Joe Budden

Joseph Anthony Budden II[1] (born August 31, 1980)[2] is an American broadcaster, songwriter, and former rapper.

Joe Budden
Budden performing in 2012
Joseph Anthony Budden II

(1980-08-31) August 31, 1980
  • Rapper
  • songwriter
  • broadcaster
  • media personality
Home townJersey City, New Jersey, U.S.
TelevisionState of the Culture
Musical career
  • Vocals
Years active1999–present
Associated acts

Budden began rapping in 1999 and his eponymous debut studio album was released in 2003, debuting at number 8 on the Billboard 200, selling 95,000 copies within its first week. The album featured the hit single "Pump It Up", Budden's most commercially successful solo single. From then on, he was signed to major record label Def Jam Recordings, until 2007 when he signed to Entertainment One Music.[3]

After separating from Def Jam, he began recording and releasing solo mixtapes and albums on independent labels. In 2013, he released No Love Lost; followed by "Some Love Lost" on November 4, 2014 and "All Love Lost" on October 16, 2015. Budden's final album "Rage & The Machine" was released on October 21, 2016. In addition to his solo work, Budden was a member of the American hip hop supergroup Slaughterhouse, alongside fellow rappers Royce da 5'9", Joell Ortiz, and Crooked I.[4]

Budden currently hosts The Joe Budden Podcast along with Jamil "Mal" Clay, Rory Farrell and Parks Vallely, released bi-weekly through Spotify and YouTube. He also hosts State of the Culture on Revolt with Remy Ma, Brandon "Jinx" Jenkins and Eboni K. Williams. He was previously one of three hosts of Complex’s Everyday Struggle along with DJ Akademiks and Nadeska Alexis, before leaving the show in January 2018.

Life and career

Early life

Joseph Anthony Budden II was born on August 31, 1980, in Spanish Harlem in New York City,[5] and moved to Jersey City, New Jersey at the age of 13 along with his older brother and mother, where he attended Lincoln High School.[6] Budden's father was absent from his life for the entirety of his childhood, a subject he has talked about in his music.[7][8] Budden showed little interest in school, and was sent to a boarding school for troubled youth in North Carolina where he began to hone his skills as a rapper. After returning to Jersey, he began taking drugs, developing an addiction to angel dust.[9][10] After an emotional confrontation with his mother, Budden voluntarily went into rehab on July 3, 1997, in exchange for him being allowed to attend his senior prom.[8][9][10] Budden did not earn his diploma, and by the age of 20 he had fathered a child with an older woman.[9][10] With his son on the way, Budden began taking music more seriously and released his first mixtape in 2001. Budden and his friend Dub-B, a local producer, began creating demos, one of which landed in the hands of Hot 97 radio host and Desert Storm Records label head DJ Clue, who invited Budden to rap on some of his mixtapes, working early on with Fabolous and his brother Paul Cain. His freestyle over the instrumental to Grindin' by Clipse and his original song Focus garnered attention, and led to further appearances on mixtapes by the likes of DJ Kayslay and Cutmaster C. After two years on the mixtape circuit, Budden secured a deal with Def Jam Recordings in 2003, after which he began work on his major label debut.[3]

20032009: Debut album, Mood Muzik, release from Def Jam

After signing his major deal, Budden made a number of guest appearances before the release of his debut album, working with Kelly Rowland and 3rd Storee early into his contract. Budden released his eponymous debut studio album Joe Budden through Def Jam Recordings on June 10, 2003. It debuted at number 8 on the US Billboard 200, selling 95,000 units in its first week,[11] and going on to sell 420,000+ copies in the United States. It also entered at number 55 on the UK Albums Chart. The album contained Budden's most successful song, the 2003 Grammy-nominated summer hit "Pump It Up", which was also featured in the soundtrack for the movie 2 Fast 2 Furious and the video games Def Jam Vendetta, Def Jam Fight for NY, and Madden NFL 2004.[12][13] Many other songs from the album were featured in video games and movies, including Focus, Fire featuring Busta Rhymes and Drop Drop. In late 2003, Budden featured on the R. Kelly produced song, Clubbin by Marques Houston, which peaked at #39 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 and at 15 on the UK BPI charts.[14]

After the respectable success of his first release, Budden wanted to take a less commercial direction with his second release, titled The Growth. This decision was met with disagreement from Def Jam higher-ups who wanted The Growth to follow the commercial style of his first release. The album remains unreleased, and continued disagreements between Budden and Def Jam eventually led the two sides to part ways.[15] He managed to release the first and second installments of his Mood Muzik mixtape series while on Def Jam, and the series was met with critical acclaim.[16]

After getting out of his Def Jam contract, in December 2007, Budden signed a multi-album deal with Amalgam Digital.[17] Budden's first release on Amalgam was Mood Muzik 3: The Album, a retailed version of his mixtape Mood Muzik 3: For Better or for Worse. Although it sold poorly, the album received universal acclaim from critics, who praised Budden's willingness to discuss personal issues.[18][19][20] Budden's third studio album, Halfway House, the first in a series of three connected albums, was released in October 2008, exclusively in digital format through Amalgam.[21] Halfway House was released when Budden's planned second studio album, Padded Room, had been pushed back.[22][23] Its release marked Joe Budden's first return to the Billboard 200 in five years, and approximately 3,000 downloads were sold in its first week of release.[24][25] The album is notable for featuring the first collaboration between the four members of Slaughterhouse on the track, "Slaughterhouse." Padded Room was eventually released in February 2009 and debuted at #42 on the US Billboard 200 chart and #2 on the Top Independent Albums chart, with 13,451 copies sold in the first week of release.[26] Escape Route followed in August 2009, met with positive reception from critics.[27][28]

2008–2017: Slaughterhouse, final solo albums and retirement

After the positive reception to the track the "Slaughterhouse" featuring Crooked I, Royce da 5'9", Joell Ortiz and Nino Bless on Halfway House, Budden and the other artists expressed interest in forming a group. Minus Nino Bless, the group formed in late 2008 and named themselves after the first song they made together.[29] The group released numerous songs throughout early 2009, leading up to their self-titled debut album Slaughterhouse, released through E1 on August 11, 2009.[30] The album features production from, among others, The Alchemist, DJ Khalil, and Mr. Porter, plus a guest appearance from Pharoahe Monch.[31] The positive reception to the group's debut album led the group to sign a deal with Eminem's Shady Records on January 12, 2011.[32]

In early 2012, Budden and Emanny teamed up with a few producers to form the group SLV (Summer Leather Vest). Budden and Emanny are the only two vocalists.

Slaughterhouse released a mixtape titled On The House in promotion for their second album. The group's second studio album Welcome to: Our House was released under Shady Records on August 28, 2012, debuting on the Billboard 200 at No.2 and No.1 on the Billboard Top Rap Albums, selling 52,000 copies its first week. The album features many guest appearances, most notably from Eminem, Skylar Grey, Busta Rhymes, Cee Lo Green, Swizz Beats and B.o.B, and production by Alex da Kid, No I.D., AraabMuzik, Mr. Porter, among others.

On November 9, 2012, announced that Budden's mixtape A Loose Quarter would be released at midnight on November 23, 2012, but was released three days early.[33][34]

In late 2012, Budden began working on his sixth studio album, No Love Lost. The first official single was "She Don't Put It Down", featuring fellow rapper Lil Wayne and R&B singer Tank. The song debuted on the Billboard Hot 100 at number 96, marking Budden's first appearance on the chart in almost ten years since his debut single "Pump It Up" back in 2003. Budden released a remix for "She Don't Put It Down" with additional verses from Fabolous and Twista. The second single from the album was "N.B.A. (Never Broke Again)" featuring Wiz Khalifa and French Montana.[35] Budden released music videos for "She Don't Put It Down", "Castles", and "N.B.A". No Love Lost would debut at number 15 on the Billboard 200 selling 30,000 copies in its first week. By March 20, 2013, the album had sold 60,000 copies.[36] Budden also co-starred on Seasons 3-4 of the VH1 reality show Love & Hip Hop: New York beginning in 2013.

Budden released an EP titled Some Love Lost on November 4, 2014, which received generally positive reviews from critics. The EP contained songs from a larger project to be called All Love Lost.[37][38] On July 1, 2015, Budden released a new song on SoundCloud titled "F'em All".[39]

On July 12, 2014, he participated in a Total Slaughter rap battle event against Hollow Da Don. The judges gave the victory to Hollow in a unanimous decision.[40]

On July 2, 2016, Budden released a diss track primarily aimed at Canadian rapper Drake entitled "Making A Murderer Part I", though he also takes shots at Meek Mill in the song. He went on to explain in his podcast that the diss was not personal, done for the competition and sport, and that he has no gripe with either artist.[41]

In 2017, Budden created and co-hosted a show for Complex titled Everyday Struggle, which he hosted with DJ Akademiks and broadcaster Nadeska Alexis. The show would focus on news and rumours in hip-hop music, and aired its first episode on April 17, 2017. Budden left the show in December 2017.

Budden announced his last solo tour dates on May 16, 2016.[42] He released his final solo album, produced entirely by AraabMUZIK entitled Rage & The Machine on October 21, 2016. In 2017, Budden announced his retirement from solo work, but stated he would remain active as a member of Slaughterhouse. In 2018, he announced he was retired entirely from rapping.[43]

2018–present: Revolt and Spotify

On May 14, 2018, Budden announced a partnership with Sean Combs and his media company, Revolt. Budden confirmed he would produce a show titled State of the Culture, slated for a summer 2018 release. Budden also confirmed he would co-host the show along with fellow rapper Remy Ma. The show premiered on September 10, 2018.[44]

Budden returned to Love & Hip Hop: New York for season 9.[45]

The Joe Budden Podcast

In February 2015, Budden began releasing a weekly podcast, then known as I'll Name This Podcast Later, along with Rory Farrell and Marisa Mendez. Mendez left and was replaced by Jamil "Mal" Clay for episode 77, after which it became most commonly known as The Joe Budden Podcast. During the summer of 2018, The Joe Budden Podcast began touring, with live performances throughout the U.S.[46] In August 2018, Budden signed a deal to bring his podcast to Spotify and expand the show to a bi-weekly schedule, with new episodes every Wednesday and Saturday.[47]

Personal life


Budden has two children.[48] His oldest son, Trey, was born when Budden was 21 years old. In 2010, a warrant for Budden was issued by the Hudson County, New Jersey, Sheriff's Office for unpaid child support.[49] His second son, Lexington, was born in December 2017 to Budden and Cyn Santana. Budden became engaged to Santana in December 2018, after proposing during a live episode of The Joe Budden Podcast[50] in New York.[51] The couple have since called off their engagement.

On March 30, 2012, Budden spent a night in jail and missed a Slaughterhouse concert in his home town over a $75 parking ticket.[52]

In 2014, Budden was briefly wanted by the New York Police Department after allegedly assaulting his girlfriend and stealing her cell phone. He later turned himself in[53] and appeared in Manhattan Criminal Court on charges of assault, grand larceny and robbery.[54]

Budden has used MDMA or "Molly", but has been off the drug and has publicly spoken out against its use.[55]



On June 25, 2017, during the BET Awards pre-show, Budden and his Everyday Struggle co-hosts conducted an interview with Atlanta rap group Migos, where tensions rose between Budden and Migos member Takeoff after DJ Akademiks questioned his absence on Migos' 2016 hit single Bad and Boujee. Budden walked off set and a momentary standoff occurred between himself and the group.[56] Migos member Quavo referred to Joe Budden in "Ice Tray" by Atlanta Record Label Quality Control Music stating "If a n***a hatin' call him Joe Budden"[57]


Budden has been publicly criticised for his perceived views on homosexuality. Budden was accused by Uproxx's Aaron Williams and Billboard's Michael Arceneaux of homophobia by criticizing the cover of Lil Yachty's debut studio album Teenage Emotions, which features two gay men kissing in the upper left corner. Budden branded Yachty "fruity" and stated he was "not hip-hop" and "ruining the culture". Budden was also criticised for satirizing ILoveMakonnen's decision to publicly come out as gay on Twitter.[58][59]


Studio albums
Collaboration albums



Year Title Role Notes
2003 Hip Hop Babylon Himself Documentary
2012 Something from Nothing: The Art of Rap
2013 Can't Forget New Jersey Documentary; Post-production


Year Title Role Notes
Love & Hip Hop: New York Himself Recurring Cast (Seasons 3-4)
Main Cast (Season 9–present)
2015 Couples Therapy Himself Main Cast, Season 6
2018 State of the Culture Himself Host, Creator and Executive producer
2019 Boomerang Director Episode: "Game Night"

Video games

Year Title Role Notes
2003 Def Jam Vendetta Himself Voice
2004 Def Jam: Fight for NY

Awards and nominations

  • Grammy Awards
    • 2004, Best Male Rap Solo Performance: "Pump It Up" (nominated)
  • Other awards
    • 2003 Vibe Next Award (winner)
    • United Kingdom, MOBO (Music of Black Origin) Award for "Clubbin" with Marques Houston (nominated)
    • United Kingdom, MOBO (Music of Black Origin) Award for Best Rap Performance (nominated)
    • 2004 Black Reel Award for Best Song from a Movie for "Pump It Up" in 2 Fast 2 Furious (nominated)


  1. Dize, Ellin M. "Dize: Regular People Are Awakening at a Rapid Rate". Carroll County Times. Baltimore Sun Media. Archived from the original on October 21, 2017. Retrieved November 18, 2017.
  2. Jason Birchmeier. "Joe Budden - Music Biography, Streaming Radio and Discography - AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved March 11, 2015.
  4. Garrett, Ural (October 4, 2016). "Joe Budden Talks Balancing Rap Life & Podcast Life & Upcoming 'Rage & Machine' Project With Araabmuzik _ HipHopDX". HipHopDX.
  5. Birchmeier, Jason. "Joe Budden Biography & Awards". Allmusic. Rovi Corp. Retrieved July 18, 2012.
  6. McCall, Tris. "Joe Budden to headline rare Stone Pony hip-hop show", The Star-Ledger, May 10, 2010. Accessed September 2, 2019. "'Even if I didn't try to make the music personal, emotional, if I started out trying to write something that wasn't like that, the pen would go in a totally different direction,' says Budden, who attended Lincoln High School in Jersey City."
  8. Bottomley, C. (May 5, 2003). "Joe Budden: Pump up the Volume". VH1. Viacom International Inc. Retrieved July 19, 2012.
  11. "Ailing Vandross Dances Atop Album Chart". Retrieved December 27, 2013.
  12. Bush, John. "Original Soundtrack 2 Fast 2 Furious". Allmusic. Rovi Corp. Retrieved July 21, 2012.
  13. "Def Jam Vendetta Original Soundtrack". Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd. Retrieved July 21, 2012.
  14. "Marques Houston - Chart history - Billboard". Retrieved August 2, 2017.
  15. "Joe Budden leaves Def Jam". October 10, 2007. Retrieved February 27, 2011.
  16. "New CD's". The New York Times. January 16, 2006.
  17. "Joe Budden Signs with Amalgam Digital, Preps Retail Release of Mood Muzik 3 - XXL". December 26, 2007. Retrieved February 15, 2013.
  21. "iTunes - Music - Halfway House by Joe Budden". iTunes. Retrieved November 14, 2013.
  22. "Joe Budden sophomore LP, Padded Room, pushed back until 2-24-09, Amalgam Digital and Joe Budden to release all new digital album only, the Halfway House in its place". September 17, 2008. Retrieved November 14, 2013.
  23. "ILLROOTS | 'Padded Room' Pushed Back". September 16, 2008. Retrieved November 14, 2013.
  24. Paine, Jake (November 5, 2008). "Hip Hop Album Sales: The Week Ending 11/2/08". HipHopDX. Retrieved November 14, 2013.
  26. Muhammad, Latifah (February 6, 2013). "Joe Budden's No Love Lost Expected To Sell 25-30K In Its 1st Week - Hip-Hop Wired". Retrieved November 16, 2013.
  29. "FEATURE: Crooked I, The Freestyler". Archived from the original on December 23, 2009. Retrieved February 27, 2011.
  30. "Slaughterhouse". Allmusic. Retrieved March 30, 2012.
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  32. RealTalkNY (January 12, 2011). "Eminem Officially Signs Slaughterhouse & Yelawolf To Shady Records". Retrieved February 27, 2011.
  33. "Mixtape Release Dates: Joe Budden, Wale, Pusha T, Young Jeezy". HipHop DX. Retrieved November 19, 2012.
  34. "Joe Budden - A Loose Quarter Hosted by Mood Muzik Ent". November 20, 2012. Retrieved February 15, 2013.
  35. Ryon, Sean (November 28, 2012). "Joe Budden Announces New Single With Wiz Khalifa & French Montana "N.B.A. (Never Broke Again)"". HipHop DX. Retrieved February 15, 2013.
  36. "Hip Hop Album Sales: The Week Ending 2/10/2013". HipHopDX. Retrieved February 13, 2013.
  37. Edwin Ortiz. "Joe Budden Plans to Release New EP & Album This Year". Complex. Retrieved March 11, 2015.
  38. "Joe Budden opens his depressing diary on 'Some Love Lost' (album review)". Retrieved March 11, 2015.
  39. Schwartz, Danny (July 1, 2015). "Joe Budden Announces Release Date For "All Love Lost"". Retrieved April 7, 2016.
  40. Trevor Smith. "Joe Budden Loses "Total Slaughter" Battle Against Hollow Da Don [Update: Watch The Battle]". HotNewHipHop. Retrieved March 11, 2015.
  41. "I'll Name This Podcast Later Episode 71". Retrieved August 26, 2017.
  42. "Budden announces last tour dates". hiphop-n-more. May 16, 2016. Retrieved May 16, 2016.
  43. Breakfast Club Power 105.1 FM (August 29, 2018), Joe Budden Talks Leaving Complex, Relationship with Eminem, Industry Moves + More, retrieved September 1, 2018
  44. Lamarre, Carl (May 14, 2018). "Joe Budden Inks REVOLT TV Deal With Sean 'Puff Daddy' Combs: Exclusive".
  45. PM, Janice Williams On 11/26/18 at 4:14 (November 26, 2018). "How to watch the premiere of 'Love & Hip Hop New York'". Newsweek.
  46. "The Joe Budden Podcast With Rory & Mal". July 26, 2018.
  47. "'The Joe Budden Podcast' Lands Exclusive Partnership with Spotify". August 22, 2018.
  48. LLC, Empire BBK, (August 10, 2017). "How Many Kids Does Joe Budden Have? - Cyn Santana - EMPIRE BBK".CS1 maint: extra punctuation (link)
  49. Conte, Michelangelo. "Jersey City rapper owes $13K in child support, sheriff's office says". NJ.Com. NJ Advance Medai. Retrieved June 27, 2016.
  50. Centeno, Tony M. "Joe Budden Proposes to Cyn Santana During His Live Podcast - XXL". XXL Mag.
  51. "Joe Budden Podcast Tour". December 30, 2018.
  52. "#22: Joe Budden Misses Concert Because of $75 Parking Ticket — The 25 Biggest Hip-Hop Fails of 2012". Complex. Retrieved February 15, 2013.
  53. "Wanted rapper, Joe Budden lashes out at NYPD". Fox News. Retrieved March 11, 2015.
  54. "Rapper Joe Budden surrenders to police to face charges that he allegedly beat and robbed his ex-girlfriend". Daily Mail. Retrieved May 22, 2017.
  55. "Video: Joe Budden Speaks On Molly Addiction". RealTalk NY. Retrieved March 11, 2015.
  56. "Migos clashes with Chris Brown, Joe Budden on BET Awards night". NY Daily News. Retrieved June 26, 2017.
  57. "Ice Tray". Genius. Retrieved September 26, 2019.
  58. "Joe Budden's Homophobic Lil Yachty Comments Are What's Bad For Hip-Hop". May 2017.
  59. "As Coming Out Becomes More Common, Is Hip-Hop Less Homophobic?". Retrieved August 26, 2017.
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