As publications and personalities put out their top lists, it often creates controversy and disagreements based on the rankings. But with the latest list, although some may feel like there were errors and omissions, it at least got the top slot correct. Complex Hip-Hop Media Power Ranking placed hip-hop media personality, Joe Budden at the top of the list.
Few will argue with that selection, as Budden seems to capture the attention of most who tune in and is usually the most listened-to podcast in the music category on iTunes and other platforms.
In an interview with his former employer, he told Complex that he believes hip-hop media personalities are becoming bigger than hip-hop recording artists. With the popularity of rappers Budden, N.O.R.E. (Capone-N-Noreaga), Gillie Da Kid, Caresha Please (Yung Miami- City Girls), and Math Hoffa all appearing in the top ten, Budden may have an excellent point.
The Jersey City-bred Budden stated that he realized the strength of media personalities when he initially joined DJ Akademiks during their stint at Everyday Struggle. But, even so, his approach is different than his contemporaries and may be the reason he is able to also land in the number one slot on an almost weekly basis when it comes to podcasts.
“I think my role is to deliver perspective the way that probably only I can because my perspectives come from my very unique experiences. I kind of pride myself on being that Swiss army knife guy in music, right? Like, I’ve been robbed by managers, robbed by business accountants, robbed by lawyers, independent deals, major deal in a group—f**king, like, reality tv, digital mixtape, you name it. I’ve kind of been there a little bit. So that’s what I try to do. And the flip side of that is, I know most of the people I’m talking about, that’s where it gets tricky. So, I mean, you gotta be true to self and you have to be true to your relationships with all of these people. It’s a constant juggling act. Many phone calls, many texts. But I love it. I live this s**t.”
He also notes that it’s not really journalism for him, but more so entertainment when it comes to his commentary.
“It’s 100 percent entertainment. It’s definitely entertainment. If it wasn’t entertainment, then I would be spending the night outside of NBC trying to get on their news channel. I’d be at Vice, “Hey, let me be your something.” But it’s entertainment first. It’s probably journalism second [laughs]. For me.”
He does understand that his role and the role of others in the space are probably more important to the listening audience than the rappers they listen to.
“Well, s**t, I learned that when I started working here [at Everyday Struggle]. Because I was coming in every morning with Ak and all the young people in my life were familiar with him. I wasn’t. So it was like, “Oh s**t, this guy’s got some following somewhere.” Like, let me get hip. And then the rappers often will—let me find a nice way to say this—the rappers see the media people as an opportunity sometimes, and they will attach themselves or attempt to attach themselves to that person for rollout purposes. I’ve seen ‘em do it with Ak a million times. I don’t play with those games like that.”
To read more of Budden’s insights and how his mind thinks, check out the full interview here.