Please tell me there will be no more videos of you talking about Ransom.
No, not at all. I shouldn’t have made the first one.
Is there anyway you can get me that 25 minutes of my life back?
No. I’ll ask the higher power, but I doubt He’ll give it back to you. You shouldn’t have clicked on it!
See what you can do for me.
I’ll see if I can make a call.
But you can promise me that you’re officially done with Ransom.
I’m officially done with everybody. I don’t have any beef with anybody. I love everyone.
That’s good to hear. On a side note you called Ransom a “mental midget motherfucker” and you’ve used that insult on Halfway House as well. Are we going to see that on t-shirts soon?
(laughs) I might try and get something made up. Nah, but that’s not even something I really support like that. I don’t support anybody being a mental midget. The people that are that and that I call that are people that I would rather just not associate with.
In your opinion, what constitutes a “mental midget motherfucker” from someone who’s just not a genius?
Somebody who’s unintelligent and irrational for the most part, somebody who doesn’t comprehend well and doesn’t communicate well and doesn’t understand well, who doesn’t do anything well, whose brain doesn’t function normally, for the most part. A lot of times mental midgets don’t even understand what they’re being called when you call them a mental midget.
What did Ransom mean he said that you hung out with Charles Hamilton and the “dude who got kicked out of D12”?
I honestly have no clue. I have no idea. I wish I did know.
You said you have video footage of Ransom getting beat up. Is it safe to say that will never be released now?
No. No. Not at all. Not where I’m at right now, no. I’m not thinking about that.
When Ransom said that Fab was with your girl, you said it didn’t bother you. Why didn’t that get to you?
If I had any type of insecurity about my significant other, she wouldn’t be in front of the camera and I wouldn’t be with her. There’s not one man that can easily cause turbulence there, especially somebody like him. There’s nothing that anybody can say that would make me look at my girl, that I’ve been with forever and that I love so much, in a different light.
Was he just trying to get in your head?
No. A lot of people are not as emotionally stable as I am. Normally, under normal circumstances, if you talk about somebody’s girl, the person would go flying off his rocker and step to the dude and step to the girl but nah, that’s not that important to me.
And with everything, I feel I regressed for a few hours. Everybody makes mistakes but as long as you’re able to acknowledge it and correct them in the future, that’s the most important thing. That’s what I feel I was able to do.
Are video interviews going to take the place of diss songs?
It’s a new avenue and it’s a new outlet. Depending on the point and examples you’re trying to get across, it could be done on YouTube. If anybody has a really serious problem with somebody, I don’t think they’re going to go to YouTube. Obviously I wasn’t taking it that serious if I went to YouTube.
Your fans have been waiting for The Padded Room for a long time and it has been pushed back a few times. How far along are you on the album?
I’ve been finished with that for quite sometime. I’m with y’all. I’m just waiting for it to come out. It comes out on February 24 and I’m excited about it. I think the people will enjoy it. I hope the people will enjoy it.
Is Halfway House a good indicator of how The Padded Room will sound?
Not at all. Not at all. Halfway House was done in such a short amount of time and the overall feel of the Halfway Housie doesn’t even compare to The Padded Room. Padded Room is more upbeat and more uplifting. Padded Room is a whole different monster.
Will Padded Room get you a more mainstream fanbase?
I don’t concern myself with that. If I’m consistent and I’m blessed enough to continue and get better lyrically and musically and artistically and just as a person, period, then I think the chips are going to fall where they’re supposed to fall.
You said you rushed Halfway House. How did you put the project together?
I went and grabbed all of the dope beats I could find and I went in. I didn’t have too much time but I did the best that I could. I didn’t want to half-step it. I wanted to put my best foot forward and I think it was perceived that way.
On “Overkill” you called yourself the King of Jersey. What makes you the King of Jersey right now?
It’s more of an attitude and a mind state. When I moved to Jersey there were only so many people rapping for New Jersey in the fashion I was when I got put on. Everything out of my mouth was about Jersey and in Jersey City you have to say Joe Budden, maybe not in the same fashion, but Newark and Red and all the people before me and all the people that are still doing it. You just have to name Joe Budden. I call myself the king because I’m going to be a microscope for New Jersey now and for quite some years to come.
As far as looking at some of the best artists from Jersey, when will we get to hear you working with Redman and Treach?
I’m supposed to be on the next Naughty album. I’ve spoken with Treach. They sent me something and it’s ridiculous. I look forward to it.
What about you and Redman working together someday?
I think it would be dope. I am going to eventually reach out to him and hopefully he’s receptive to the idea. You know, I’m a fan and I’ve been a fan since ’91, since the EPMD days. I know what Red is capable of and what he does and I know he has classics under his belt. I know the person I’m reaching out to, like, I’m not just doing it because he’s from New Jersey.
On “On My Grind” you shout out Dunder Mifflin, which is the first time I’ve ever heard a rapper shout out The Office.
I love Dunder Mifflin! I love The Office. It’s one of my favorites.
Is there a character that you identify most with?
Not that I identify most with…I don’t know. I like Dwight. I like Michael Scott. I don’t know who I would identify with. Maybe Jim. I like Jim.
If you looked at hip-hop, who is the Dwight Schrute of hip-hop?
I actually got a few! (laughs) I got a few names but I’m not going to say them though because when I say people’s names apparently I get in trouble. I’m not saying anyone’s names. I’m only concerned with Joseph Anthony Budden, Jr.
Did you ever predict you’d have these kinds of problems with rappers?
Well, sometimes people have intentions and other things take place. Me and G Malone are great. Sometimes these problems that God puts in front of me, they actually turn into great relationships. Me and G Malone are great. There’s a few people that people assume there’s a problem with them and we have a relationship and it’s great.
Are you and Saigon done going back and forth?
I’m not sure. I can’t say what’s in that man’s mind. I don’t know. I would hope that we’re done. I would hope that there’s not an issue between me and him. I respect him as an artist. When I say I don’t have any problems with anybody I really don’t and that’s only me speaking for my end.
Getting back to my original question, you don’t want to give me the Dwight Schrute of hip-hop?
I don’t. I know it’s your job to ask that but then the person will get insulted and I’ll have to respond. We’re not going to bring in the new year in that way.
I can see how you’d think that would be an insult, but being called Dwight could actually be a compliment. He sells a lot of paper, is very resourceful about a variety of topics and is an all-around cool guy. I think Dwight’s a great guy.
Yeah. I agree with you. I think he is a great guy. But then again, when somebody has no idea who Dwight Schrute is and they go Google it and Dwight’s picture comes up, I don’t think that person will take that kindly. Let’s go with you then.
“Touch and Go” was a song that you really wanted to push when it dropped. Was that song a success for you?
I don’t know. I couldn’t really say. “Touch and Go” was the first song I recorded after we did Mood Muzik 3 and it was just so good to do something upbeat and up-tempo with just a feel-good vibe to it. It wasn’t something we recorded to knock ‘em out the park. It was just something we recorded after we did Mood Muzik 3. I think people were excited about it and I think that it did exactly what it was supposed to do. It was supposed to segue way me right out of that Mood Muzik 3 phase and I think it did that.
Are your hardcore fans more accepting of your up-tempo, more mainstream songs today?
I don’t know. I don’t know. I don’t know what they’ve adapted to but you got a lot of rappers out there who are underground and they can’t put an underground record out and they can’t put a girl record out. Their fans can’t picture it and radio can’t see it and for me to be able to play both sides of the fence, I love it.
The Padded Room is coming out on Amalgam Digital. What made you want to sign with them?
I wanted to pioneer something. I wanted to do something different. I wanted to go against the grain. I wanted to build and grow with a company and work with somebody who had the same passion and love for music that I did. And everything that I was looking for they combined it. That was a dope answer.
And faith is believing in something when you have absolutely no reason to. It’s not so much that they did something or that they showed me something. We sat down and we came to terms and we had our various conversations and I told them that I had faith that it was going to work out and I was going to drop everything and put it in God’s hands and pray for the best. And I had a great 2008. I can’t be mad at it at all. I’m thankful for them and I’m thankful for the fans for being so patient and hopefully things will get better for me.
A lot of fans are excited about your new supergroup Slaughterhouse. How did the idea for the group come about?
We did the “Slaughterhouse” song on Halfway House and it was so great and it was so easy to do it. We all kind of had relationships with one another. We all have our own individual careers and our own talents and our own things going on but, you know, as a collective, what’s fucking with that? We just thought it was a great idea and something that we should continue doing. It wasn’t anything that we sat down and purposely planned, like the name Slaughterhouse. We sat down and we spoke about it and then we just started rolling.
Every MC is a great artist but individually each artist has had trouble putting official albums out. With all of you together I’m afraid we won’t get the album until 2020.
Not at all. No way. I wouldn’t say that at all. I’m not going to speak too prematurely and get the fans excited about a date that’s not going to happen but this is something that we are all whole-heartedly working on. We’re not half-assing it just for buzz’s sake. This is something that when we all come together and do this album, which will more than likely be this year. Crooked's album is dropping. He's dropping his own shit this year. Royce’s album is coming out shortly in March. Joell’s album is coming out in 2009. My album, I’m probably going to put two albums out in 2009. Realistically, you can see a Slaughterhouse album in 2010. That’s just me jumping the gun though.
Officially, Slaughterhouse is just you, Crooked I, Joell Ortiz and Royce Da 5’9”, right?
Yeah. That’s the foundation. That’s where it starts but ultimately we want it to kind of be a cult thing. We want it to kind of end up like Fight Klub where there are Slaughterhouse members in every state where there are niggas that really appreciate wordplay and lyrics and have that same hunger and passion for the overlooked side of music.
I think a lot of fans will think that you’ll get a lot of hot verses but not a lot of cohesive songs with you guys. Do you see that being an issue?
Not at all. Not at all. I mean, you would think that because that’s something that we all do so well but not at all. Where their brains can go creatively as well as myself, there’s no way you’d get a bunch of 16s with a bunch of fucking bullshit braggadocios talk. We’re all way deeper than that. We’re not letting that happen. I wouldn’t let that happen and I’m sure I speak for everybody else when I say I wouldn’t let that happen.
How do the four of you work together on songs?
When we start recording Slaughterhouse material we’re going to all be together. We’re not going to be mailing verses back and forth. For “Slaughterhouse” we did that but not for “Onslaught.” We’ll be together at the end of this month for a Slaughterhouse show at S.O.B.’s. We’re probably going to be in the studio. We’re going to be together. We’re not going to be just mailing verses back and forth.
You said we would get two albums from you in 2009. What’s going on with the second album?
It’s called R.E.D.I. – The Realest to Ever Do It.
What can you tell us about that one?
I don’t even want to talk about it. I got an album coming out February 24 called Padded Room. I don’t really want to talk about that album just yet.
So call you back in March about that?
How ‘bout mid-March?
Okay. Looking at Padded Room, you have your first leak “The Future” with Game. How did that song come about?
We had a great time in the studio. We had a great time in L.A. We hung out. We played ball. We did some regular nigga shit. We didn’t do no rapper fronting shit. We just hung out. We got to know one another. Pause. Pause.
You and Game got started off on the wrong foot over a DJ Clue freestyle. How did you guys get on the same page?
It was God. It was God, man. It’s all I can really say. We’re both old enough and successful enough and retrospective enough to say that was stupid, kind of like what I did with the Ransom thing. It was stupid and we did that. Sometimes you beef with dudes and it blossoms into beautiful, beautiful friendships.
Are you trying to dead all your beefs?
I’m not trying to dead shit. Don’t get me confused. I’m not going out of my way to not have occurrences with anyone but when you’re mature you cross that bridge when you get there. You don’t walk to the bridge.
You just started Joe Budden TV. How important do you think that will be for you?
I think it’s real important. I think it’s been real important. I just think that for me to have a massive internet presence, I need to look that way and it needs to be that way. We might as well go all out. Joe Budden TV has been great for the bullshit with this guy and the fans are having a great time. The YouTube page is doing great and everything is going great. All the dots will connect soon.
Do you enjoy doing the video thing more than the written blog for XXL?
(laughs) Yeah. My written blog thing didn’t last too long. I love Eskay. That’s my man. But I couldn’t sit down and type for however long I had to do it.
It wasn’t bad when you did it, it’s just that a new one came every six months.
(laughs) I might need to do another one real quick just to show niggas that I can still blog. I type at one word per minute.
We could get you the Mavis Beacon typing software.
Get me a fucking assistant to do it for me. I’ll be posting two times a day.
We got through a whole interview with no questions on Jay-Z. Is that okay?
This might be a first for us, man. That’s great. Let’s leave it just the way it is.
It’s not too late.
No. No. It’s cool. I like it just like this.