A Conversation With Joe Budden About Retirement Rumors, Not Being Mainstream & Possibly Returning To Battle Rap


(AllHipHop Features) In the first part of my conversation with Joe Budden, the 36-year-old emcee gave details about his new Rage & The Machine album produced by AraabMuzik.

The independent release has since reached the pinnacle of the iTunes Hip-Hop/Rap chart and reminded rap aficionados that Budden is still deadly with the pen.

While the Slaughterhouse representative once again reestablished himself as a top-tier lyricist in the game, he is also continuing to keep his name among the most played Hip Hop podcast hosts.

The second installment of our discussion covers Budden explaining how he is able to balance being a recording artist, the lead mic of The Joe Budden Podcast, and other tasks.

I also questioned the Mood Muzik Ent founder whether his fans could ever see him jump back into the battle rap arena after going head-to-head with Hollow Da Don at Total Slaughter in 2014. Smack White or Organik may want to give Joe Budden a call after reading his answer.

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A photo posted by Founder of Mood Muzik Ent. (@joebudden) on

You announced you weren’t doing any more shows in New York. Some outlets ran that saying you were “retiring.” Was that your intention with that statement?

I was saying that I was not doing any more shows under the name Joe Budden because I was going to tour solely as “Rage” from that point moving forward. I was very careful with my wording, but outlets kind of created their narrative and ran for click-bait, I suppose. But then we changed our mind. Some people brought up some very good points. So I said, “Okay, I’ll just title the album that, so we don’t have to change the whole thing.”

You’re an artist and a media figure. How do you balance those two things?

I love it. I’ve been a proponent of this for quite some time from my days on the morning show with Hot 97. That was fun. Kevin Liles made the argument: Could a rapper be too accessible? Would that affect his career? Clearly back then, he thought yes. I thought no. Now we’re seeing today that I’m been proven to be correct. I love it.

As far as me, I don’t separate the two. I am who I am. I’m just on two different platforms. You have people that are fans of the podcast that are not necessarily fans of Joe Budden music. You have fans of Joe Budden music that may not necessarily want to hear me on a podcast or a TV show. You just get people that like you for what they like you for. That’s on them to compartmentalize.

You’re open in your music. And because of that, your core fans feel like they really know who you are as a person. But then you have the general public who may only know you from headlines or internet memes. Does it ever bother you that you may not get the widespread credit for being a talented lyricist and artist?

No, because you attract what you put out there. So what I stand for and my message is not so mainstream or popular. Plus, I’m older. The young people are not supposed to identify with me. That’s not what I do. The people that respect it, hear it, recognize it, and have so much love for it are the people that understand. Those are the people that it’s for. It’s all about who you’re targeting in your music. Some people don’t give a f-ck who they’re targeting. I’ve never been that way.

Would you ever consider doing another rap battle?

Maybe I would. It’s just so time-consuming. That’s the part that is slept on in that culture. It’s so time-consuming and a lot goes into it. And I think the best battles come from when you have a disdain for someone. Fortunately for me, I like all those gentlemen.

Well, Hollow did throw another shot at you. He released a diss record.

Oh yeah, he just be reaching. He’s cold. [laughs]

Speaking of battle rap, I have to ask this because it seemed so weird to me. Daylyt said you offered to pay him to throw his Total Slaughter battle against T-Rex.

Yes, Daylyt did say that.

Is there any truth to that?

No. Let’s not give credence to any of that nonsense. I don’t want to rain on people’s parade because people do these things and it works for them. Daylyt’s my man. Hollow’s my man. I like all these guys, so whatever they gotta do to get it off – go ahead and have a blast. I ain’t hating on anybody’s hustle.

You have a tour, an album, and you’re doing your podcast every week. It seems like you have a lot going on. Mentally, physically, and emotionally – how does Joe Budden manage to do all of these things?

It’s passion. It’s nothing but passion. I’m fortunate and blessed to still love what I do. I’m still grateful for so many things God has afforded me. Nothing more.

Move rhymes like weight. #Rage

A photo posted by Founder of Mood Muzik Ent. (@joebudden) on

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Purchase Joe Budden’s Rage & The Machine on iTunes, Google Play, and Amazon.

Follow Joe Budden on Twitter @JoeBudden and Instagram @joebudden.

Stream Rage & The Machine via Apple Music below.