Bad Meets Evil is an American hip hop duo consisting of rappers Royce da 5’9″ (Bad) and Eminem (Evil). Bad Meets Evil was formed in 1999 thanks to the duo’s mutual friend, Proof.
Eminem met Royce da 5’9″ in 1997 when Royce was opening for entertainer Usher at the Palladium. Eminem and Royce da 5’9″, became quick friends
before Eminem’s rise to fame, and collaborated on
the track which led to the duo’s foundation, “Bad
Meets Evil”, for Eminem’s 1999 major label debut The Slim Shady LP. The duo’s first work, a 1999 double-single, which was originally recorded in
1998, consisting of “Nuttin’ to Do” and “Scary Movies”, achieved respectable chart success, peaking at 36 on the Hot Rap Songs chart, while the latter peaked at 63 on the UK Singles Chart. A year later, the song “Scary Movies” was featured
on the soundtrack of the horror comedy parody film Scary Movie.
“Renegade” was originally a song featuring Eminem recorded for Royce’s first studio debut
album Rock City (2002), but Royce’s verses were later replaced with Jay-Z’s for his 2001 album The Blueprint. Jay-Z contacted Eminem for a collaboration and beat while the song was being
made. Limited in time for production, Eminem sent
Jay-Z the beat for “Renegade” with approval from
Royce. However, Eminem was still featured on
Royce’s Rock City album, on a song of the same name.
Dr. Dre heard one of Royce’s mix tapes through Eminem, deciding to sign him to Aftermath Entertainment. Eminem secured him a ghostwriting position on Dre’s second studio album, 2001. After his manager Kino stated: “I’ve seen Em sit Dre
down like a pupil and coach him on rhymes” on a
phone interview, Dr. Dre requested that Royce cut
ties with his manager. Royce refused to fire his
manager, thus his relationship with Dre ended.
After Royce turned down Eminem’s offer to join his Anger Management Tour as a hype man, Proof, member of Eminem’s band D12 and his best friend, also a good friend of Royce’s, took the place. Later,
Royce wanted to continue working with Eminem,
who was busy working with D12, which lead Royce
to believe that D12 was “souring” his relationship
with Eminem. A feud with a series of diss tracks followed, resulting in the duo’s break up.
In late 2003, D12’s Proof confronted Royce outside a club in Detroit. Violence erupted between the
rappers’ entourage, leading to the police being
called, and Proof and Royce’s arrest. The two were
detained overnight in adjacent cells where they
talked out their differences and ended the feud.
Royce and Eminem reconciled after Proof’s death in April 2006. Eminem said: “I think after we lost Proof, we realized how stupid this beef shit is.”
In 2011, Royce’s rap group Slaughterhouse signed to Eminem’s founded label Shady Records. This led to a reunion of Bad Meets Evil with the debut extended play Hell: The Sequel, released on June 14, 2011 after 11 years of inactivity in the group. A chart success, it peaked at number one on the Billboard 200 and was certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA).
“Fast Lane” was released on May 3, 2011 as the lead single. It was recorded by Mike Strange at Effigy Studios (Ferndale, Michigan). Recorded a few months before its release, the song was
written by Eminem, Royce da 5’9″ and Sly “Pyper”
Jordan, who also sings the chorus to the song with additional vocals from Denaun Porter. Eminem requested that Sly perform the chorus, after hearing Dr. Dre’s hit single “Kush”. Supa Dups and Jason “JG” Gilbert produced the song; Eminem and Mike Strange mixed the song. JG and Supa Dups also sample their own vocals. According to Supa Dups, he was asked to make a
beat with JG, without knowing it was for Bad Meets Evil. He said that “[They] didn’t even have Eminem in mind [when they made the beat].” According to this interview with Mixtape Daily, Supa Dups had little knowledge about the project, but simply submitted the beat to Eminem-Months after recording the song, on April 28, 2011,
when it leaked onto the Internet, Supa Dups was
impressed by the finished version, lyrically, and was proud to have participated in the project. The song peaked at number 34 on the Hot 100
chart. The second single, “Lighters”, was originally
intended to be featured on Royce’s fifth studio album, Success Is Certain, but the single itself had ended up on Hell: The Sequel. It was produced solely by Rochester, New York producer Battle Roy.
After Royce had presented the track to Eminem, he
was inspired to write and record the first verse,
prompting Royce to write his the day afterwards. Bad Meets Evil then flew to Los Angeles, where R&B and pop singer Bruno Mars heard the song. Eminem and Mars then made minor changes to the musical arrangement. The song was recorded at Effigy Studios by Strange, Isolation
Studios by Asar and Levcon Studios (Los Angeles, California) by Ari Levine of The Smeezingtons, a music production and songwriting group consisting of Philip Lawrence and Mars. Eminem, The Smeezingtons and Battle Roy produced the song.
Battle Roy and Joe Strange also engineered the song. Luis Resto provided additional keyboards for the song. On May 25, 2011, when the track listing of Hell: The Sequel was announced, “Lighters” was revealed to the public to feature Mars. “Lighters” hit contemporary hit radio on July 5, 2011 as the second single from the EP. “Lighters” performed better on the charts than
“Fast Lane”, peaking at number four on the Hot 100
chart. Bad Meets Evil released a new song, entitled
“Vegas”, for the compilation album Shady XV, which was released on November 24, 2014 through
Shady Records. In 2015, two new Bad Meets Evil songs were
released. The two songs, titled “All I Think About”
and “Raw” appear on the Southpaw Soundtrack, produced by Shady Records.