Joe Budden is easily one of Hip-Hops finest lyricists. He receives the adulation of countless fans that study his art via mixtapes or Internet leaks. Hes signed to one of the juggernauts of Hip-Hop, Def Jam. The New Jersey-bred MC has remained interesting through provocative, attention grabbing leaked records, but its still been over two years since his self-titled debut premiered. To make matters worse, Budden maintains, an early listening session for his second CD, The Growth, gave disappointed revelers only part of his vision.
If absence makes the heart grow fonder, Joes admirers could be considered lovesick stalkers. The Ill Community comprises the rappers most rabid supporters and they have persistent questions, continued comments, but mostly want to know what is going on with the man known as the streets No. 1 draftpick. With that, AllHipHop.com gave one Joe Budden addict the unique opportunity to interview the rapper and in part 2 relays the queries of the community.
AllHipHop.com: Okay, so Ive got Morlocks on the phone from the Ill Community. He posted a thread on the IC where hes asked people to ask questions too, so what we gonna do is, basically
Joe Budden: I just got off the IC, and I didnt see that thread.
AllHipHop.com: Its up there.
[Joe goes online, sees the thread. The interview begins.]
Morlocks: Yo. What up, Budden?
Joe Budden: Sup Morlocks.
AllHipHop.com: Okay, so first off, everybody on this wanted to know – whats your situation man? Everybodys waiting on the album. You had the listening party earlier in the year.
Joe Budden: That piece of s**t listenin party that you guys attendedbut, anywaynah, man, its the same thing with me. Im in the studio every single day. Im workin on somethin, whatever that somethin is, whether it be a mixtape, whether it be an album, whether it be somebody elses s**t, whether it be me helpinIm been doin a lot lately. Im doin a lot. Im helping other artists.
AllHipHop.com: We heard youre ghostwriting for some people
Joe Budden: Yeah, yeah.
AllHipHop.com: People at Def Jam?
Joe Budden: Come on. Thats rule number of ghostwriting. Thats why its ghost.
Morlocks: So what are you writing for yourself lately? What are you working on?
Joe Budden: Well, I meanIm still workin on the album. I hate to say that. It just sounds so bland because thats what artists will always say. Im workin on an album, but Im not gonna stop workin on my album until its on the shelves.
Morlocks: Why isnt it on shelves yet?
Joe Budden: Well, I think that Def Jam, at one point, was moving forward as if the album were going to be released in Augustwhich is why they had the meeting and invited [AllHipHop.com] up and a couple other people up to listen to some songs. Butnome and the label actually had a conversation that [releasing the album] probably wasnt the best thing to do. Thats why everything kinda got pushed back or moved back, which is why I wasnt even at the meeting. I didnt bring any of the music to the meeting, so they were really just workin with what they had, workin with the songs they had that were available to them. So, I really couldnt be mad at em for tryin to get things rollin and just tryin to be positive or do somethin positive, but it wasnt the best thing to do at the end of the day.
Morlocks: Why did you feel it wasnt the best time?
Joe Buden: Before the meeting they hadthey put out Gangsta Party with Nate Dogg, and Jay was really big on that record, right? And I thought the record was pretty cool, and the record went out. And it was at 300 spins, but it stayed at 300 spins. It stayed around the 300 to 400 spin mark for about seven weeks. That must mean that was not time to come out, or thats not the record to come out with. When I put a record out, Im used to puttin records out on my own and the record doin what it does on its own and then the label comin in and doin what they have to do. That happened with Focus. That happened with Pump it Up. It happened with Fire. It happened with quite a few other records that I just sent out, and they would go onto all these spins and whatever have you. I never had a record go out and get 200, 300 spins and stay there. Its either gonna add or its gonna minus.
Morlocks: Right. Do you think that the spins depend on the listenership or the work that the label does to push it?
Joe Budden: The spins depend on a few things. You let me tell it, the spins depend on the song. It depends on your relationships, and it depends on your label. But your label comes last. If I go in the studio right now, and I make a crazy record, I can go give it to DJ Enuff, and he can say, Yo. This record is crazy, but DJ Enuff, for some reason, might not fuck with Joe Budden, and he might not play it. Thats not the case. Im just using his name for an example. Or I could have such a great relationship with DJ Enuff, and I go bring him a record, and hell play it off the strength of our relationship, and he wont play it off the strength of the song. Or sometimes you have records that are crazy, and you give it to DJs that you fuck with, and then your label just wont kick in in time. Not saying that thats the case either, but the spinsit depends on quite a few things.
AllHipHop.com: It seems that without an album, your name stays very strong on the Internet. In fact, the Ill Community just posted a new song of yours called, The Future and fans are talking. Whats your take on the Internet?
Joe Budden: The Internet its pretty funny, man. My whole thing with the Internet is: I just tried to go to what I thought was going to be the next outlet for music. Aside from that, Im just on the Internet. So, I figure Im on here so muchIve been on AllHipHop. Im on my site. Im on it so much, let me just f**kin start uppin some s**t and see what happens, and now it just has come to a point where I dont even have to up s**t. S**t is just gettin leaked from all over the place. Sometimes its a good thing. Sometimes its a bad thing. I did not want that Future song to be released just yet. Dont ask me how that happened, but f**k it. Im just grateful, and Im appreciative that n***as still know. And I only do itI go so hardas of late, Ive been goin a lot harder on some rap s**t.
Morlocks: What do you mean?
Joe Budden: I dont know. I feel like if my debut album came out in 2003, we goin on 2006. And when that type of s**t starts happenin, when you start seein that big of a gap in between albums, either peopleeither you start to worry, either people start to forget about you, or people just think youre wack and you fell off—-which is what I normally say about people. I normally say, Damn. This n***a fell the f**k off. Hes horrible now. where in my situation its the exact opposite. Im not doin anything but gettin better in the meantime.
AllHipHop.com: Independents arent restricting artists like that. Did you ever think of leaving Def Jam?
Joe Budden: I thought about that, and LA Reid kept it 100 percent gangsta with me, and he was like, Listen. If you wanna leave, then Ill let you leave with your music. If you wanna stay, give us the game plan, and thats what were gonna do. So, at the end of the day, I f**k with LA Reid because he always keeps it 100 percent funky. He never sugarcoats shit. He tells you exactly what it is, and he told me what it was. He said, Ill be honest with you. I dont know what direction to go in. And all I could do was respect it, so at this point, nah, Im not gonna leave. Im not leavin Def Jam.
Morlocks: But didnt you diss Def Jam in a song?
Joe Budden: Not that I know of. Or [if I did,] it wasnt intentional. But for yearsever since I been signed, Def Jam has been sayin I dissed em, but I dont be thinkin I dissed anyone. But thatnot only Def Jam. Other artists, radio people, rappers, everyone also thinks that Joe Budden is throwin a diss somewhere at somebody. That is never the case. I just happen to be one of the only rappers out there that are completely honest in music.
AllHipHop.com: This summer watched Young Gunz and Memphis Bleek come out. Im not trying to speak badly about anybody at Def Jam or anything, but do you ever wonder if theres a higher reason why you havent come out?
Joe Budden: Am I being blackballed, or does someone have a grudge against Joe Budden?
Joe Budden: Maybe. I dont know. Im hearin all these rumors about people sayin that Jay-Z is dissin me on the new song with Biggie, but people justI dont pay any of that any mind. Do I know for a fact that Jay knows that I am a way above average MC? Yes. How? Thats not important, but I do know that. So, it bothers me. It gets to me. It frustrates me. Sometimes its disappointing, the hardships, but anything worth doing takes a little bit of time.
Morlocks: On the IC they had a threada Joe Budden appreciation thread that everybody was basically chimin in on how you were possibly, right now, the bestmaybe notmaybe the best or, if not, the top couple best lyricists out currently, and I was sayinyou basically kinda said it, but how frustrated does that make you knowin that you are better than or at least peoples perception of you is better than a lot of the guys that are comin out and gettin a pushmajor push on Def Jam, and youre not comin out at all?
Joe Budden: Its frustrating, like I said, but, on the same note, I do understand it. I read the s**t on the IC sometimes, and, unfortunatelyI did a track called Dumb Out, and it was on the IC, and it was on quite a few other places. And a lot of people heard this track, and, basically, I just dumbed out for about six and a half, seven minutes. And the tri-state area, the people up here, or the Joe Budden fans that know that Joe Budden goes in when he wants towere blessed, and were fortunate cause we get to hear it. Theres some other n***as in Houston and St. Louis and a few other towns down that a way that aint really gonna check for Joe Budden Dumb Out when they see that because theyre just used to Pump it Up, and that may not be their cup of tea. And I dont blame em. Its not my cup of tea either.
Joe Budden: I dont listen to the radio and wanna hear all of this f**kinI dont buy albums to hear n***as. But I do understand it. I understand why n***as put out the things they do. I know that Nelly will outspit a lot of these n***as thats rappin. I know that to be fact.