended up signing a deal with Tommy Boy where my album was executive produced by Marshall.
Check out the full interview below: