Joe Budden can do most things on his own, but taking a photo is not one of them.
“I can’t take a selfie, I missed that generation. I passed it,” the supa emcee says of the national social media pastime. “I feel like any time a guy extends his elbow like this [poses] it’s awkward and wrong. It just shouldn’t be done. But I have no problem asking a stranger or a by-passer ‘Hey, pardon me, can you take a picture?’ I still believe in humanity that way—unless you’re in New York. Them n*ggas are like ‘fuck you.’”
Nevertheless, Budden still manages to capture plenty of digitized memories to share with his 829,000 followers on Instagram. In between posts of his girlfriend, his dog and recording in the studio you can catch him in the club, skydiving and celebrating his birthday.
A few of the photos are with producer extraordinaire Abraham “AraabMuzik” Orellan, the sole producer on Joe’s latest project Rage and The Machine. The two have a working relationship that spans several solo mixtapes and albums, as well as songs for his group Slaughterhouse, so a joint album was long overdue. The album title reflects their duality, with the outspoken Budden representing the rage and the beat smith—known for his wizardy on an MPC—embodying the machine.
“Aarab is somebody that I not only have a working history with, but he and I have an amazing chemistry when we get together and we enjoy one another,” says Joe. “If I were gonna to do a joint project with one producer—though the list is very short—he’s right there at the top.”
One of Joe’s most recent Instagram flicks is with Grammy Award winning producer Just Blaze and Brooklyn rhyme vet Fabolous. Joe was in Hoboken, NJ shooting a video to the album’s third single, “I Gotta Ask.” (Watch it below).
“I was shooting the video and called Fab and then he was hungry so we ate. Then I called Just and he had to get some food for his girl. So we just met up at Del Frisco’s while I was shooting this video and I was savvy enough to have a camera man there to just take shots while I was talking to them. They were probably really uncomfortable and awkward but I didn’t care.”
“I Gotta Ask” is one of the stand-out tracks from Rage where AraabMuzik transforms Little Red Riding Hood’s shopping list from the musical “Into The Woods,” which then inspired Joe to paint inside the lines that Jay Z first sketched on 1998’s “Hard Knock Life,” which sampled the Broadway hit “Annie.”
“‘When I heard the beat it instantly brought me back to a different place in hip-hop, one that I was really fond of, one that felt really good and one that I maybe hadn’t been to in a while,” Joe says. “When I thought back on the records that helped to influence me and inspired me ‘Hard Knock Life’ was one of them. And Jay is one of the best to ever do it, so anytime you can pay homage to him and salute him and recognize him for all he’s accomplished you want to do that.”
While Joe also tips his fitted to Hov on the album’s closer “Idols,” some hip-hop fans with long memories will ask how Joe can praise someone now that he once sparred with on record.
“That’s a problem that we have in hip-hop,” Joe says in response to that critique. “When you say something on record people try to hold you to that for the rest of your life. I reserve the right to change my fuckin’ mind. I sent some shots at Hov when I felt like he sent some shots at me. I was in my 20s, young, angry and emotional. Today you grow up and mature past those things. I love Hov. I loved Hov even when I beefed with him. He’s one of the greatest talents we’ve ever seen in hip-hop.”
Based on that response it’s clear that Joe is about seeing the bigger picture. So watch as he talks talks about finally taking a photo with Carlos Boozer at Henny Palooza to prove once and for all that they were not the same person and whether he and Pusha T were talking about Drake while clubbing in D.C.