Royce Da 5'9"
Ryan Daniel Montgomery (born July 5, 1977), better known by his stage name Royce da 5'9", is a hip-hop/rap artist from Detroit, Michigan. He is known for his longtime association with Eminem and for his solo career, recording primarily with Carlos "6 July" Broady and DJ Premier, as well as ghostwriting for the likes of Diddy and Dr. Dre. Royce Da 5'9" is one half of the rap duo Bad Meets Evil with Eminem and also a member of hip hop supergroup Slaughterhouse.
Ryan Montgomery was born and raised on the West side of Detroit, Michigan on W. McNichols & Wyoming Ave. He moved to Oak Park, Michigan when he was 10 years old, later acquiring the nickname "Royce" during high school after wearing a link chain with an R pendant resembling the Rolls Royce symbol. He started rapping at age 18, influenced mainly by Ras Kass, Redman, Tupac Shakur, The Notorious B.I.G. and N.W.A. He signed his first deal in 1998 with Tommy Boy Records, after the label shut down, he signed a deal with Columbia where he started recording an album called "Rock City", referring to Detroit's former status as home to Motown Records. When the project was heavily bootlegged, Royce Da 5'9" left the label for Koch to re-record some of the album, eventually releasing it in 2002 as "Rock City (Version 2.0)". While the album did not sell very well, the DJ Premier-produced single "Boom" gained Royce Da 5'9" some underground recognition and eventually resulted in the two working together more closely.
In 2004, he released his second and most critically successful album to date, "Death Is Certain", charting with another Premier-produced single, "Hip-Hop". After the relative success of his sophomore effort, Royce Da 5'9" put out a third solo project, "Independent's Day", in 2005. This was met with less acclaim than either of his previous releases. During this time, the rivalry between Royce Da 5'9" and former friend Proof reached a boiling point in the streets of Detroit, on an occasion where the two rappers drew guns; they were subsequently arrested and left to work out their differences while spending the night in neighboring cells in jail. The time spent in jail led to the artists ending their feud and subsequently embarking on two overseas tours together. Though Royce Da 5'9" had planned other projects involving Nottz and his former crew, D-Elite, these were cut short after a sentencing to one year in prison for a DUI.
After his release in 2007, Royce Da 5'9" with DJ Premier and Statik Selektah released the mixtape "The Bar Exam". He also announced an album with Premier; in an interview with Elemental Magazine, Royce Da 5'9" stated that, contrary to rumors, Premier would not be producing the entirety of his upcoming album, but will be overseeing the project as executive producer, handpicking all of the beats. Following "The Bar Exam", Royce Da 5'9" wrote the single for Diddy's album "Press Play", "Tell Me". Following this, the producer expressed interest in signing the lyricist to Bad Boy. Nas has also stated that he would like to sign Royce Da 5'9" to his Def Jam imprint, The Jones Experience. Neither of these deals, however, materialized.
In early 2008 Royce Da 5'9" confirmed that he had officially resolved misunderstandings between himself and Eminem. He released "The Bar Exam 2" with DJ Green Lantern later in the year, as well as a retail version of the mixtape The Album; the projects featured production from Green Lantern, 9th Wonder, DJ Premier and 6 July, among others. Later worked on his Premier-assisted retail release, "Street Hop", the lead single of which was "Shake This", also produced by DJ Premier. The video to the song circulated the internet, and the project was released October 20, 2009. On May 26, 2012, Royce Da 5'9" announced that he will release a mixtape before his next album.