Joe Budden: “It’s Time to Move On & I Want Fans to [Grow] With Me.”
Joe Budden is fed up. He’s tired of the gossip about his romantic relationships, the politics of the music industry and hip-hop’s “naïve ignorant culture.” After years of successfully grinding it out independently, touring overseas, and helping launch rap supergroup, Slaughterhouse, he returns with Mood Muzik 4: A Turn 4 The Worst. With the fourth part in his classic mixtape series, Joe is opening a brand new chapter and retiring old topics, drama and beef. No, he doesn’t want to talk about his ex Tahiry or Somaya Reece, he’s indifferent about Shyne’s million-dollar signing to Def Jam and he’s pissed at the way the system has handled his recent arrest warrant for delinquent child support payments.
XXLMag.com tackled all these topics and more with Joe and discovered a new person, one who is focusing on being happy and hoping his fans will take the long journey with him into the drama-free zone.
XXLMag.com: You released four trailers for Mood Muzik 4 and in one of them you used footage of your ex-girlfriend Tahiry crying. Did you get any heat from her for that?
Joe Budden: I don’t know. I don’t know if she was upset or not. I didn’t try to find out. Hopefully she wasn’t. It wasn’t to center around her. It was to show progress from wherever I was at the time those clips were recorded.
So there are no regrets about using her in the footage?
None at all.
You have an arrest warrant out for you regarding child support payments. What’s the status of that now?
There is no plan of action—you pay it. This is something going on for the past however many years. You miss two months, they put out a warrant—you pay it and that’s the end of that.
Recently on Twitter you wrote: “Just spoke 2 a few of my sheriff friends.... amazing what an upcoming election will do…” Was that in response to your arrest warrant?
Do you want to elaborate on how you feel politics played a role in getting you on the front page of the Jersey Journal?
Me elaborating would come across as one big fuck you to the whole 595 Newark Avenue. So I just won’t.
In the final trailer for Mood Muzik 4 you said that you don’t want the “bad bitch” anymore. Is that a turning point for you where you're tired of being part of the rumor mill and gossip blogs when it comes to women?
No, not really. It’s more metaphorically speaking. It’s not to say I don’t want that but I'm not caught up in that. I’m not caught up in record sales, expensive cars, luxury vehicles and big mansions. I’m not caught up in all these material things and things some people put more value in than their worth.
Were you caught up in all of that at a certain point?
“Maybe” is pretty vague.
No, I think that’s a direct answer; it means maybe I was. I’m not concerned about where I was. I’m concerned about where I am.
So how’d you get to this new point. What’s the story of how you got there?
It’s a revelation. You wake up, have an epiphany and that’s pretty much it. There’s no big story here if that's what you’re looking for. You learn, grow and mature and come to a certain point. I’m 30 so this is where I’m at in my 30’s as opposed to where I am in my 20’s.
Did you ever respond to Somaya Reece alleging that you’re bipolar?
Do you want to respond now and clear the air?
No. I feel like at 30 years old they asking me about a bunch of shit I don’t care about. I don’t care about Somaya Reece and all this other bullshit. This shit is worthless to me but it seems to be very important to you, which says you have an audience who this bullshit is very important to.
That’s part of the reality. You put out video blogs making your personal life public. So many people bought into that and when something happens in your personal life they want to know more and feel a sense of entitlement. Of course you have your privacy and if you don’t want to address it you don’t have to.
Okay, that part I understand but it’s a false sense of entitlement so people need to recognize that part. Also, to answer your question, if I don’t respond to it I don’t care about it. There’s not very many things I care about to respond to and Somaya Reece falls into that category.
So what do you care about that you want to discuss?
Music I care about, family I care about, friends and loved ones. Those are things that people should care about. I don’t care about responding to what Somaya Reece says. I don’t care about the top 10 list that BET put out. I could care less about these things. They hold absolutely no value to me at all.
From the trailers it seems that you’re in a space where this is the beginning of a solution for you. Would you say that’s true?
Anybody who followed my music throughout my career knows it’s always been very introspective and very personal. It’s always been somewhat relatable for the fans but a lot of topics they’ve been run-on topics. You’ve heard me speak about my child’s mother or situation with my child. Now is the time when some of these stories come to an end and it’s time to bring some clarity to some things that maybe were lacking before. It’s time to move on and I want the fans to take that step with me. I don’t want them to be shocked or surprised when it happens.
You said you’re headed to a new place. So describe that new place for your fans of where you’re personally and musically.
The music would better be able to describe that. I’m happy.
What’s brought happiness into your life?
That’s personal between me and my therapist.
Many people have a stigma within the urban community about therapy. The fact that you’re open about that has done a lot…
What is the stigma?
There is a stigma around therapy and seeking help—especially for men. Men are thought of to be supermen, so to address emotions is not something we normally see…
This is the simplest logic in the world; niggas pay escorts to fuck and leave and that’s a service. Therapy is nothing more than paying someone to listen without judgment and with confidentiality. Only in hip-hop do we correlate therapy with being some sick twisted weirdo because hip-hop is just a real naïve ignorant culture for the most part—70-percent of the time.
That’s why I was giving you credit to make that statement. If more people went to therapy and expressed themselves emotionally there wouldn’t be so much beef.
I agree 100-percent.
So any updates on Slaughterhouse and the rumored Eminem deal?
Not at the moment. None that we are able to share with the general public. Everything is as it last was.
Do you think Shyne was worth a million dollars for his Def Jam deal?
Maybe not. Do you?
Personally, no but why don’t you think he was?
I don’t know if he is. That remains to be seen. If he comes out and sells three million copies I'll say, hell yeah, great investment.
What are your thoughts on rumors of L.A. Reid getting fired from his Def Jam post?
None. None at all. That also falls under list of things I could care less about. —Souleo