When it comes to SoundScan, it's no secret that Eminem is a juggernaut. His 2010 album, Recovery, is fast approaching 4 million copies sold and earlier this week, his sophomore album, The Marshall Mathers LP, was certified diamond.
But according to Royce da 5'9," when he and Slim Shady began recording their upcoming Bad Meets Evil EP, the only thing on their minds was creating raw hip-hop.
"Me and Em, when we started hangin' again — he don't go anywhere — so we were hangin' at the studio," Royce recalls. "And we just started making records, just making 'em because we were both in the lab and we had free time."
The casual recording led to some serious heat, Royce said. So much heat, in fact, that Shady Records decided to release an EP rather than let the songs fall by the wayside.
Nickel Nine and Em first teamed up to form Bad Meets Evil more than a decade ago, releasing the songs "Nothin' to Do," "Scary Movies" and "I'm King" on Game Recordings in 1999. The pair had a falling out, but eventually reconciled. In January, it was announced that Eminem had signed Royce's rap quartet, Slaughterhouse, to his Shady Records label. And earlier this week, the duo revealed plans to release an a-yet-untitled Bad Meets Evil EP in June.
The reunion forced the already well-regarded Royce to step his game up lyrically.
"To me, [Eminem is] one of the greatest rappers ever. So if you're standing in there with him and watching him create, you can only spit on a certain level in order to even keep up," Royce said. "With me, I feel like it's good for me because I get pushed. It brings more out of me."
In the end, the veteran lyricist insisted that, with Bad Meets Evil, there's no pressure to make hits. "We went in and did actually 11 records, two of 'em leaked, so we're gonna use the other nine and that was it," he explained. "We didn't go do 15 records and try to pick the best. We didn't make it an Eminem album so Eminem is under the same pressure of selling what he normally sells. We're not really thinking about that.
"We just wanted to do a raw hip-hop record that's put out on a bigger stage," Royce added. "I think that's what hip-hop is missing."
What are you expecting from the Bad Meets Evil EP? Let us know in the comments!