[artist id="502642"]Eminem[/artist] should be used to the #1 spot by now, but it's all new to partner-in-rhyme Royce Da 5'9". On Wednesday, Em and Royce's Bad Meets Evil EP, Hell: The Sequel, topped the Billboard albums chart, selling almost 171,000 copies in its first week, making it Nickel Nine's first time in the top spot.
"You know I ain't never sold no records," Royce said to MTV News, laughing. "I knew it had the potential. I just really was more focused on the whole 'critically acclaimed' thing, and I think we achieved that. I'm only hearing good things about how people feel about the album."
From the onset, both Royce and Em stated that Hell: The Sequel wasn't made with commercial aspirations. Instead, the duo — who first released an independent single (featuring "Scary Movies," 'Nuthin' to Do" and "I'm King") in 1999 — looked to rekindle the lyrical chemistry that they harnessed 12 years ago.
"I think it's great for an artist of Eminem's stature to do a project like this, especially with a dude like me," Royce reinforced. "And to only focus on lyrics and not worry about performance or radio or nothing like that. To go in there spitting, I think, is refreshing to hip-hop."
Though radio wasn't the goal, Royce remains optimistic that the EP's next single, "Lighters," which features Bruno Mars, will ensure the continued success of Hell: The Sequel.
"I definitely think that 'Lighters' is gonna be the record that is gonna carry the sales into something even bigger than what the first week was. Because of a record like 'Lighters' and what it's doing on radio right now, the first-week sales aren't even an indicator of where we're going to end up after we close up with this project," he said.
Have you checked out Em and Royce's EP? Share your reviews in the comments!