Joe Budden conducted by Hugo Lunny  

Joe Budden Interview

June 2003

These are the transcripts of an interview with Joe Budden. The interview was conducted by Hugo Lunny on June 9th, 2003.

After spreading his name through freestyles and odd tracks on the mixtape circuit for the past couple of years, Joe Budden landed a deal with Def Jam. Supported by the likes of DJ Clue and Busta Rhymes amongst others, Joe Budden has just released his self titled debut.

MVRemix: You've been up on the mixtape scene in a big way probably since the mid-90s and of course at the beginning of this millennium, you started getting your name out there. How did you manage to get your material out there to the right DJs so that it merged on to [DJ] Clue's tapes, and Kay Slays, and Green Lanterns and what not?

Joe Budden: I happened to bump into a couple people that had some pretty good relationships with a lot of the underground DJs, which is like Clue, Cut Master C, Kay Slay, you know. I had it rather easy, as far as getting the material heard. Once you get it heard, it's all about getting the DJ liking it and playing it. So I was pretty fortunate.

MVRemix: Did you have a demo disc of various freestyles or what not?

Joe Budden: I had a demo, but the songs on it weren't the greatest songs in the world. But you could tell that I could rap.

MVRemix: Why did you drop the moniker Mouse?

Joe Budden: I didn't drop it. People still call me Mouse. I just didn't want to use it professionally.

MVRemix: Are you going to bring out any material under the moniker of Mouse as you had back in the day?

Joe Budden: Yeah, definitely.

MVRemix: Can you tell me a bit about any of that stuff?

Joe Budden: Um, I don't know. There's entirely too much material, but I am going to release it. I think it's good for people to hear what I sounded like back then and what I sound like now just to see the growth.

MVRemix: Is there any truth surrounding the Jay-Z beef or are you like the rest of us - just jealous of the bastard because he's going out with Beyonc?

Joe Budden: [Laughs] I'm just like the rest of y'all! [Laughs] Nah, there's no beef between us; he's my favorite rapper. You know, the streets are going to make things up when they hear certain things and come to their own conclusions. But there's no beef at all. Me and him are cool.

MVRemix: Alright, who inspired you - not influenced, but who is basically someone who made you think "Fuck a 9-5, I'm going to do this full time, I'm going to go with my creativity"? Is there a person in your life, or a particular artist?

Joe Budden: I'm going to have to say no. This was like - never in my wildest dreams had I imagined that any of this would happen. Writing was just something that I'd always loved to do, and God has taken care of me. He's blessed me and given me a career off something I love to do, but there was never a point in time when I was like "Yeah, I wanna be a rapper." It was just to keep me out of trouble and to keep me stress-free.

MVRemix: In your opinion, is it more important to live life thinking each day is your last, or is it more important to think about having a long-lasting life and plan ahead? Which would you say is more pertaining to you?

Joe Budden: I live life one day at a time.

MVRemix: So you don't make any long-term plans, it's just 'today could be your last' so you do what you can?

Joe Budden: I mean, I have long and short-term goals, but I always live life one day at a time. Tomorrow's not promised.

MVRemix: Now, Nelly's coming out with some trainers. Of course, Jay-Z did it, and 50 Cent recently did a deal with Reebok. Is there any particular trainer brand that you would like to affiliate yourself with?

Joe Budden: I'd probably go retro and go with New Balance or something, if that was something I was going to do.

MVRemix: In your opinion, can Ja Rule ever regain his former mass-acceptance or has 50 Cent done what he aimed to do?

Joe Budden: I think he can. I'm not a fan, I just think that he can. Ja Rule makes music. And he makes good music. I mean, any time someone makes good music - I mean, we're talking about a musical genius. He writes extremely well. You can't hold a genius down. Everybody said R. Kelly was finished and look what he did. Ja Rule's not finished. He just needs a hit record to get the people behind him again.

MVRemix: As "Walk With Me" begins, you talk about figures from your past re-emerging and resurfacing. Are you able to shed any more light on things like that or is it just a very personal thing?

Joe Budden: Nothing much of a personal thing, it's just like "Walk With Me," the whole thing is just about observations and I just happened to observe that there's a whole lot of people that I've never been too close to. In my life I've always been kind of to myself. It was just funny to take a look at that. We're talking about family members, or people that you've just said 'hello' to. It's just pretty funny.

MVRemix: If you had to pick a drink of choice, what would it be and why?

Joe Budden: I don't drink. I couldn't drink one. I have no idea what anything tastes like. I have no idea what some of this stuff even is.

MVRemix: What is your reasoning behind your choice for not drinking?

Joe Budden: When I stopped drinking and stopped smoking pot, that's when things started to happen for me. So I wouldn't want to go back to that, number one. Number two, I was just a totally different person when I did those things.

MVRemix: "Pump It Up"... Now that video was inspired by The Ring, so I'm told, and you can tell that within it. What are some of your favorite horror movies of the past?

Joe Budden: Every "Freddy Kruger" movie. A couple of "Jason"s. I was a really big "Freddy" fan. There were a few other ones here and there.

MVRemix: Everyone likes to be politically correct with this, but you said you were a regular Joe in various things, so I'm just wondering, if you had to choose who was your favorite out of 2Pac and Biggie, who would you say?

Joe Budden: I went to both of them for different things. Pac was phenomenal to me. But then, so was Biggie, so I couldn't even say. That'll be the question for ages [laughs].

MVRemix: Are there any other projects aside from your album, like guest appearances or group projects that you're working on, that have yet to surface, or will be surfacing?

Joe Budden: I recently did 112's second single called "Hot and Wet." I'm really anxious for that to drop. Aside from that, there are so many things in the works that I can't really talk about because a lot of it's not confirmed. But there's a whole lot in the works right now.

MVRemix: Are there any last words to your fans or potential fans who are going to be reading this?

Joe Budden: It's all about you! [Laughs] It really is all about the people. I keep telling people that. I mean, radio's important, publication's important, you know, but at the end of the day, without the people, none of that stuff really matters.

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