Royce was not on the best terms with Eminem when Lord Jamar accusations started making rounds in the hip hop community but he stood up for his friend.
During an online conversation with Talib Kweli, Royce admitted that he felt pressure to speak against Marshall but he would never do that:
Wherever people were asking me about that back then, they wanted me to feed into [Eminem] being a racist and I wasn’t gonna do that even if me and him were not speaking. I’m not trying to lie.
My experience with Marshall is like… I’ve been around racist kids and racist parents. I feel like I know the difference, at least like what I perceive as the difference. I would not put him in this category even with our relationship at the worst shit it could possibly be.
With the Lord Jamar thing… One of the media outlets called Marshall the king of hip hop. He didn’t call himself the king of hip hop. A magazine called him. I think that was Rolling Stone or some shit. And Lord Jamar was speaking on that. And it was almost like Lord Jamar was responding to Em saying that he was the king. Vlad was kind of hyping it up a little bit. He was talking about like he don’t fuck with the shit Em talks about, people don’t listen to Em in the hood… You know, that kind of shit. I think that time when Lord Jamar was on Twitter. it’s when he said that Eminem never had any contributions, no real contributions. And I was like, now, that can be debunked. This can be fact-based. That was what made me chime in. I was like, “Lore Jamar, I wanna challenge you but I promise I’ll be respectful”. My exact words that I typed on Twitter. I wasn’t looking to make him feel any less of a legend or anything like that. I said, “Yo, he put me in a business he put D12 on and he made all of them rich, he signed Fifty… I can’t remember everything else that I said but all of these are legitimate contributions, these are fact-based contributions. Say what you want of this man but the man’s done his part so far. Whether he could have done more or less – it turns back into an opinion again. So, me and him, we just disagreed on that. And that was it. And they kept talking about it on Vlad, kept talking about it on Vlad. Somewhere along the line, I got caught like a house nigga or something. Now we’re talking about something different. I think, when we started to have words – that was after that. It’s very difficult to be that close to somebody like Marshal, who doesn’t use his platform to do a whole lot of talking, coming back to clarify everything. It just is what it is on that level. So it’s very easy to just assume that he is a certain way. It’s just very difficult for me as his friend. I know that he’s a student of the game. I know his admiration for Brand Nubian. I know that he’s not one of these guys that he’s trying to peg him to be. And I was like, “Man, there are guys out there like this, that you’re talking about. You should be talking to them! They are right in your face! But this dude, he’s been the student of the game whole time. Nothing but contributions!” I don’t know man, shit like that always rubs me the wrong way. But I stand up for Marshall because he’s my friend. I’m always gonna do that, I’m always gonna stand up for him. Just like I feel he’s gonna stand up for me. I don’t wanna create a situation where I’m disrespecting Lord Jamar but I’m not always the best with my words. Sometimes I say things the right way, I say things the wrong way sometimes. The good thing about me I can always admit when I’m wrong and I don’t have a problem apologising.
Sometimes, admits Royce, this loyalty puts him in a difficult position because people start assuming that Royce somehow benefits from this position. If Royce cannot stand something – that’s when people make wrong assumptions about him and judge him on their own fantasies. The reality is simpler:
What people don’t realise is that Marshall is my friend. I’ve never put my name on anything that I didn’t believe in, that wasn’t about integrity, that was not that I feel was the truth. If it’s something I don’t agree with then I’m not gonna ride with it. I don’t work for Marshall, I’ve never been an employee of Marshall. He’s my friend! That’s it. The same way I ride for him, I ride for all of my friends. That’s the same with Joe [Budden]. People have a problem with me understanding Joe. Me and Joe didn’t like each other in the beginning. But once we got in the group with each other and I got to know him – now I love Joe. Now you can’t say anything bad about him. You gonna say something bad about Joe – I’m gonna have problem with that.
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