New Joe Budden Interview!!! Announces New Album Padded Room!!
New Joe Budden Interview!!! Announces New Album Padded Room!!
Beef and mixtapes. If you’re a rapper having label problems, keep those two close by and the people will remember your name. Jersey City emcee Joe Budden has been armed with both since releasing a self-titled debut in 2003. His sophomore album, The Growth, has supposedly been ready to drop for over four years, but creative differences with Def Jam has kept it on the shelf. During his, the Internet-savvy Budden has gained legions of die-hard fans with his critically acclaimed Mood Muzik mixtape series, and has kept the streets talking by feuding with Saigon and former friends like Ransom. His patience and grind paid off. Budden was finally released from his Def Jam contract this past October – and he’s wasting no time. The recently released Mood Muzik 3: For Better or for Worse has already sparked speculation that some bars are aimed at his former label boss, Jay-Z. Rhapsody spoke with Budden about his harsh words for the God MC, where he might be signing next, and whether 2007 was a good year for hip-hop.
Rhapsody: “Talk 2 Em'” seems to be getting the most attention from people that have heard Mood Muzik 3. Why did you decide to go at Jay-Z?
Joe Budden: [It was] exactly how I felt. On Mood Muzik, the stage is all Joe Budden so I get to do exactly what I want. It was disrespectful, but it was a diss with a point: Stop rapping. Hang it up. You’re getting paid to be a president. Be a president. We loved you as a rapper. One of the best to ever do it. Now it’s time to do some other things.
Do you really hate “Roc Boys”?
The video is amazing. I’m just not feeling the song at all.
Do you really think the new generation is gonna remember Jay as Michael Jordan getting crossed by Allen Iverson?
If you look at it today, a lot of these younger people didn’t experience Reasonable Doubt, In My Lifetime, Vol. 1, and the things that people my age have come to love Jay for. The younger generation is like, eh, f*ck it, whatever. They don’t really respect it. I don’t think he puts that fear in any artists like he once did. It’s like Shaquille O’Neal now. Shaq was one of the most dominant people to ever play. Nowadays, he’s still worth something, but it’s just not the same. Everybody is calling American Gangster a concept album. It’s a Jay-Z album. He’s talking about the same exact sh*t he’s talking about on Reasonable Doubt. Where’s the concepts? He just needed something to attach it to, which he did. He needs to be a president and start putting out some f*ck*ng artists. When I start getting into saying things about Jay-Z or Def Jam, I’m not speaking to try and get anyone to feel the way I’m feeling. Which is why I say it’s not a diss. ‘Cause I’m not trying to sway anyone’s opinion.
A lot of people look at American Gangster as validation that he should still be rapping.
But that’s not my issue. If the title president wasn’t on him, then it wouldn’t be anything for me to say. I heard the complaints from Beans, LL Cool J, Freeway, DMX and Ludacris. If a million people are calling you a duck, then you probably need to look in the mirror.
Maybe those artists’ albums didn’t catch on because the public wasn’t feeling them?
Is it the rapper’s job to pick the single? It’s a decision to be made by both parties [the artist and the label heads]. There’s not one rapper on Def Jam that has been broken since Jay and L.A. Reid have gone to Def Jam. Kanye, Jeezy and Ludacris sold records prior to them getting there. They really don’t know what they’re doing as far as hip-hop goes. And I don’t think Jay is too concerned with trying to rectify that.
Why can’t younger rappers and older rappers co-exist?
Some of these older artists, their name garners all the attention in the universe. And that attention is being taken away from somewhere else, even if the product they put out is b*llsh*t of late. They’re no longer producing, moving physical copies, big in new media or moving ringtones. “Shut the f*ck up and move on to something else.” Or I think all the young rappers should just start calling these n*gg*s out.
Kanye and Jeezy came in without someone having to step aside.
You’re naming people that the older people use [so they can] jump on their back.
Okay, Soulja Boy …
Don’t talk to me about Soulja Boy. He’s doing well. And I’m very happy for him. But he didn’t come in. He’s not solidified here. He put an album out. A million people put an album out.
In previous interviews, you said you supported yourself with real estate and publishing checks while waiting to get off Def Jam.
I was never hard-up for money. I don’t live outside of my means. So the fight with Def Jam wasn’t, “Yo, I’m broke as f*ck. Let me put something out.” Fight was, “I’m dope. Why am I not putting music out?”
Are you still able to get shows?
Maybe three shows a month. Which to me, coming off “Pump It Up” and “Fire” is not a lot. I don’t even like performing those records. Them sh*ts still gets the crowd to go crazy. I’m blessed.
Do you do shows overseas a lot?
Yeah, that’s where a majority of my shows are. London, Canada, Germany [and Japan].
Have their been any new developments in terms of your future?
I’ve narrowed where I’d like to be to three places. I’m going to end up at a major. I’m going to put out an album in the spring called Padded Room independently. And then, in the summer time, this process will be done.
Who have you been working with on Padded Room?
My own producers, The Classics, who did a majority of Mood Muzik 3. Everything is in-house. It’ll be an off-branch of Mood Muzik 3. Same feel, same vibe. It’ll just be an album, instead of a mixtape. But Padded will probably be a digital album.
What’s up with your producer White Boy?
White Boy’s got a few artists that he’s been working on. That’s why me and him haven’t been able to record as much as we would have liked to. He’s trying to do his independent thing getting his artists off the ground. So I respect it. Me and him speak quite often. He’s still in the mix. You’ll probably hear from him when it’s time to record my second major label release.
Saigon got upset about your line, “I’m about to hit and run like I’m Saigon” on “Rap City.”
Yeah, he did. I could care less. He said something so now he’ll have to hold up his end of the bargain when he sees me. I would have liked him not to take the line disrespectfully, but he did. He’s got an album coming out.
You talked about boxing when you responded to Saigon. You used to fight?
Yeah, definitely. I was an amateur for like 15 fights. I did the lightweight and welterweight thing. I lost four of them. I never been knocked out. Knocked down, yes. I was 149 when I was younger. I was trying to stay out of trouble. I wasn’t violent, but I did enjoy fighting. I’m not trying to say I was destined to be a great boxer.
Saigon was saying you used to be an R&B singer?
I sung before I rapped. Again, trying to stay out of trouble. Moms puts you in the choir, you gotta sing. I had a voice. I was offered scholarships to colleges like UNC, North Carolina A&T, for singing. You get to smoking and drinking and [you start] not giving a f*ck about certain things like boxing and singing that you may have loved to do. Rap just happened to be something you could do while you smoke and drink.
Your brother getting shot prevented you from participating in the AllHipHop rap battle with Mistah F.A.B. and Royce Da 5’9″. How’s he doing now?
Great. He’s walking about, acting like it never happened. He thinks he’s 50 Cent or something. He’s 20. My little brother is a big boy. He’s 6’1″, weights 215. He walked to the hospital damn near.
Ransom said you can’t go back to Jersey City. Do you currently reside there?
No. I go back when it’s time for me to go back. I don’t hang out there. No one should. It is really not a game over there. Everything he says comes from trying to discredit someone. I wasn’t mad at it. It was pretty weak.
He was complaining about not being on your first album. Is that fair?
Why would I put him on my first album? I just met him. I was trying to brand Joe Budden. Fabolous just put them on – what? – his fourth album? Who sits around and complains about that?
From Wendy Williams to Ransom to AHH Ill Community, it seems like a lot of people try and imply that you’re gay. Why do you think that happens so often?
Because there’s nothing else to say. Wendy Williams says that about everybody. Probably the primary reason her show is doing so horribly. Far as Ransom, he says it because there’s nothing else to say. Everything that goes on in my life, I talk about. So there won’t be any “Prodigy on the Summer Jam Screen” moments with Joe Budden.
During your “Barber Shop” video blog series, you talk a lot about subliminal messages. How closely are you listening to see if others throw them at you?
I’m not listening to n*gg*s, but if they say something, I’m gonna catch it. I listen to everything at least one time just to be aware. Like Lil Wayne said, “I got them 24 inches sittin’ on Joe Buddens.” I really didn’t understand it. My people tried to put the battery in my back, but it didn’t work.
I thought this year was kind of weak for good albums. What did you think?
I don’t know about that. You got a Ghostface and Wu-Tang album this year.
Did you like the Wu album?
No. But it’s an album we got. Styles. I’m a big fan of Lupe. I don’t know how me and him would sound together. It might be apples and oranges, but I really like him. Once you give me a Kanye album, I’m pretty much aright. Kanye sets the tone. He meshes everything that I need in an album. Jay came out. Freeway. I don’t think it was a weak year. Oh, and Mood Muzik 3!
Does it bother you how big ringtone rap has gotten?
No, because I’m not a hater. It’s great, but I think there should be a balance. And the balance hasn’t been there. With Kanye, 50, Fab, Beans and Cassidy, there is a lot of music coming out that’s not ringtone music, so maybe the balance is coming back. You know what I miss? I miss the days of Ja Rule ruling the radio. I really do. And I’m not just saying I miss Ja Rule on the radio. Murder Inc. just takes me back to a time in music where everything was great. You had your crunk music. Down South was putting music out. New York was putting music out. Ice Cube put albums out. The mixtapes were great. Underground rap was great. It just seemed like rap was great.