Joe Budden on Jay-Z Allegedly Demanding $250,000 for a Verse: 'That's a Rumor'

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Joe Budden is casting doubt on one of hip-hop’s most amusing rumors.

During a recent appearance on Revolt TV’s Drink Champs, the outspoken media figure was pressed about his “Pump It Up” remix and his failed attempt to secure a Jay-Z feature. It’s been reported that Hov was willing to contribute the verse for a jaw-dropping $250,000. Though Budden previously claimed that Hov’s demands were justifiably “big,” he could not confirm the exact amount Jay had requested.

“That’s a rumor,” Budden said during the sit-down at the 5:30 mark. “I didn’t personally ask him. I couldn’t personally speak to him.”

Though he didn’t specify where he first heard the rumor, Budden told DJ EFN and N.O.R.E. that A&R Skane is the one who contacted Jay about the feature. He insisted he never ranted about the purported $250,000 demand, but simply didn’t know “how to receive it.”

“I just know that I don’t have 250 grand,” he said, before mentioning Webb, an executive producer of his 2003 debut studio album. “I think Webb put the battery in my back. [He said], ‘You gon’ let him do that? Nah, you gotta get to the studio right now!’”

Budden addressed the rumor last year during an episode of the Flip Da Script podcast, saying Jay’s alleged fee request was steep, but warranted.

“I don’t think it was a big number. I think that was his number,” he explained. “It was just big in my world, but it wasn’t a big number … Listen, I’m super young in that moment. I wasn’t in the studio when they [Jay and Budden’s A&R, Skane] had the conversation. I knew that they had some type of relationship. It was a Just Blaze beat, and I was green behind the ears. I mean, just thought that it would get done.”

While Budden may have entered the game as a recording artist, he’s found incredible success as a commentator. He told Drink Champs he’s heard the calls to release another studio album, but simply has no desire to create music.

“People are shocked by my resistance to that idea,” he explained, before touching on his podcast career. “They just don’t understand how liberating it feels. Wake up, I go down the street, I talk to my friends, and then I go home—twice a week. Just really sit with that.”

Budden said he started his current podcast 2015, a year before he dropped his most recent album, Rage & The Machine. but started creating digital content as far back in 2007, when he launched Joe Budden TV. He told the hosts he wasn’t monetizing at the beginning, but was fully committed to the project.

“I knew what I was doing creatively. Creatively only,” he said. “There was a return. There wasn’t a financial return, but there was a return for me.”

The Joe Budden Podcast—formerly known as I’ll Name This Podcast Laterwas originally co-hosted by Rory Farrell and Marisa Mendez; the latter left the show about a year later, and was replaced by Jamil “Mal” Clay. The trio had a successful run up until summer 2021, when Budden confirmed Rory and Mal were no longer part of the show.

N.O.R.E. pressed Budden about the departures and his public fallout with his former co-hosts. Budden declined to mention Rory and Mal by name, but said the drama escalated when they accused him of stealing their money. He didn’t provide details on the allegations, and told the hosts to direct their questions to Rory and Mal.

“I have nothing negative to say about anybody,” he said. “I like that everybody is where they wanna be, doing what they wanna do with the people they wanna do it with. I support that for everybody.”

You can check out the full Drink Champs episode above. Budden also addresses his relationship with Charlamagne tha God, the demise of Slaughterhouse, working with Peter Rosenberg, and why he referred to Michael B. Jordan as “corny.”

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