Pretty muthafucka

Mar 10, 1999 at 12:00 am

"I’m one of them pretty rappers/ Buck if I really have ta/ I’ll really slap ya/ King of Detroit/ who they namin’ the city after./ Scantless partners whose grammar hammers the hard shit/ Enter your heart with content you don’t wanna start with."

–Royce the Five-Nine,
"Scary Movies"

This being 1999, the ‘last but not least’ adage seems too appropriate for local hip-hop artists who have spent years crying for national recognition.

Royce the 5-9 (as in 5’9"), armed with a maniacal imagination and confidence level to boot, joins Eminem and Slum Village as one of Detroit’s newest national representatives. A reported $950,000 deal with Tommy Boy records makes his the largest ever for a local artist.

"I feel like it’s somethin’ that I deserve," says Royce. "I just feel like we had a plan, and it happened like it was supposed to."

Royce began rhyming in 1995. He gained a reputation for walking into open-mic battles, at venues such as the C-Note Lounge and the Ebony Showcase, and leaving with MCs’ hearts in his pocket. During that same year, he hooked up with manager Keno Childry and producer Eric "Ric Swift" Rhea. His debut is tentatively scheduled for a January 1, 2000, release.

"(Tommy Boy) never should have given me this money. It’s over. I see my career going megastar. I see it going movies. I see it going on some posterboy shit. ‘Cause, I mean, let’s be real. I’m an attractive guy."