The Budden vs. Drake beef could have been great, it really could have been. During Drake’s beef with Meek Mill we witnessed a ferocious side of the Toronto legend-in-the-making that isn’t often displayed, so when a lyricist of Joe Budden’s caliber came at the current king, our fingers were crossed for a verbal war of words. Instead we received four unremarkable diss tracks from Budden, and a few sound bites from Drake talking shit during several of his sold out concerts.
Back in the day if someone dissed you, you had to respond. If you didn't you'd look weak; an emcee with a deficient lyrical skill set. Now the rules are less clear, and the reputation of an artist with mass appeal, like Drake, seemingly cannot be substantially blemished by a fellow artist (or the entirety of hip-hop, as Budden already admitted in the least hip-hop thing I’ve ever watched).
In a deleted Periscope podcast that recently surfaced, Budden admits publicly what most of us already knew -- that dissing Drake was pointless:
If’ I’m Drake, I’ve built my entire empire off said insecurity. So why would I want to get rid of it? I wouldn’t. That’s exactly why I stopped dissing him. It was pointless.
Here’s the thing. Budden was trying to make another backhanded dig at Drake with that comment, it just happened to be the absolute truth, and it’s a truth I personally believe Budden has known this entire time.
Joe Budden is a very intelligent man, and he’s had extensive experience within the music industry. Simply put, Budden knows how to spin things to his advantage. Similar to artists like 50 Cent and Kanye West, Budden understands there's no such thing as bad press anymore, removing pretty much all negative consequences from a potentially harmful decision like attacking the hottest rapper in the game.
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According to Budden, he basically stopped caring about the entire ordeal the moment he dropped the fourth diss track. He knew he had done his part and provided a narrative, to be warped and speculated upon by any entity that cared to do so.
While no one in their right mind thinks any of Budden's freestyles remotely affected Aubrey’s success, there’s no doubt whatsoever the incident has positively affected Budden’s:
I’m smoking hookah w my girl, why do I have 300 mentions cuz 2 top tier artists performed together ? … I’m lost.
Budden knows exactly what he’s doing. He knows exactly why Eminem coming out during Drake’s Detroit show is a relatively huge development in a sensationalized saga, and he knows exactly how much he’s profiting from it all. Budden has placed himself in the perfect position of no longer having to care while still profiting from the oddly, not-that-quickly waning interest of a frenzied fan base.
300 “Fuck @JoeBudden” tweets are still 300 tweets with Joe’s name in them, and in the #trendingtopic era, that’s a victory in and of itself.
By Brent Bradley. Take subliminal shots at him on Twitter.