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 cant tell you how this story will end, but I will tell you how it begins, with some dope music.AllHipHop.com: Youre 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 cant rap. I can rap, they cant so I always feel like its not fair for them to go write these bullshit bars and me sit here and go hard on these n****s who cant rap. Its 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 didnt owe Prodigy anything. Budden: Well, when you got someone with so many classic joints that theyve been a part of I kind of felt like it wasnt really worth it.
The fans have all the choices. If you dont like the ringtone s**t, dont listen to it. If you dont want to hear real, lyrical s**t, the backpacker s**t…dont listen to it. If you dont like this dudes video, dont 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 youre 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: Its 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 didnt 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 Im 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 aint want no crazy beat because I didnt want the beat to take away from everything I was saying. I think in the end, everything fit perfectly. I havent 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 dont give a fuck whats going on. I really dont. Im not happy about it, Im not mad about it. I feel like n****s can do whatever the f**k they want. Whatever they do, its not going to affect Joe Budden and what Joe Budden is doing at all. Because its really all up to the fans. The fans have all the choices. If you dont like the ringtone s**t, dont listen to it. If you dont want to hear real, lyrical s**t, the backpacker s**t, or whatever you want to call it, dont listen to it. If you dont like this dudes video, dont watch it. The days of being force fed and brainwashed into liking something are over for grown n****s. I dont listen to radio because I dont like the s**t they play on the radio. I dont watch videos because I dont like the bulls**t videos that come on. Im not going to complain, I just dont watch it.
When I got released from Def Jam, well first off, I found out the same way the fans found out. I didnt get a phone call or my lawyer didnt 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 didnt 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 thats 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 didnt get a phone call or my lawyer didnt 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 wasnt 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, Im not going to just hop back into another major situation. Im trying to enjoy this freedom for a little bit. AllHipHop.com: You gave a lot and suffered through a lot while on Def Jam. Dont 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 wasnt shocking that I found out that way. AllHipHop.com: Your second album is called The Padded Room. Whats the meaning behind that name?Budden: Its called The Padded Room because the booth is padded, number one. And number two, because Im crazy. I just try to arrest my craziness daily. But Im really a f**king psycho. I think about a lot of crazy, weird, psychotic s**t. And Im not alone in that aspect because a lot of people do. Theyre just too afraid to say it or too afraid to speak on it or even let somebody know what theyre thinking. A n***a like me has to run his thinking by other people because Im so crazy. The Padded Room is an album that was never released on a major. Its very different. I took s**t to another level creatively and lyrically. Im tired of talking about the regular s**t. Some of the s**t will come across as movies but I didnt want to be on that usual s**t. I didnt 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. Whats one of the strangest or more psychotic thoughts youve had recently?Budden: I wouldnt 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 Im trying to hide that s**t. AllHipHop.com: What can fans expect musically from The Padded Room?Budden: Theres no The Growth leftovers. No floating tracks, everything is brand new. Its 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 whats on The Padded Room by Touch and Go or Who. Im 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 dont 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: Im not worried about where I fit in. Im not trying to fit in. I dont give a f**k about what n****s is doing. I dont give a f**k about the climate in Hip-Hop. I dont 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: Whats 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 wasnt knowledgeable about the situation I was getting myself into. I have more information and information is a weapon for me. Now Im not so naïve, not so open minded and a lot more I dont 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 youre great, we all know youre great but dont think its sweet. I will come at you too. I dont give a f**k. And thats not just for him [Jay-Z], thats for everybody if I feel like Im being tested or being taken for a joke lyrically.
AllHipHop.com: There has been mixture of subliminal lines aimed at Jay-Z. Youve given him praise at times and other times youve ridiculed him. If you had a chance to sit down and talk to him is there anything youd want to just get off your chest?Budden: I dont think theres anything in particular Id really want to say. Aside from what up theres not much I want to say. He knows I have the utmost respect for him and his accomplishments and all that hes done. But at the same time, its like in ball, you can have a jump shot. You dont have to take it all the time but sometimes youll shoot it just to let n****s know they better check it. My whole point in the situation is that youre great, we all know youre great but dont think its sweet. I will come at you too. I dont give a f**k. And thats not just for him, thats for everybody if I feel like Im 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 MCs would you go after who ever had the crown at the time?Budden: Im not with that. I cant just start going at whoevers the hottest at the moment. If thats the case youd be going at a different n***a every year. Youll be at Kanye one year, then Wayne one year, then 50. Im not with that. I really just want to do Joe Budden. If that ends up being appealing to enough consumers, Ill be where I need to be soon enough. Im not going to rush the process. Im not going to just diss n****s or do whatever to try and get more people to say my name. AllHipHop.com: Theres always the question of rapper vs MC vs entertainer. What does Joe Budden consider himself to be?Budden: Im certainly not an entertainer. Thats not happening. Im an MC, more than a rapper. I like the word artist. I like to think of what I do as art. Its more than rap. I can paint pictures and have people see and feel what Im saying. N****s be on some Im not a rapper. Im a drug dealer who raps. Or theyre on some Im not a rapper Im a killer n***a that happens to rap. Get the f**k out of here. Nobodys trying to hear all that. I dont believe none of that s**t. If n****s is rapping, theyre rappers. Thats it. Youre not a drug dealer, not a murderer, not a killer. Youre a rapper. If you were into all that you wouldnt be making f**king videos and you wouldnt 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 dont 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 doesnt mean that theyre doing something wrong and Im 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 dont 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 its all over?Budden: Whenever Im at the tail end of my career Id want to be seen as one of the best rappers, or better yet, best artists ever. Im 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.