Royce Da 5'9 has earned his place among hip-hop's elite, having amassed an excellent discography to his name throughout his twenty-plus years in the rap game. Not only that, but key roles in storied groups like Slaughterhouse and Bad Meets Evil have only furthered his position as a legend.

And while this year may have taken a turn for the worst when March rolled around, prior to that, Royce was setting things off on a great note with work on Eminem's Music To Be Murdered By and his own self-produced project The Allegory. Since then, Nickle has been using his platform to speak on many pressing cultural issues, ranging from race to politics to the music industry itself. Yesterday, Royce uploaded a clip from a previous interview he recorded with Talib Kweli's People's Party, during which the topic of Eminem and Lord Jamar was raised. 

Now, it's no secret that Jamar's testy relationship with Em ultimately ended with Royce being dragged into the fold, prompting him to issue a firm statement on the matter. From there, some felt as if Royce was blindly caping for Eminem, leveling some dubious accusations at the Detroit rapper. "They kept talking about it on Vlad, and somewhere along the lines I get called a house n**ga," says Royce. "Now we talking about something different. When we started to have words, it was after that."

Royce Da 5'9" Eminem Joe Budden

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"It's very difficult to be close to somebody like Marshall, who doesn't his platform to do a whole lot of talking," continues Royce. "It just is what it is on that level. It's very easy to assume he's a certain why. It's difficult for me as his friend -- I know he's a student of the game, I know there's admiration for Brand Nubian. I know he's not one of those guys [Jamar] is trying to peg him to be...This dude has been a student of the game the whole time, nothing but contributions. Shit like that always rubbed me the wrong way."

"Listen, I'm going to stand up for Marshall cause that's my friend," he says. "I'm always going to stand up for him. I didn't want to create a situation where I'm disrespecting Lord Jamar, but I'm not always the best with my words." While he does admit that it can be frustrating when people look to him for clarity on Eminem, he maintains that his friendship goes beyond any media narrative. "What people don't understand is that Marshall is my friend," says Royce, circling around to another controversial figure in his circle -- Joe Budden.

"They used to say the same thing about Joe," explains Royce. "He always sticking up for Joe! People had a problem with me understanding Joe! Me and Joe didn't like each other in the beginning. But when we got in a group together and I got to know him, now I love Joe. So now, you can't say anything bad about Joe -- I'm gonna have a problem with that!'