There's a lot to unpack here.
A lot of rappers step on the scene with a couple of hit songs only to disappear shortly, but Joe Budden’s rapping career gave the phrase “15 minutes of fame” new life. Having tasted fleeting success as a rapper with the release of his hit song, “Pump it Up” in 2003, the once-rapper-turned-host’s eponymous podcast is now one of the most popular in the world. Utilizing his controversial opinions, firsthand industry experience, and love-him-or-hate him je ne sais quoi, Budden’s podcast attracts both fans and staunch haters alike, gaining him a notoriety he never attained as a rapper.
Initially titled I’ll Name This Podcast Later, TheJoe Budden Podcast began in 2015 with Budden, Rory Farrell, and Marisa Mendez sitting at a friend’s house in Queens discussing the ongoings of the hip-hop and entertainment world. After episode 76, Mendez was replaced by Jamil “Mal” Clay. Mal is now a permanent fixture in the show who is known and loved for his outrageous stories and unrestrained opinions. In five short years, the show’s popularity has skyrocketed, gaining it the No.1 spot on iTunes music podcast chart in 2018, where the show has reigned since. Metaphorically speaking, of course, as Budden signed an exclusive deal with Spotify later that same year.
The Joe Budden Podcast live in NYC in 2017 - Johnny Nunez/WireImage/Getty Images
Despite the growth and major partnership the podcast has acquired over the years, the show has remained unchanged at its core: three childhood friends, with a love for hip-hop and the knowledge to credibly speak on it, offering their candid insights and opinions all while being entirely entrenched in pettiness. For the show’s listeners, it’s an indelible formula for guaranteed entertainment. The show has birthed industry beef and controversy like no other, the greatest of which have been compiled below in a comprehensive timeline of Budden’s biggest and best antics.
Joe Budden vs. Drake (2016)
Kevin Winter/Getty Images
With Beyoncé, Chance The Rapper, Rihanna, and Drake all having just dropped albums, the summer of 2016 gave hip-hop fans plenty of new music to bask in. All except Joe Budden, who took to his podcast to unleash his harsh opinion on Drake’s Views, calling the rapper “uninspired” and expressing his dashed high hopes for the album upon its release in April. Drake didn’t take kindly to Budden’s criticism, uploading a Snapchat at French Montana’s house in May of him rapping the words “pump, pump it up”, in a seeming jab at the former rapper-- a reference to his 2003 hit song, “Pump It Up.” The Snap was followed by the release of a diss track, “4 PM In Calabasas” aimed at Budden, which Budden took on the chin, writing, “[Drake] snapped just now, even if he dissed me & Puff the whole time….. He ain’t sound that inspired in a minute," on Twitter.
Then came “Making A Murderer Pt.1,” Budden’s diss track in which he rapped, “My words ain’t ghostwritten I ain’t Drake/ That’s all gimmick I’m authentic I ain’t Drake/ Ain’t nothing wrong with it, only saying I ain’t fake". The dig was met with radio silence on Drake’s end, prompting Budden to release another diss track, “Wake” and tantalize Drake on twitter. Budden got his badly-desired response in July, when French Montana's “No Shopping" dropped, in which Drake calls out a one-hit-wonder, leading people to believe he was referring to Budden, despite French Montana’s insistence that he wasn’t. Drake then called Budden out onstage during his Summer Sixteen tour, saying, “We got the good energy going on. I should’ve brought Joe Budden up here to let him do ‘Pump It Up’ one time. Pump, pump, pump it up.” Budden released one final diss track, “Just Because,”which Drake never responded to directly. After some twitter trolling on both sides, the beef eventually sputtered out on its own.
“Do It Look Like I’m Left Off Bad And Boujee” (2017)
Bennett Raglin/Getty Images
Ok, this particular incident technically happened on Complex’s daily show Everyday Struggle which Budden was a host of, alongside DJ Akademiks until 2018, but we couldn’t leave it out as part of Budden's essential hosting moments. Things got tense in a pre-show interview at the 2017 BET Awards when Budden sat down with Migos, who were riding the success of their hit single, “Bad And Boujee”, which they were to perform later that night. When DJ Akademiks suggested there was a “running joke” that Takeoff was left off Bad And Boujee, Takeoff took it as a personal affront and replied, “You said I’m left off ‘Bad and Boujee?’ Does it look like I’m left off ‘Bad and Boujee?’” Budden then suggested drawing the interview to a close, as they were running out of time, to which Quavo responded, “Wrap it up, then,” which clearly didn’t sit right with Budden, who stormed off the interview. The Migos then all stood up as if bracing themselves for an altercation while Quavo asked Budden, “What you tryna do?”, attracting several onlookers to gaze at the scene, wondering what was going on. The uncomfortable interview birthed many memes, from DJ Akademiks’ look of sheer discomfort, to the widened eyes of curious onlookers, but most of all, it minted, “Do it look like I’m left off Bad And Boujee?” as one of the most popular catchphrases of the year.
Budden vs. Eminem (2018)
Kevin Winter/Getty Images
Arguably the most personal of Budden's plentiful discords with prominent industry figures, his conflict with Slim Shady cut deep. The surprise drop of the 47-year-old rapper's loaded 10th studio album in August 2018 triggered several rappers, such as MGK and Die Antwoord, into retorting back with diss tracks of their own. Budden, however, responded by taking to his podcast to go in on, not only the album, but Eminem's character and musical ability as a whole, in an impassioned speech days after the album's release. Formerly a vocal Eminem die-hard, Budden's beef with the rapper began brewing when he called Em's song, "Untouchable," "trash" in December 2017, saying it was one of the worst songs he had ever heard. This petty strike set the tone for a long road of back-and-forth between the two, beginning with Eminem's "Chloraseptic" Remix in which he subs Budden for the commentator's unwanted remarks, and decidedly ending in January 2020 with Budden's undaunted reception of Eminem's leaked "Bang" verse, about which he said, "This is an old verse. Mal is right, you don't get offended by old verses." Check out an in-depth look at the two's feud here.
The “Joe Budden Podcast” Partners With Spotify (2018)
Paras Griffin/Getty Images
A big break for Spotify, and an even bigger break for Budden. After three years on the air, Budden sealed an exclusive partnership deal with the biggest music streaming platform in the game, which had decided to test the waters in the ever-growing podcast pool. The series began releasing new episodes on the platform every Wednesday and Saturday beginning September 2018, amplifying the commentator’s voice to an even broader audience than before.
Nicki Minaj Beef (2019)
Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images
In August 2019, seasoned industry giant and fellow rapper-turned-podcaster Nicki Minaj hosted Joe Budden on episode 15 of her Apple Music show, “Queen Radio”, in which she confronted Budden about negative comments he had made about her over the years. Namely, she brought up unnecessary comments he made about the bad blood between her and Cardi B regarding Migos’ 2018 song, “Motorsport,” as well as him alleging that she has a drug problem on his podcast, claiming he has an unrelenting bias against female rappers. Things got heated as Minaj held nothing back, unleashing her pent-up anger towards Budden in a profanity-filled rant as he tried pointlessly to defend himself, ultimately walking off the show. Two days later, however, the pair made amends when Minaj appeared as a guest on Budden’s podcast and, after some back-and-forth, put their grievances behind them as Budden eventually acknowledged that his comments were uninformed and harmful.
Budden Mocks Kehlani’s Suicide Attempt (2020)
Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images
Last February, Budden earned himself his umpteenth trip to Twitter Jail when he made light of Kehlani’s mental health struggles on the podcast while he and the gang dissected her song, “Valentine’s Day (Shameful)”, which was rumored to be about ex-boyfriend YG’s infidelity. Budden joked about how suddenly the couple’s rumored split happened, saying that just the week prior Rory has been oozing about the pair’s song, “Konclusions”, a ride-or-die anthem that had been released in anticipation of Valentine’s Day. Budden continued, “Party[NextDoor] gonna try and double back now, ‘You was sh**ting on me cause I made you try to kill yourself.’”
Kehlani fans and human beings of all walks of life expressed their dismay at Budden’s appalling attempt at humor on Twitter, where Budden issued an apology to the It Was Good Until It Wasn’t singer who had a few thoughts of her own to convey on the matter, calling Budden a “joke” to her millions of followers. Undermining the sincerity of Budden’s apology was his follow-up tweet, presumably directed at Kehlani, in which he complained about artists being unable to take criticism.
Joe Budden vs. Logic (2020)
Kevin Winter/Getty Images
This one may not qualify as beef considering how one-sided it has been. Time and time again, Budden has unapologetically slandered Logic on his podcast, brazenly expressing his discontent with the Maryland rapper’s music and even calling him “one of the worst rappers to ever grace a microphone.” The unprovoked Budden blows to Logic and his music have been as ruthless as they have been unyielding, with Logic even admitting that the harsh comments have impacted his mental health. The No Pressure rapper took to Hot 97’s Peter Rosenberg in August to address Budden’s tireless onslaught against him, saying he has no idea where it comes from but saying to Budden, “Your words, they make people want to kill themselves, bro.” While Budden apologized to Logic in July for saying he should have retired a long time ago, admitting he had been projecting his own issues onto the 30-year-old rapper, he refused to apologize for impacting his mental health, calling Logic a “Pander King” and claiming he shouldn’t be letting the opinion of a stranger impact him to that extent in the first place.
Budden’s Spotify Deal Comes To A Close (2020)
Phillip Faraone/Getty Images
After a two-year partnership, Budden announced in August that he and Spotify would be parting ways. In a three-hour tangent on the show’s 375th episode released on August 26th, Budden and his co-hosts unraveled their frustrations with the streaming platform’s shortcomings that led to the decision. Once Spotify’s breakout podcasting star, Budden accused Spotify of lowballing him over the years, citing that they weren’t paying him what he was worth and claiming they merely wanted to “pillage” his audience. “Spotify never cared about this podcast individually,” said Budden in the episode. “Spotify only cared about our contribution to the platform.” It was clear that once the platform failed to meet his terms, Budden no longer found the partnership mutually beneficial. Feeling like a spited guinea pig having fallen victim to the platform’s larger plan to break into podcasts with no true regard for the “Joe Budden Podcast” as its own enterprise, Budden announced his last episode will air on Spotify on September 23rd.
Budden says he doesn’t yet know where the podcast will be once his deal with Spotify concludes, but there is no doubt he won’t be going rogue for long as offers will be rushing in from networks across the board for the one-time rapper’s coveted show, and controversy and mischief will proceed per usual.
Podcast Wars (2020)
Johnny Nunez/WireImage/Getty Images
Just as Budden's deal with Spotify comes to a close, so to has a beef with Brilliant Idiots podcast hosts, Charlamagne Tha God and Andrew Schulz, inflamed. The two podcast parties have commented back-and-forth in the past, and things were reignited following the news of Budden's business deal with Spotify souring. Although Schulz appears to be taking on the brunt of the beef, Budden did dedicate a full hour to tearing down the pair on his recent epsiode. The remark that had Budden so incensed happened on Schulz's Flagrant 2 podcast, when Schulz alleged that Budden had asked for $250M from Spotify. "Let's pretend that Joe asked for $250M. Who the fuck is this White dude and this Indian dude sitting in these chairs that get to discuss me?" Joe said of the hosts, Andrew Schulz and Akaash Singh.
Flagrant 2 has since responded back in their new episode, mocking Joe once more for his lack of business savvy (among other things, like his thumb), while also offering to give him some tips and pointers.
Are you a listener of The Joe Budden Podcast? Let us know in the comments.