Royce 5’9″ Explains Choosing To Sign With Tommy Boy Instead Of Dr. Dre (Video)

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Royce 5’9″ released his first gold album, care of Bad Meets Evil’s Hell: The Sequel. The 2011 album released on Eminem’s Shady Records, which is part of the same Interscope umbrella that includes Dr. Dre’s Aftermath Entertainment, and previously, 50 Cent’s G-Unit Records.

Notably, while Royce is signed to Shady/Interscope through B.M.E. and Slaughterhouse, he had an opportunity to join the same conglomerate more than 15 years ago. As a fledgling soloist, the Detroit, Michigan MC was offered a deal by Dr. Dre. Instead, Royce—who had released DJ Premier-produced hit single “Boom,” would ink a contract with Tommy Boy Records. In speaking with Complex, Nickel Nine explained choosing the 1980s Dance and Hip-Hop label in lieu of the legendary producer’s imprint.

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“I made a decision to sign with Tommy Boy [Records] instead of [Aftermath Entertainment and] Dr. Dre, back in the day,” the artist explained. “Sometimes I don’t really regret it because by saying that I’m basically saying that I regret where I’m at today, which couldn’t be further than the truth, but sometimes I wonder what would have happened had I done that. What kind of music would I have been able to make?”

Artists ranging from Royce’s band-mate Joell Ortiz, to Rakim, King T, Raekwon, Last Emperor, and Bishop Lamont have all been onetime Aftermath artists who did not release an album. However, Royce elaborated that financial considerations were also taken. “[Dr. Dre] was offering me a $250,000 budget and unlimited Dre beats. And Tommy Boy was just offering me $1 million.”

Notably, Royce would never release an album during his tenure at Tommy Boy. The MC’s solo debut came in the form of 2002’s Rock City (2.0), released by Columbia/Koch/Game Entertainment.

Royce would work on Dre’s 1999 album, 2001 as well as appear as a guest on Eminem’s The Slim Shady LP, both Aftermath releases.

In the same Complex interview, Nickel also discusses his sobriety, creative strides as of late, and weighs in on the lead water poisoning in nearby Flint, Michigan.

Royce’s sixth solo, Layers, will release on April 15 via his own Bad Half Entertainment.

Related: Royce 5’9″ Discusses “The Most Significant Day Of His Life” & Debuts 2 New Songs (Video)