Royce Da 5'9" was always a good rapper, but somewhere along the way he must have started taking Rap HGH because he morphed into an incredible rapper. After spending the middle part of his career engulfed in beef, legal issues, and alcoholism, Nickle Nine rallied back by hitting the mixtape circuit with a refined sense of humor and ambition on his Bar Exam series.
Like his Slaughterhouse cohort Joe Budden, Royce was able to take the dark days of his career into his own hands and become an Internet favorite. Ultimately, Royce proved he was his own movement which eventually led to the creation of Slaughterhouse and the reunion of his side project with Eminem, Bad Meets Evil. —Insanul Ahmed