We could all use a friend like Royce Da 5’9”.
Weeks after Eminem delivered his Trump-bashing freestyle at the BET Hip Hop Awards, Royce released a video message directed at some of Em’s critics. The 40-year-old Detroit rapper specifically called out those who had a problem with the setup of Eminem’s solo cypher, in which he rapped in front of the camera while a group of black men—who were all Shady Records signees—stood in the background. Royce insists people were making something out of nothing.
"Why do y’all care who was in the background of the fucking cypher? Why do y’all care that it was black people in the background of the cypher? What do you think […] we was casted? You think it’s some type of imaging that got put together by like some fucking white force?" Royce said in the Instagram video. "Eminem is my fucking friend, man. He’s been my friend since ’97. I support everything that he does. Just like he supports everything that I do."
Royce continued: "He got up there and used his own platform. What'd you think my black ass was supposed do? Come out the background and grab the mic: 'Give me this mic white boy, I'm the one that's supposed to be doing this. I’m the black one.’ It don’t work like that. It’s a thing called protocol that keeps me from doing that. You want to know how I feel about the state of things, go listen to my fucking albums. And I’m proud to call Em my friend. And if you got a problem with me supporting my friend, you can kiss my ass."
You can watch the full video below.
Eminem's freestyle, titled “The Storm,” has also been criticized by Trump supporters (duh) as well as members of the hip-hop world. Vince Staples called the verse "trash," and suggested all the praise it received was underserved as well as a result of white privilege.