Joe Budden has been a leader in the digital space for over a decade, forming the uber-successful I’ll Name This Podcast Later show in 2016. It has since seen many changes, including a slight name adjustment and their biggest money move yet, linking up with music streaming giant Spotify.

The Jersey rep spoke with EBONY about transitioning The Joe Budden Podcast with Rory & Mal over to the paid service, sharing that he and his co-hosts have yet to celebrate the deal. Instead, the focus for all parties involved has been on keeping the ball moving.

“We’re all pretty obsessed with the work, so we didn’t even really stop to celebrate. There was no wild party or big dinner, it’s just been a complete focus on work,” Budden shared. He went on, “I’m trying my best to keep things exactly the same. Spotify hasn’t changed my process other than doubling up. We do twice a week now. But the process is exactly the same, it’s me and my friends shooting the sh*t.”


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With so many streaming options available to consumers, Budden felt only Spotify truly understood his vision for the future of podcasting.

“We just had some of the same ideas about where podcasts are going, and that was the most important thing. I had spoken to some other companies and we just couldn’t seem to get on the same page as far as how to advance the genre. Once I met with Spotify and I realized we were on the same page, everything else was just minor details.”

The Joe Budden Podcast with Rory & Mal debuted its first Spotify-exclusive episode yesterday (Sept 12), where they chopped it up over Cardi B and Nicki Minaj’s current feud, the reconciliation of Meek Mill and Drake, the unexpected passing of Mac Miller and more. The collective also discussed part one of Eminem’s latest interview with Sway Calloway, but have yet to address part two, where the Detroit MC shared his thoughts on dissing his former artist, Budden, and discusses the state of their relationship.

Read Joey’s thoughts on the Shade 45 interview below:

EBONY: Have you seen part 2 of Eminem’s recent interview with Sway?

Budden: Yeah, I saw it.

What was your initial reaction?

If I’m answering honestly, my initial reaction was, ‘Wow, what the hell?’ Me being in media now, I’m reading the credits. This is a controlled interview executive produced by the label head and his manager. Then you have Sway, this legendary interviewer, not even fully capable of doing his job because he was brought in for some kind of journalistic credibility. He’s not even able to ask the questions he would like to ask because he works for Shady. He works for Shade 45. Like, can we get a real interview or not? [laughs]. That was my initial thought.

Would you say Em’s assessment of your relationship with him was accurate?

I would say my assessment of our relationship is accurate. We are not friends. We did not need an interview with him to confirm that him and I have never had Thanksgiving dinner together.

When it comes to analyzing any kind of art, what would you say is the difference between honest critique and, essentially, sh*t talking? Em clearly felt you were doing the latter with his music.

For me, honest critique is not all about your feelings and your ear. Honest critique is sitting down with an album that you may not put on in your spare time, and really digging into that album, so you can talk about the beat selection. You can talk about song concepts, that’s an honest critique. I try to honestly critique a lot, it just gets confusing because I’m a retired MC. So when these MC’s respond in an aggressive manner, a part of me still puts my MC hat on, and then I start talking sh*t.

Even in this podcast media lane, sometimes you still have to wear your MC hat and let people know how you feel about yourself as an MC, which is very confident.

On the latest episode of ‘The Joe Budden Podcast,’ you claim you never said you were better than Em, but you clearly said you feel like you’ve been better than him for the past decade on the previous show. Can you clarify that, because you know you’re going to be hit with the backpedaling or hypocrite talk.

You’re going to be hit with “hypocrite” anytime you throw something out there as concrete that’s subjective, so I do understand that. In my opinion, in the last ten years, yes, Eminem, who is in most people’s top five, has been underwhelming by his own standards, comparing him only to himself.

You’ve always celebrated and promoted talented wordsmiths—Black Thought, Jean Grae, your brother Royce, etc.—to the point where it was perceived that you viewed this certain type of hip-hop as superior. Not different, superior.  On your last podcast, however, you asked Eminem to cut the less-lyrical kids some slack and allow them the freedom to be creative, something you’ve been accused of NOT doing yourself.

I have been accused of that, but I do not think that is an accurate assessment of Joe Budden at all when people say those things, ever!

Listen, I was doing interviews where my passion came out when I wasn’t as skilled as an interviewer. And I think when I give honest critiques of some of the newer acts, it’s easy to assume I’m not f*cking with it because they’re not lyrical, they’re not wordsmiths. No, that hinders creativity.

I want to get us out of a place where the veterans are chastising the new artists and vice versa. I think we should all just support each other. There are things the ill MC’s can do that the other guys can’t, and it goes both ways. There’s no need to knock anybody when there’s enough money for everybody.

And you’re saying you’ve always felt this way?

Yes! Back in the day, as a wordy guy who had to come up with radio singles, I was impressed by the guys who were less-wordy and easy to understand. Anytime I even thought about dumbing down, I couldn’t do it. I realized that I can’t dumb down the same way they can’t write-up. It’s the same thing. They are finding success with what I’m calling a dumbed-down style, and I’m failing with the lyrical thing.

I’m not angry [laughs]! 

New episodes of The Joe Budden Podcast with Rory & Mal drop every Wednesday and Saturday on Spotify. Stay tuned for part two of our interview with Joe Budden, where we discuss new series, State of the Culture, making business moves with Diddy and the company culture of Revolt compared to his previous stomping grounds, Complex.