JOE BUDDEN BIOGRAPHY:
The huge success of 50 Cent in 2003 paved the way for many other mixtape bred rappers to break onto the commercial scene. One of those was Joe Budden, a New Jersey rapper with years of freestyle experience, who gained popularity on New York City's influential mixtape circuit in 2002. Budden threw his hat in the hip-hop ring for his work on mixtapes by such DJs as DJ Clue, Clinton Sparks, DJ On Point, DJ Big Mike and DJ Envy.
Joe Budden was born Joeseph Anthony Budden II on August 31, 1980, in Spanish Harlem, New York, and was raised in Queens. At the age of 11 Budden moved to New Jersey, and as he came of age across the Hudson River in Jersey City, he proudly reps New Jersey in his rhymes, despite its somewhat unsavory reputation compared to more traditional hip-hop breeding grounds like Harlem, Brooklyn, the South Bronx, and Queensbridge.
Budden experienced troubled teenage years that included been addicted to Angel Dust (Phencyclidine), a drug battle which almost killed him. He won his fight against drugs, cleaned himself up, and firmly set his sights only on hip hop.
The middle child of 3 boys, Joe heard music in his home, (his dad is a multi instrumentalist), and on the streets. He absorbed the songs of old school legends like Rakim, Kool G Rap. Krs-One, and Queen’s natives Run DMC and LL Cool J and by the time he turned 16 Joe had decided to take his love of hip hop and his burgeoning skills to another level. "I went on a total rampage in my area. If there was a cipher on the corner, or a show I was there. After a while it became common knowledge in my neighborhood that I was aiight and my confidence grew". So much so that Joe started hitting local studios and getting on mixtapes, doing it for the love and as means of expression.
Soon low-level industry types started buzzing around, filling his head with American Idol worthy dreams. The prospects of fame excited the 17-year-old but nothing came of any of the promises and but Joe persevered and honed his craft. In 2001 everything changed as one of Joe’s self produced CDs made its way to Cutmaster Cee, who passed it along to Webb of Desert Storm. Impressed with what he’d heard Webb offered Joe the financial freedom to stay in the studio and concentrate on making mixtapes.
One of which ended up in the hands of DJ Clue. Soon afterward, Budden was a mixtape fixture, freestyling over popular beats on mixes by New York's leading DJs, most notably Clue, DJ Kayslay, and Cutmaster C. In particular, his "Grindin'" freestyle turned heads, as did one of his Dub-B (aka White Boy) productions, a track called "Focus." It wasn't long before Budden joined On Top management and went to work with Just Blaze, one of New York's hottest producers of the moment, best known for his work with Jay-Z but also respected for his sure-fire freelance work, such as Erick Sermon's "React" and Cam'ron's "Oh Boy."
In fact it was the buzz from those mixtapes, chiefly a sizzling freestyle on a Lil Mo/Fabolous cut, along with "Pump It Up," a club-ready track that connected everywhere, from MTV to the streets that helped Joe get ahead of every other rapper he was in direct competition with. While all of this was going down, industry heavyweight Def Jam stepped in, signed Budden and prepared his self-titled debut album, "Joe Budden".
The album was released in June 10, 2003 and charted well its opening week, no doubt helped by the success of his single "Pump It Up" and the huge airplay the track was recieving worldwide, resulting in huge hype shrouding the albums release. "Pump It Up" was also featured in the hit movie '2 Fast 2 Furious' and on the video game 'Madden 2004'. The track "Walk With Me" from the album was featured as the ending song for 'Def Jam: Fight For NY', a very successfull Hip Hop wrestling video game in which Joe Budden was featured as one of the fighters. He is also a rival player in the video game NBA 2K6. Overall the album placed Budden firmly within the hip hop scene, with some critical support, and good reviews, predicting a bright future for the refreshingly unique rapper.
In 2004 a feud was started between Joe and the G-Unit camp. On "Crosscountry Connection", a mixtape freestyle Budden did alongside The Game and Stack Bundles, The Game, who was still affiliated with G-Unit at the time, took offense to Joe's line about "[the] G-Unit [music] video with all the gangsta actors". Game claimed that he was unaware that Budden was even going to be on the track and accused him of attempting to embarrass him by dissing G-Unit on a song featuring a member of G-Unit. Diss songs were then exchanged between the two, with Game releasing the notorious diss "Budden invented ADIS", which used the instrumental from "Colors", a track by Ice T. Budden then replied with "Game Over", a song that used the instrumental from "It's Funky Enough" by The D.O.C.. On the track Budden called Game just "a replacement [for G-Unit] until Tony Yayo gets home". Budden then later release a diss aimed at the whole of G-Unit titled "Big Shot", which samples "Big Shot" by Billy Joel. The beef ended in August 2004, as both rappers wanted to focus on their upcoming album and other projects.
In December 2005, Joe released "Mood Muzik 2: Can It Get Any Worse?", an all-new mixtape hosted by DJ On Point. As a mixtape release, it received an unusual amount of exposure and critical acclaim, including a 4-star rating from AllHipHop and a write-up in The New York Times. Scratch Magazine even went as far to call it "one of the greatest mixtapes ever." Particularly, fans and critics alike showered praise on 7+-minute-long songs such as the storytelling track "3 Sides to a Story", his track about the reality behind hip-hop labels, "Old School Mouse" and his magnum opus "Dumb Out". Several professional reviewers noted the CD was more of a fully fledged album than a typical hip-hop mixtape, as it featured original production on all but one of the twenty tracks and very few of the DJ vocal tags that are found on nearly every other hip-hop mixtape.
Joe Budden stated in an interview he's currently reviewing his options on how to release the next installment in the successful Mood Muzik series. In the interview, he states that since the first release date, he had got offers from major labels to put out Mood Muzik 3. The mixtape, having now taken the title of "The Growth", will be released in February/March, DJ Onpoint says. A few songs have already leaked on the Internet including "Last Real Nigga Left," "My Life," and "Where Did I Go Wrong." It has also been said that the mixtape will come with a DVD, displaying concert footage, and the recording process for some of the songs on the tape, among other things.
Get More Info & Media For Joe Budden In Our Hip Hop Forum »
Budden's lyricist abilty is regarded as heavily underrated in many rap circles, however the rapper maintains a strong internet fanbase on sites such as Boxden.com and JoeBudden.org. The as yet untitled sophomore album from Joe is still in the making, acording to Def Jam president Jay-Z. It is rumoured that there is a dispute or some bad feelings between the two artists and when asked about Buddens alum Jay-Z has been quoted as saying “I don’t have Joe Budden’s album in my hand. I try to be diplomatic about it. You’re trying to make the best product. I’m an artist, I understand. I don’t have Joe Budden’s album. It doesn’t make sense, why would I not put it out if it’s ready?”. To read more about this rumour and all of Joe Budden's beefs, including his disputes with G-Unit and The Game, read our Joe Budden beef section by clicking here. The album is scheduled to come out sometime after Mood Muzik 3 and many anxious Hip-Hop fans anticipate its long delayed release.