For those who might not know the history of Detroit legend Royce Da 5’9, it might come as a surprise to learn that he originally began his career as a protege of Dr. Dre. Having caught the Doc’s attention following a co-sign from his Bad Meets Evil counterpart Eminem, Dre took it upon himself to reach out to Royce and invite him to work on his sophomore album — a project that would later become 2001.

Royce Da 5'9"

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That invitation actually came by way of a house call, which found Dr. Dre speaking directly to Royce’s father Greg. As it happens, HipHopDX recently caught up with both Nickle and his dad during a video interview, and the Dre call made for a particularly entertaining topic of conversation. “I remember when I told him, ‘You’ve got a phone call,'” I asked him what was wrong with him,” reveals Greg, who believed Dr. Dre to be a licensed medical professional. “He’s like, ‘What do you mean?’ I said, ‘You’ve got a phone call from your doctor.’ He said, ‘The doctor?’ I said, ‘Yeah, somebody named Dr. Dre.’”

“By the time he got out the shower, I heard all the slipping and sliding and falling into the toilet and on the floor trying to get to the phone,” he continues. “I didn’t know who Dr. Dre was and once I’d found out who Dr. Dre was I was like, okay well my son is onto something. Somebody recognizes him for what he is because, at that point, I wasn’t quite sure.” 

As for the call itself, we actually spoke with Royce about his involvement on 2001 for the album’s 20th anniversary, and he opened up about the day he recieved that fateful call. “I caught his voice immediately,” explained Nickle. “He was like ‘I like your shit man, Marshall played me your shit, man. I wanted to see if you wanted to come out here and rock with us. We working on some stuff.’ I was just writing stuff. As much as I could. I was just excited to be in the environment. I thought he was a genius, that everything he did was classic. I walked in a Stan.” 

Check out HipHopDX’s interview with Royce and his dad below, as well as our own Royce interview about his working relationship with Dr. Dre right here