Dear Drake: You Need This Joe Budden Rap Battle

Drake, you need this Joe Budden battle.

This is Hip-Hop.

First, let me establish where I am with this whole thing. I’m a fan of both you and Joe Budden. I’m also a fan of Hip-Hop. I’ve owned the standard of this online rap ish in AllHipHop for a minute. I did the first big interview on Joe Budden for the Source magazine many, many moons ago. That was a glorious period of time as I penned him “the one” (a nod to the movie “The Matrix). I’m not like folks like Big Ghost LTD. Those guys are not fans of Drake and they let it be known. I appreciate you, homie. For real and my Spotify playlist speaks truth. I appreciate albums from the first (So Far Gone) ’til the last joint with Future (What a Time to Be Alive).

This is Hip-Hop.

My respect for you was solidified when I interviewed you in 2010 and you put actor Leonardo DiCaprio in your “Top 5 Dead or Alive” when everybody was only putting rappers in their lists. You stood on your square even when I told you AllHipHop’s audience would likely eat you up in the comments. But your star only shone brighter. Ballsy move.

This is Hip-Hop.

Now is the time..pardon the expression…to let ‘em hang. You doubled up on Meek Mill – back to back. To a certain degree, you bullied him relentlessly in the media, at shows, on the mic and overpowered him. There was no mercy. We all sat there with vats of popcorn and enjoyed the show and waited for Nicki to dump the Philly representative. The case when very different with Kendrick Lamar when your Compton counterpart said lovingly:

“But this is Hip Hop and them n****s should know what time it is. That goes for Jermaine Cole, Big K.R.I.T., Wale, Pusha T, Meek Mill, A$AP Rocky, Drake, Big Sean, Jay Electron[ica], Tyler [the Creator], Mac Miller. I got love for you all but I’m tryin’ to murder you nas. Trying to make sure your core fans never heard of you nas,  they don’t want to hear not one more noun or verb from you n***as. What is competition? I’m trying to raise the bar high.”

-Big Sean’s “Control.”

I know some people questioned if it was a diss. I didn’t. I consider that a diss. Not shade. Not a sublime. A straight-up-calling-out-names-diss. Rappers reasoned their way out of that battle by any means necessary. I presume most cats didn’t want any parts of that young lion. Some emcees, like Joell Ortiz and Joe Budden responded even though they were not being called out. They didn’t care about political connects, album sales or who had the most money.

This is Hip-Hop.

There are rumors of ghostwriting, which some say are all facts – you know, Quentin Miller stuff. I still haven’t gotten through Views, which was a bit too much singing for my tastes. You have had minor skirmishes with thoroughbreds like Common (who lowkey beasted you on “Sweet” and “Stay Schemin,“) but nothing battle-wise to really escorted you into the annals of Hip-Hop greatness. Remember you said, “I used to wanna be on Roc-A-Fella Then I turned into Jay” on “Summer Sixteen”? Cute lyrics. The only thing is, Back when Jay was in his 20’s and beyond he was battling rappers left and right. He vanquished many foes and perhaps, depending on who you speak to, lost to some. Still he took on two major emcees in “The Takeover” alone. Brazen. The point is, this is some gladiator sh*t if you are waving the flag of Hip-Hop, King.

Take on Joe Budden- if you are waving that flag.

THIS IS HIP-HOP!

Make no mistake about it, Joe is one of my favorites – no question. He’s resonated with me and you since he dropped. I’ve seen some mumble mouths talk about “Love and Hip-Hop” this and so-called relevance that. Those people are voyeurs. Most of them don’t know the Tahiry stuff or the presumed subliminal disses you’ve thrown out at Joe or the competitive nature of Hip-Hop. And frankly, they can’t see the similarities between the two of you. Vultures and pseudo rap fans – you know, the ones that don’t know who Slum Village is –  don’t even know the undercurrent of history you two have.

THIS IS HIP-HOP!

Jay Z and Joe Budden may be in different places in life – AND IT MAY NOT SEEM LIKE IT ALL THE TIME – but they both know their responsibility to Hip-Hop. Jay Z fed the culture, ate from it, and ate off it and still understood deeply the responsibility of striving to be great or “the one.” So he and Joe Budden have entered that ring – head to head too – to vie for or defend the title. Sometimes they did it with poise and other times, things got messy. Hip-Hop battles are a duel of words…lyricism. Gun play and shoot em up talk is irrelevant for the most part and certainly secondary to clever bars and wordplay.

THIS IS HIP-HOP!

Battle rapping is the foundation of Hip-Hop. The the true greats know this. Battles are Hip-Hop’s truest and most sincere form of articulation. There aren’t too many more ways to demonstrate prowess as an emcee. That is assuming you consider yourself an emcee still. Perhaps you are an entertainer now and I can respect that too if you say it. But, Hip-Hop doesn’t take hostages, brother. We may play the art of war, but we don’t hide from confrontation. Hip-Hop doesn’t throw stones and hide hands. Hip-Hop doesn’t poke a gorilla from behind steel bars.

THIS IS HIP-HOP!

If you ain’t Hip-Hop, no biggie. I have plenty to listen to. David Banner, Tef Poe, Eshon Burgundy, Karega Bailey, Ill Camille, The Game, Tsu Surf, Kendrick Lamar, A$Ap Ferg, AKA (African rapper), Westside Gunn and so, so many more talented, emcees overflowing with swagger. Heck, I won’t even stop listening as long as the music is quality. However, if you are Hip-Hop, here are my final words. There is no honor in being a symbolic rapper. If you are not “Hip-Hop,” I suggest you remove rapper from your list of occupations so that we are clear on what the expectations are. Hip-Hop expects you to respond to Joe Budden, a legend by your own admission, that devoted over 100 bars of fury to you. Propelling the culture forward is what emcees do – the kings and queens of Hip-Hop. Stepping up to a challenge is another thing emcees do too. You are already the man, now I think its time to truly step up there with those you idolize. Those of us that still claim Hip-Hop, even as it evolves, won’t allow folks to exploit and perverse it by playing it safe and watching from the sidelines.

That’s what vultures do. We jump in the cage with gorilla.

We hate vultures.

In Peace, Positivity and Progress,

Chuck “Jigsaw” Creekmur

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