Say What, Say What? Joe Budden

Thun: Okay, T.R.O.Y. Nation, get a load of this shit. Vibe.com, that renowned purveyor of controversial rankings, is running an NCAA-styled tournament media stunt titled “The Best Rapper Ever.” In the video you see embedded above, sorta famous but not especially popular one-hit-blunder Joe Budden expressed extreme disapproval. Being the self-absorbed half-wit that we all know him to be, he takes his #32 ranking within his bracket as some kind of insult and goes on a ten minute rant which culminates in the claim that he is a better rapper than the majority of those ranked in the entire tournament. Needless to say, I’m not co-signing this, and his twittered caveat about considering how these artists would fare on the mic “now” is not convincing in the least.

Philaflava: Is this the guy who recently took the L from Saigon or the one who blamed Def Jam on his lack of success due to the way his name (Buddens) was marketed, because sometimes I confuse the two.

Thun: I dunno but I’m pretty sure this is the guy whose voice was actually improved by developing polyps in his throat. Now he’s on YouTube accusing Vibe of not knowing hip hop history or the craft of emceeing in the same breath he claims to have never heard of Cowboy from the Furious Five. That’s the thing about self-serving, heavy-handed agendas – they make you look dumb.

Philaflava: In any event, I think he is looking at this Vibe bracket all wrong. Sure there are some weak opponents and sure there are some questionable rankings, but to imply he’s better than “half” of the list (64 rappers) is just asinine. He’s practically saying he’s better than Puba, AZ, MF Doom, Black Thought and Method Man just in that 10 minute clip.

Thun: Puba? Really? Budden – you have a song better than “Wake Up?” A party classic better than “360”? A club song more memorable than “I Like It”? Say what say what? AZ? You can flow better than his verse on “Life’s A Bitch?” It must take incredible willpower to NEVER exercise that option, dun!

Philaflava: The difference is Budden has two albums to his name, both were nothing to write home about while the others catalogs run circles around him.

Thun: Budden has two albums out? Not mixtapes … not Imeem play lists … not vidoes of his wife and kids doing household chores … but albums? Was this news made available beyond his first cousins and weed connect?

Philaflava: Unfortunately, Budden is gonna go out like Stephen F. Austin of this tournament, but hey, there is always the NIT of Rap tournaments to look forward to. Either way, Joe should check himself if thinks he’s better than half that list.

Thun: This video is maddening. Now, don’t get me wrong – any respectable rapper should be offended if they are ranked lower than Lil’ Bow Wow and MC Hammer. But that’s where Budden’s legitimate grievances end. But, no. Instead of being thankful he was even acknowledged at all, he passively aggressively mutters names on the list and makes faces at the camera, implying but not directly stating that he feels that he is a superior rapper to people like Melle Mel and Chubb Rock, who tour and rock guest appearances to this day. All this delivered with the level of maturity and poise commonly associated with a flustered second grader who was picked last for the kickball team.

Philaflava: We got your back Quincy J. Oh , and Blackout 2 is out there now – the plot thickens.

Thun: To all aspiring young rappers who are witnessing such lunacy and don’t know what to make of it: learn from this fiasco. Shit-eating smugness is not flow. Asshole-ishness is not lyricism. Twitter is not a respected discography. Tricking on a video model is not creating memorable lyrics. Tattoos are not genre-changing albums. Challenging rappers who paved the way for you and have no need whatsoever to even acknowledge your punk ass to some imaginary war of hackneyed sports punchlines is not a good look.

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67 Responses to “Say What, Say What? Joe Budden”

  1. Robbie says:

    ^ That last paragraph should be engraved on a stone tablet.

  2. Cenzi Stiles says:

    "Shit-eating smugness is not flow. Asshole-ishness is not lyricism. "

    could not agree more. I always thought that about Budden.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Budden stays taking L's in '09

  4. The Piff says:


  5. Cenzi Stiles says:

    Grand Puba said it already: "Slow Dooooooown… "

  6. Antonio says:

    I did not watch the video because I am not interested. That said, I think you guys are a bit too tough on Joey. Sure, he is immature at times, but he is a good rapper. This does not mean he is better than the ones he was making faces about, obviously, but he still got lyrics.

  7. Dev4Mil is here says:

    I think Joe's concept of the list is dead-wrong and that's where he has it twisted. For one, he's looking at it from a strictly lyrical point of view, which is likely not all the criteria was based on. For two, he's looking at it from the "now" perspective when it's clearly being used as an "all-time" list.

    Hell, even I'd say Joe has the edge on certain rappers from that list NOW. But on an all-time level? He's lucky he even made the list. I don't take anything away from his talents, and I think they run a lot deeper than "Pump It Up"… but I don't think Joe realizes that his contributions as an artist in hip-hop are on an extremely small scale, possibly even less so than those of Bow Wow (who DEFINITELY doesn't belong on that list anywhere). Sure, when you look at guys like Puba and Chubb Rock, you realize that it's been AGES since their last great record. But it's ALL-TIME. And both Chubb and especially Puba have had hotter points in their careers than Joe has had.

    Now as far as the Meth sh*t, he did a lot of baiting on Twitter. The way he went about it, there's really no other way for Meth to take it but disrespectfully. But at this point, now that they've both had their say on that matter, I don't wanna hear about what was said on Twitter or on the radio anymore- it's time for them to do what Meth said he'd do: get on the same track and let the people decide who bodied it. OR go at eachother and let the people decide. Then, Joe can either live up to what he said or be forced to eat those words.

  8. Jadakiss says:

    Has Joe made a good album yet? I'm still waiting.

  9. Gloss says:


    Kiss' guest spots > Joe's entire career

  10. VegaTheChosen says:

    Great read, and speaking of that now "BEEF!" between Joey and Meth, Method Man Tical>>>>> Joe Budden everything, I like Joe but when you're arguing with a guy who has a bonafied CLASSIC album and that's not using the term loosely a real CLASSIC and you have nothing but lukewarm albums and a few great mixtape songs at best to bring to the table who really wins? Yea you're a great lyricist Joe no denying that you've said some ill shit but to say you're better than Method Man, a legend in the rap game with 2 GREAT albums (in my opinion) is really a tough argument I mean if Joey can point me in the direction of a song he had better than "The What" then i'll give him a chance against Meth

  11. AkeeleeNorfCack says:

    I think the author of this is extremely biased against Joe. lol. I mean it seems like he already has his opinions on the man aside from this particular incident. Anyways, personally I'm a fan of Budden and while I don't agree with everything he says, I DO agree that he IS better than a great majority of the list. Over 60 though? That I'm not sure of. I mean it's so many facets into what makes a great emcee so it really depends on what your own classification is. I mean I love Grand Puba as much as the next man but he has never been the best lyricist, same for Tupac, ODB, etc. They just have other intangibles that make them great. I value Joe as an emcee because he can make any type of music. I agree with him that majority of the list is bullshit. I mean Plies? Are you fuckin serious? And Bow Wow? I don't even think you should be included on ANY list if you don't write your own rhymes. And are you really telling me that Trick Daddy or Too Short would stand a chance lyrically against a Black Thought or Pharoah Monch? If you are just going by line for line lyrics, Joey is right, this list would be TOTALLY different.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Joe Budden is not that fresh yo, point blank. He had one joint. One. Pump it up? That wasn't even THAT fresh. I just liked the part about my jumpoff blazay blah… whateva Joe PEACE

  13. Spick Rick says:

    I don't know man.

    I don't think Joe Buddens ranks better than Grand Puba and them… But I mean we can't throw the baby out with the bath water. There are some wack muthafuckas on that list. And he is right about that shit.

    Will Smith has no business ranking over Chubb Rock.

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