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Joe Budden: Psycho Ward

Joe Budden is Hip-Hop’s equivalent to Neo in the first Matrix movie; an average guy who discovers his potential for greatness and goes forward to achieve his destiny. Sure the Jersey City native was good at the time, but after the release of his self-titled debut album, fans were salivating for what was sure to be an amazing sophomore effort. But just like in the movies, the forces of the machine stood in the way of Budden attaining his destined greatness and let what was supposed to be his second album, The Growth, sit on a shelf for several years, where it still resides. With no hope of survival without a steady presence in the Hip-Hop scene our hero refused to be left for dead and began releasing the critically acclaimed Mood Muzik mixtape series. After what seemed like an endless fight Budden finally freed himself from the matrix known as Def Jam in 2007. With a new deal at independent label Amalgam Digital comes a new era in the timeline of Joe Budden. On October 28th fans will finally get to see him reloaded with no rules and no limitations as he takes you through his mind with the release of his highly anticipated sophomore release, The Padded Room. I can’t tell you how this story will end, but I will tell you how it begins, with some dope music.AllHipHop.com: You’re one of the most lyrical guys in the game. While by the usual standards the diss tracks you released against Ransom and Prodigy were hard, many fans feel you were taking it easy on them. Why is that?Budden: Because they can’t rap. I can rap, they can’t so I always feel like it’s not fair for them to go write these bullshit bars and me sit here and go hard on these n****s who can’t rap. It’s not fair. Both of these situations were just me taking it light. AllHipHop.com: I can understand Ransom getting a pass because you and he have a prior relationship but you didn’t owe Prodigy anything. Budden: Well, when you got someone with so many classic joints that they’ve been a part of… I kind of felt like it wasn’t really worth it.

“The fans have all the choices. If you don’t like the ringtone s**t, don’t listen to it. If you don’t want to hear real, lyrical s**t, the backpacker s**t…don’t listen to it. If you don’t like this dude’s video, don’t watch it. The days of being force fed and brainwashed into liking something are over for grown n****s.”

AllHipHop.com: You recently released “Who.” In the track you’re walking us through why Hip-Hop is what it is right now. What made you decide to do it and has anyone you mentioned given you feedback?Budden: It’s something I wanted to do for a while; something I thought should have been done for a while. I just went in and said f**k it. I didn’t care what anybody would say about the s**t I was saying or if what they would have to say in response. I just said I’m going to go in. I wanted to go in and just give…almost a Hip-Hop time line. I wanted to do it like a Law & Order episode and take you through where s**t started and how it became different. I ain’t want no crazy beat because I didn’t want the beat to take away from everything I was saying. I think in the end, everything fit perfectly. I haven’t received any negative feedback. Everything I heard from everyone has been good. Who – Joe BuddenAllHipHop.com: What would you like to see more or less of in Hip-Hop right now?Budden: Honestly, I don’t give a fuck what’s going on. I really don’t. I’m not happy about it, I’m not mad about it. I feel like n****s can do whatever the f**k they want. Whatever they do, it’s not going to affect Joe Budden and what Joe Budden is doing at all. Because it’s really all up to the fans. The fans have all the choices. If you don’t like the ringtone s**t, don’t listen to it. If you don’t want to hear real, lyrical s**t, the backpacker s**t, or whatever you want to call it, don’t listen to it. If you don’t like this dude’s video, don’t watch it. The days of being force fed and brainwashed into liking something are over for grown n****s. I don’t listen to radio because I don’t like the s**t they play on the radio. I don’t watch videos because I don’t like the bulls**t videos that come on. I’m not going to complain, I just don’t watch it.

“When I got released from Def Jam, well first off, I found out the same way the fans found out. I didn’t get a phone call or my lawyer didn’t tell me. I had to read that s**t online. When I read it, it was like having that winning lotto ticket and the guy is about to say that last number.”

AllHipHop.com: After your release from Def Jam you used mixtapes, particularly the Mood Muzik series, to keep yourself relevant and in doing so proved that you have a respectable fan base. With that being said, why did you choose to stay indie instead of linking up with one of the majors?Budden: I didn’t want to rush into anything. I shared some of the same ideas and the same vision that Amalgam shared and I wanted to try my hand at it. I kind of wanted to pioneer that whole digital record label thing that’s going on right now. When I got released from Def Jam, well first off, I found out the same way the fans found out. I didn’t get a phone call or my lawyer didn’t tell me. I had to read that s**t online. When I read it, it was like having that winning lotto ticket and the guy is about to say that last number. I wasn’t even sure after I read it so when I called to confirm it I was happy as f**k. I was so excited. It was like a burden had been lifted off my shoulders. After that, I’m not going to just hop back into another major situation. I’m trying to enjoy this freedom for a little bit. AllHipHop.com: You gave a lot and suffered through a lot while on Def Jam. Don’t you think you deserved more than that?Budden: I felt that way the entire time I was there. I felt like I deserved more but it was apparent that n***** k about what I felt I deserved or me period so it wasn’t shocking that I found out that way. AllHipHop.com: Your second album is called The Padded Room. What’s the meaning behind that name?Budden: It’s called The Padded Room because the booth is padded, number one. And number two, because I’m crazy. I just try to arrest my craziness daily. But I’m really a f**king psycho. I think about a lot of crazy, weird, psychotic s**t. And I’m not alone in that aspect because a lot of people do. They’re just too afraid to say it or too afraid to speak on it or even let somebody know what they’re thinking. A n***a like me has to run his thinking by other people because I’m so crazy. The Padded Room is an album that was never released on a major. It’s very different. I took s**t to another level creatively and lyrically. I’m tired of talking about the regular s**t. Some of the s**t will come across as movies but I didn’t want to be on that usual s**t. I didn’t want to be on that Joe Budden debut album s**t. I wanted to go someplace different so I went to the f**king psych ward. AllHipHop.com: You said you think weird and strange things. What’s one of the strangest or more psychotic thoughts you’ve had recently?Budden: I wouldn’t even tell you. If I did you might be able to get a glimpse as to just how crazy I can be at times. See, you trying to get me to show how crazy I can be and I just got through saying I’m trying to hide that s**t. AllHipHop.com: What can fans expect musically from The Padded Room?Budden: There’s no The Growth leftovers. No floating tracks, everything is brand new. It’s all fresh. New ideas, new music, nothing recycled.  The “Who” song, parts one to three is on there. “Touch and Go” is on there. But you really cannot get a good idea of what’s on The Padded Room by “Touch and Go” or “Who.” I’m probably going to shoot my own video for this one record called “Dream.” That song gives you a better understanding of what this album entails. AllHipHop.com: Sticking with that theme, if you could be locked in a real padded room with anyone who would it be and why?Budden: Halle Berry. Hands down. If I had to do it, I got to say Halle Berry. You can never get tired of looking at Halle Berry. I don’t give a f**k who you are. And you never know, she might be a little crazy too. We might get crazy together.AllHipHop.com: With individuality and lyricism on the decline in Hip-Hop music, are you worried about where your album will fit in?Budden: I’m not worried about where I fit in. I’m not trying to fit in. I don’t give a f**k about what n****s is doing. I don’t give a f**k about the climate in Hip-Hop. I don’t give a f**k about a lot of things. My sole focus is on Joe Budden and what Joe Budden is doing. There is no more conforming or trying to get in where you fit in. F**k all that.AllHipHop.com: What’s the biggest difference between 2003 debut album Joe and 2008 The Padded Room Joe?Budden: When I first came in the game I was open minded enough to listen and take suggestions from people because I wasn’t knowledgeable about the situation I was getting myself into. I have more information and information is a weapon for me. Now I’m not so naïve, not so open minded and a lot more “I don’t give a f**k” today as opposed to back then. Oh yeah, and I rap better today.

“My whole point in the situation is that you’re great, we all know you’re great but don’t think it’s sweet. I will come at you too. I don’t give a f**k. And that’s not just for him [Jay-Z], that’s for everybody if I feel like I’m being tested or being taken for a joke lyrically.”

AllHipHop.com: There has been mixture of subliminal lines aimed at Jay-Z. You’ve given him praise at times and other times you’ve ridiculed him. If you had a chance to sit down and talk to him is there anything you’d want to just get off your chest?Budden: I don’t think there’s anything in particular I’d really want to say. Aside from “what up” there’s not much I want to say. He knows I have the utmost respect for him and his accomplishments and all that he’s done. But at the same time, it’s like in ball, you can have a jump shot. You don’t have to take it all the time but sometimes you’ll shoot it just to let n****s know they better check it. My whole point in the situation is that you’re great, we all know you’re great but don’t think it’s sweet. I will come at you too. I don’t give a f**k. And that’s not just for him, that’s for everybody if I feel like I’m being tested or being taken for a joke lyrically. AllHipHop.com: If it came down to it, and people started mentioning your name less when talking about dope MC’s would you go after who ever had the crown at the time?Budden: I’m not with that. I can’t just start going at whoever’s the hottest at the moment. If that’s the case you’d be going at a different n***a every year. You’ll be at Kanye one year, then Wayne one year, then 50. I’m not with that. I really just want to do Joe Budden. If that ends up being appealing to enough consumers, I’ll be where I need to be soon enough. I’m not going to rush the process. I’m not going to just diss n****s or do whatever to try and get more people to say my name. AllHipHop.com: There’s always the question of rapper vs MC vs entertainer. What does Joe Budden consider himself to be?Budden: I’m certainly not an entertainer. That’s not happening. I’m an MC, more than a rapper. I like the word artist. I like to think of what I do as art. It’s more than rap. I can paint pictures and have people see and feel what I’m saying. N****s be on some “I’m not a rapper. I’m a drug dealer who raps.” Or they’re on some “I’m not a rapper I’m a killer n***a that happens to rap.” Get the f**k out of here. Nobody’s trying to hear all that. I don’t believe none of that s**t. If n****s is rapping, they’re rappers. That’s it. You’re not a drug dealer, not a murderer, not a killer. You’re a rapper. If you were into all that you wouldn’t be making f**king videos and you wouldn’t be living the lifestyle that you live. AllHipHop.com: So do you feel some of the dudes that talk that drug and gun stuff need their cards pulled on the things they say?Budden: To each his own. I don’t give a f**k what everybody else is doing. Certain things I see and I sit back and I ponder upon it and I laugh at it. I laugh at a lot of n****s but it doesn’t mean that they’re doing something wrong and I’m not trying to spend my time calling them out. Do whatever it is that moves you and you feel is making you successful. I just don’t have that same frame of mind. AllHipHop.com: It seems like you have the best of your years ahead of you. What would you like your legacy to be when it’s all over?Budden: Whenever I’m at the tail end of my career I’d want to be seen as one of the best rappers, or better yet, best artists ever. I’m sure everybody feels that way about their craft. At least, they should. But I feel I have the potential to make that come to fruition.

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