When Rock City produced Ryan Montgomery, little did they know he would grow up to be one of the dopest lyricist to ever rock the mic. You know him a little better by the name Royce Da 5″9″ or even by Nickle. Born on the east side of Detroit and growing up in Oak Park, Royce would be cultivated by the sounds of Biggie and Pac, Ras Kass and Redman. The era of real gangsta hip-hop.
When you start rapping at 18, sign a major deal by 21, you might think this would be a fast track to success story. You would be wrong. He would sign with Tommy Boy, then Columbia after that label shut down. It was the track “Boom” produced by DJ Premier that gave him underground notice and status. The rest of his debut album from Columbia “Rock City” was not highly regarded despite showing off Royce’s trademark slick flows.
Royce was always talented. People quickly took notice. He would meet and gain a relationship with Eminem in 1997 forming the duo “Bad Meets Evil,” which quickly earned him more mainstream recognition. It was and is that relationship with Eminem that helped transcend him into another level. But that would be a relationship that would have many ups and downs. A roller-coaster that at one point threw Royce off the tracks.
During a fallout, Royce would go on to feud with Eminem’s group D12 as well as 50 Cent. Both sides would go on to release multiple dis-tracks and bury the other side. Royce would go on to release 2 more albums which had moderate success but all that was cut short in 2006 when he was forced to serve a year in jail following a DUI conviction.
The rollercoaster ride which is the life of Ryan Montgomery had hit a low. After being released in 2007 from jail, he had a choice. That is why we write about him today. He could have faded off. He had 2 kids (his 3rd, a daughter was born in 2008) and a family to support. But it was his hustle and grind that got him to where he is today.
He would go out and release several mixtapes after his 2007 release and in early 2008 he would repair his torn relationship with Eminem. A bond that helped him get back on track. But it was his collaboration with Joe Budden, Joell Ortiz, Crooked I and at the time Nino Bless on a track in 2009 on a Joe Budden album named “Halfway House” that would catapult Royce and his team to another level. It was a song named “Slaughterhouse.”
The group would be formed without Nino Bless. Joe Budden, Joell Ortiz, Crooked I and Royce Da 5’9″ were all really good individually. Budden had a few hot albums, Joell was big in the NY scene, Crooked out on the west coast and Royce from his underground albums as well as working with Eminem. But together? The group would hit a new level. All four were and are great mc’s. All four can hold their own on their own. Together, Slaughterhouse was a success and took the world by storm.
In 2011, Royce would collaborate with Eminem on the successful “Bad Meets Evil – Hell: The Sequel” as well as continue to tour and record with Slaughterhouse. In 2012, Slaughterhouse took another step forward with the critically acclaimed “Welcome to Our House” album. With the group now under the Shady Records label and the success they and Royce have achieved, his success story is only growing.
Husband, father, craft bartender, writer and content creator.