Royce Da 5’9″ (born Ryan Daniel Montgomery, also known as Nickel Nine and Royce 5’9″) is a proud Detroit native who many argue can even rap in his Sleep. He is best known as a spitfire emcee, who is as fierce with his freestyles as he is his pen game, working with the likes of Eminem, Diddy, and Dr. Dre. He also consistently lends his talents in the group dynamic, working with Eminem as the duo Bad Meets Evil, as Slaughterhouse with Joe Budden, Joell Ortiz and Crooked I (now KXNG CROOKED), and as PRhyme with DJ Premier. With over two decades in The Game, Royce’s lyrical prowess has remained at the core of his artistry, with his unrelenting work ethic allowing him to produce a wide plethora of work over the years. With a knack for freestyling over other people’s beats, the rapper continues to set his own bar of quality extremely high, all while holding it down as a family man and maintaining a sober lifestyle, since 2012, as a recovering alcoholic. Weaving unfiltered themes of his personal life into his music, Royce recently snagged a new career milestone in 2016, with his 6th studio album, Layers, debuting at the No. 1 spot on Billboard’s Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums list, impressively dethroning Rihanna’s ANTI at the time. Despite taking some time out of the public eye, the wordsmith has long earned his reputation as one of the strongest tried-and-true lyricists, maintaining among the madness and further honing his craft.

Royce da 5'9": I feel real good about it. I feel real good about it. Obviously conversations are being had about season two. We're very pleased with the way that season one turned out. Ratings ... we didn't get the full analystics yet, but ... analytics yet, but from what we're hearing it very much exceeded our expectations. It started out as something that was just supposed to live online and it just kind of grew at a rapid rate. There were things that we could fix at the main event. We're looking to work on fixing that stuff. You know, we're just getting our feet wet in this thing and trying to provide for the culture and that's one of the reasons why I felt like I needed to fly out here real quick and support this event. UW always puts on great events. I'm looking to catch a few smack events a few [inaudible 00:01:06] events and just make my rounds and just make the presence of Total Slaughter felt.
Speaker 1: You and Arsenal trolled the internet a little bit about battling at the main event when he was actually gonna be battling Big T. Now that Joe's already gotten busy, he got his feet wet, do you think that you might step in the ring in the future?
Royce da 5'9": I don't know, man. I don't know. It's hard to say what I would do. I will say this, if I ever decided to get in there, I don't think it would against a battle rapper. It would have to be somebody else that's established to kind of level the playing field a little bit. I think it's great that Joey got in there and made Hollow bleed. Win, lose or draw, a lot of people didn't agree with how I felt that it went, but win, lose or draw, everybody has to admit that he made Hollow Da Don bleed. He lumped him up and that speaks in volumes for the culture and that division that lays between established artists and battle rappers. We're trying to break down that barrier and just make it all a gladiator thing and I think Joey made a great sacrifice. He did a great thing for the culture and I'm proud of him for that and the way he represented himself and the way that he represented us. I don't know, man. I'm not gonna lie, he kind of gave me the bug a little bit when I seen that. It made me feel like, "Damn, if I took a month or two to prepare, I would get in there, but I would have to call out somebody else that's kind of like signed and has a tour schedule."
Speaker 1: Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.
Royce da 5'9": You know how it goes, man. But I'm speaking prematurely right now. But anything's possible.
Speaker 1: Well, on that note, I've asked Cassidy numerous times in interviews if he would step into the ring and battle. He only said he wants another fellow industry artist.
Royce da 5'9": Yeah.
Speaker 1: What about Cassidy?
Royce da 5'9": Cassidy is great. Cassidy is great. I don't know. I don't know if that's a good fit for me. We would love to have him on our platform, though. We would definitely love to have him on our platform. I'm thinking about reaching out to him definitely. We reached out to him before.
Speaker 1: Yeah, he told me.
Royce da 5'9": It wasn't the right time, though. It wasn't the right time. So maybe we'll be able to work something out.
Speaker 1: The official judgment aside, let's say Joe didn't put down the mic, 'cause I remember being in the audience watching the battles and I remember everyone around me saying, "Wow, Hollow really might lose this" going into Joe's third. If he didn't put down the mic, do you think that he would have got the W?
Royce da 5'9": Well, yeah. That's what I said at the event. I said I had Joe two-one and the reason why, there was no way you could give him the third round. You know, I had Joe winning both rounds and I feel like round one was arguable. I'm willing to give somebody that. But you can't just give it to Hollow because he's the battle rapper. Also, you can't just give it to Hollow because Joe's not using standard battle rapper formula. I just watched B-Magic rhyme all of his verses like he rhymed it on the beat. It's his style and it's what makes him great. I don't think that people should hold him accountable for that, but I think he's under such scrutiny, because he's an established artist. I definitely had Joe two-one for sure.
Speaker 1: Return to Eminem. Everyone knows that he comes from battle rap. He supports it. He's had his own battle hostings before in the past with D&A and Disaster and everyone on it. Do you see Eminem returning to the ring anytime soon?
Royce da 5'9": I don't know. I haven't had a conversation with him in depth about his return. It just sounds so far fetched to me, but you never know. I don't know. I never speak for Marshall. That's one thing I never do, because he's very spontaneous like I am. So you never know, man. If he wakes up one day and decides he wants to do it, it's his platform. He can do it. Whoever it is is gonna lose.
Speaker 1: Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Royce da 5'9": Nobody's gonna beat him. I don't care what anybody has to say, it's just my personal opinion. Like, all of that shit that Disaster does, the connecting the syllables, he's like a fine mixture of a lot of great battle rappers and he still has that. He could still freestyle and I think it would be great if he were to do that, definitely. But I'm ... I don't know if it would happen or not.

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