Joe Budden conducted by DJ Hyphen and J. Moore  

Joe Budden: Still Growing

March 2006

In 2003, Joe Budden dropped his major label debut through Def Jam. Sales weren't as expected following the strength of his single, "Pump It Up."

Since his debut, Budden has built up considerable steam. After a beef with Game, a slew of mixtape only gems and a couple of brilliant mixtapes with Budden alone (the "Mood Muzik" series), Joe Budden may finally be ready to release his sophomore album "The Growth" this Summer.

These are the transcripts of an interview with Joe Budden aired March 5th on DJ Hyphen & J. Moore's "Sunday Night Sound Session" on Seattle's KUBE 93.3 FM. For more info. on DJ Hyphen click here.

MVRemix: Introduce yourself man.

Joe Budden: It's ya boy Jump Off Joe Beezy a.k.a. that dude b.k.a. Regular Joe. b.k.a. I can't say that other b.k.a. - that's curse words, so... you know.

MVRemix: The thing that everyone wants to know is what's the current situation with the label? What's the situation with "The Growth"? Everyone has been waiting for "The Growth" for about a year and a half now...

Joe Budden: I know, I know... I feel so bad for Joe Budden fans. I'm puttin' them through it. The thing I notice though, as Joe Budden interviewI travel, is that Joe Budden fans are so diehard and loyal. I can't even describe it, so they're really troopin' with me. The current situation... I wanna say that the album will be out this Summer. At this point it's not even a Def Jam issue; it's a Joe Budden issue. [Antonio] L.A. Reid is pretty much at the label just waiting on me to say, "Let's do it, lets rock and roll." He's there.

MVRemix: Does it have any difference now that there's the Def Jam Left? I'm not sure how official that is these days...

Joe Budden: I mean to be honest with you I heard the rumours about Def Jam Left and The Roots going over there, aside from that I don't know anything.

MVRemix: So Jay hasn't called you in and been like "This is what we want from you..."

Joe Budden: I haven't spoken to Jay about Def Jam Left at all. It's a good idea though.

MVRemix: I like the idea but I'm just not sure it's gonna work.

Joe Budden: But that's the same thing Kevin Liles was trying to do with Spit a long time ago when I first, first, first got to Def Jam. Tryin' to put me on Spit. It's really just the same thing that he was tryin' to do.

MVRemix: The idea is artistic freedom; don't have to make the R&B hook and the single and all that stuff...

Joe Budden: Yeah, yeah, exactly, do what you want. We don't care about units. Back to Hip Hop.

MVRemix: With all the label drama I'd say you released two classics, although I'm a fan so I'm a little biased, with the "Mood Muzik" series - volume 1 and volume 2.

Joe Budden: I swear that felt like making an album.

MVRemix: So what are the advantages and what are the disadvantages of going the mixtape route especially with someone in your situation. You're not an up and coming rapper, you're a fairly established rapper.

Joe Budden: I've recorded in between. I'd love to say that I'm up and coming, but I've been signed for a while, even though I've only had one major label release.

MVRemix: Even if the song with J. Lo never came out, no up and coming rapper can have a song with J. Lo.

Joe Budden: That's true. Yeah, that's true. I'd love to say it though - up and coming. But anyway, the mixtapes, the mixtapes...

MVRemix: What's that whole scene like?

Joe Budden: I mean on the mixtapes... I love doing the mixtapes. It's politic free, it's pretty much it reminds me of how Hip Hop is supposed to be. You, a microphone and do what you want to do. Artistic expression - even if you're wack, you can still get on them and do whatever you want to do. So I utilize them, I get on them mixtapes and just do all of the things that the quote un-quote... What's the word that I'm looking for... I get on mixtapes and basically do everything that labels per say may not want you to do for a full length album.

MVRemix: Taking that 3 minute 30 second idea and saying, "Screw that, we're gonna do a five minute song."

Joe Budden: These labels... these labels. I don't really understand these labels. Like back in the day you could make a song however long you wanted to make it.

MVRemix: Without all the label involvement, no sample clearances, no none of that.

Joe Budden: Yep, no none of that! No samples clearances, no label B.S. - just, it's just B.S. free.

MVRemix: When you come in with that sort of music, say you brought "Mood Muzik 2" to the label and that's what I want the album to be. What would they say?

Joe Budden: [interrupting] No, nah, nah, nah... That wouldn't cut it.

MVRemix: How come?

Joe Budden: That wouldn't work. "Mood Muzik 2," I don't want to say it's depressing.

MVRemix: It is a little bit depressing.

Joe Budden: But it's depressing. I don't think that the label would have been glad for me to bringing a depressing 80 minute album [scoffs] album in there like that, the label [chuckling] all the label really cares about is two songs which is your two singles. I don't think they would've been able to pick that off of "Mood Muzik 2."

MVRemix: Yeah, I don't really see radio stations embracing "Dumb Out" as an 8 minute song.

Joe Budden: Yeah, I don't think so either. But the funny thing is this mixtape is getting rave reviews.

MVRemix: No doubt man, we played "Dumb Out" on our show and thanks to it being eight minutes and our show only being an hour, it ate up a good amount of the playlist for that night.

Joe Budden: [chuckling] That song is long man! That song is long. I've got a couple of decisions to make because even on "The Growth," on the album, I'm pretty long winded. I have some long records

MVRemix: Is there gonna be like a ten minute part 2?

Joe Budden: It's fifteen minutes. But that's the thing. You have a fifteen minute record. I have about four records that are six minutes.

MVRemix: You've got about a half album right there and we haven't even talked about a single.

Joe Budden: Exactly. You know with a single it has to be 3:12 - 3:30, somewhere around there. Yeah, I'm pretty long winded but I guess it's a good dilema.

MVRemix: You've always been known for making very honest songs about any issues you're dealing with...

Joe Budden: I'm too honest. That's exactly why I'm in this predicament [chuckles].

MVRemix: That's a very good point, I know it creates friction with the label; so has it ever created friction with any other artist that you mentioned in the song? "Dumb Out" obviously has a section where you're talking about everyone, not essentially good or bad, just mentioning them. Have you ever had stuff arise where you're too personal? Maybe the "Dear Angie" joint, where someone in your life was like "Yo, you kind of need to keep that off record."

Joe Budden: Yeah. I've never had any problems with any other artist because I don't really try to say too much about artists, aside from "Dumb Out," maybe a couple other joints. But the "Dear Angie" and "I Want You Back" off "Mood Muzik" part 1 - that caused a little bit of friction with my child's mother in the court room [chuckles]. Me and her were going through some things at the time, we weren't on the greatest of terms and she went in the court room [imitating a woman's voice] "He accused me of this, and this and this." And I said, "She's full of crap," and then she says, "It's right here on the tape!"

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