Eminem and Royce Da 5’9″ Combine
by Collin Smith | Swarthmore College
Detroit rappers Eminem and Royce Da 5’9” have reunited their irreverent rap duo Bad Meets Evil, dropping their first LP Hell: The Sequel on Tuesday. It’s been over a decade since the two MC’s have worked together, but with Eminem’s relatively recent return to the spotlight, the time was ripe for the collaboration to start up again.
Similar to the horror movie Troll 2, there was no original Hell album. However, Royce and Eminem recorded a series of tracks as Bad Meets Evil in the late 90s (Royce is “Bad,” Em is “Evil”). Royce also appeared on a couple of songs on Eminem’s solo production The Slim Shady LP. However, disagreements between Royce and Dr. Dre, as well as an altercation with Eminem’s childhood rap group D12, led the duo to break up.
The partnership’s reunion was officially announced in 2010, and the group has since released several tracks. Hell: The Sequel is their first full-length production since reuniting, and the 11-track “LP” is about what you’d expect to find at an intersection between Bad and Evil. Violence, graphic imagery, and mistreatment of women play a central role on the LP, with both Eminem and Royce unapologetically spitting the most vicious lyrics they can conjure up. The duo also uses the opportunity to take shots at some well-known figures in pop culture, which range from borderline inappropriate (calling Lady Gaga a “male” lady) to completely inappropriate (talking about having anal sex with Nicki Minaj).
Offensive content notwithstanding, Hell: The Sequel is a solid rap album (sorry, LP). Eminem is at his typically brilliant best, and Da 5’9” proves he can lay down some pretty nasty flows as well. The album has a number of tracks with singles potential, including “Fast Lane,” “Echo,” and the unusually almost-PG song “Lighters” featuring Bruno Mars (who’s about as far from Bad or Evil as you can get).
Below you can check out Bad Meets Evil’s impressive music video for Fast Lane, which shows that the duo can not only rap but also know a thing or two about CGI.Collin Smith is a student at Swarthmore College and a Sports & Culture Editor for NextGen Journal.