Eminem’s Revival album cut “Untouchable” was polarizing, to say the least. Though some—like Rodney King’s daughter—were grateful that Em shone a light on black people's struggle in America, some thought the song was a misfire. Joe Budden ended up being one of Em’s biggest critics, even while Budden's signed to Shady Records through Slaughterhouse.
In December, during an episode of Everyday Struggle, Budden berated the song, calling it “one of the worst records he ever heard,” and alleged Eminem of exploiting the black man’s plight for sales. Afterwards, rumors spread that the two had a falling out. In the past, the two have had a friendly relationship: Budden even wrote his 2015 song “Slaughtermouse” as an ode to the Detroit icon. Still, Budden had no issue ripping into “Untouchable.”
On Tuesday, Royce da 5’9” appeared on Rap Radar, where he discussed Budden and Em’s quarrel. “It goes back to the dignity thing, the loyalty,” Royce said, adding, “I can say I don't like every single Eminem song that ever came out, and I'm entitled to that opinion...but there's such thing as going past the realm of what your opinion is, and making it so that you're trying to sway people's judgement.”
Royce also spoke on relationships between artists, and how having mutual respect for one another is implied. “I thought if anybody [Joe] would understand how important it is to walk eggshells around each other's art—it's just how we do.” Royce added that he believed Budden’s comments were extreme: “The thing that he said that I really didn't like was something along the lines about them using the plight of black people to sell a record. That was a little crazy to me 'cause he knows Marshall personally. He's been in the studio with him.”
Budden responded to Royce’s comments on Wednesday’s episode of The Joe Budden Podcast (around the 1:35:00 mark): “That sounds like he just said, we sugarcoat each other's shit,” Budden said. He then upheld the point that he and Em aren’t friends, and played snippets from the aforementioned episode of Everyday Struggle, adding that he doesn’t believe Em or Royce even listened to Budden’s initial critique.
Royce Da 5’9”’s second collaborative album with DJ Premier, PRhyme 2, releases on March 16.