Bad Meets Evil (Eminem & Royce Da 5’9″) ‘Hell: The Sequel’: Summer Preview
Summer is just getting started — we haven’t even plugged in our air conditioners yet, it’s that early in the season — but we’ve decided there’s no time like the present to take a closer look at the albums the next three months hold in store. Released the same day as our inaugural Summer Preview inductee, All Things Bright And Beautiful, the LP we spotlight today is lighter on dreams and heavier on nightmares — Hell: The Sequel, from the minds of Eminem and Royce Da 5’9″, aka Bad Meets Evil. Will this joint EP turn out to be a major work in both rappers’ canons? Jump below to find out all about Em and Royce’s trip to Hell.
ALBUM: Hell: The Sequel (off Shady Records and Interscope), the title which comes right from the lyric “See you in hell for the sequel, bad meets evil” from the 1999 track “Bad Meets Evil” off Em’s The Slim Shady LP. (See below.)
THEIR STORY: After “Bad Meets Evil” turned into an underground hit, Marshall and Royce recorded a few tracks under the moniker Bad Meets Evil, including 2001’s mixtape track “Renegade” (which was then re-recorded by Jay-Z for The Blueprint).
The two Detroit rappers fell out of touch when Royce got into a feud with Em’s group D12. The beef would persist until 2008, when all parties finally called truce, and Royce began collaborating with Mathers again under the new outfit Slaughterhouse (which was signed to Em’s Shady Records imprint). Said the duo this past April of recording a joint EP together:
“Royce and I started hanging out again and inevitably that led us back into the studio… At first we were just seeing where it went without any real goal in mind, but the songs started to come together crazy, so here we are.”
“I’m excited to see this project come to fruition considering the long lapse in time between when we worked before and now,” added Royce. “We had a blast doing it and we just hope everyone enjoys it.”
RELEASE DATE: June 14.
SINGLES RELEASED SO FAR: The Nicki Minaj-enamored (sort of) “Fast Lane” is the EP’s lead single, though we’ve heard a few other tracks as well, including “A Kiss”, which also name-drops a lady currently in the pop zeitgeist. There’s also “I’m On Everything”, with comedian Mike Epps assisting, but the best bet for a hit single seems to be the inspirational and radio-friendly “Lighters”, featuring Bruno Mars on the hook.
ALBUM PRODUCERS: Em’s longtime pal and producer Mr. Porter, one of the original members of D12, is listed for most of the EP’s tracks, though there’s room for more variety, too:hip-hop mastermind Bangladesh (Lil Wayne “A Milli”, Beyonce “Video Phone”), Mobb Deep’s Havoc, Supa Dups, and Bruno’s own producing outfit, The Smeezingtons, who twiddled the knobs for “Lighters”.
WHAT TO EXPECT FROM THE LP: Nothing out of the ordinary for either artist — dirty-minded rhymes, killer hooks, and moments of deep introspection. You can listen to snippets from all 9 tracks on the album here.
TOUR PLANS: No word yet on whether the pair plans to tour together, but Em will be headlining the V Festival in the UK and Lollapalooza and Bonnaroo back here in The States. We wouldn’t be surprised if Royce flies on out to join him for a few live numbers.
OUR THOUGHTS: We think Em could have kept the momentum going with Recovery for even longer instead of shelving it for the time being to focus on this side project. (In fact, what happened to the “Space Bound” video? Are we ever getting it?) With only nine tracks and with Mathers not publicized as the sole headliner of this disc, we’re pretty sure this EP will still sell — but nowhere near the amount he’s used to. Still, if he and Royce get even one hit single off this EP, then it might be considered more than just a blip between records.