Almost Famous: Joe Budden
I was 19, no money in my pocket, no aspirations to be shit. My people when I tell you I was a fucking loser; I was a fucking LOSER. Then I went out with my cousins one night to this spot, and I was and still am younger than everybody; so we at this joint and a nigga tried to take a pic of us, and I almost broke the dudes face. Boom; they explained to me what and who he was, and cameras in the spot were a pat of life; Aight, bet, what the fuck ever. I’m BROKE; like BROKE that I am jumping the turnstile to get to work, and jumping it back to get home. Then one day I’m at a spot, back of the line, 19 years old and I hear someone tell me, “come thru” and it was D. Parris. Now I new who D. Parris was because he’s from Jamaica, Queens (the same hood I’m from) but how the fuck did he know me? I’m no more than 170lbs, and here this nigga that manages DJ Envy does talking to me, and acting like I’m somebody. So bet, I walk in the spot, and D. Parris takes me everywhere in the club; I got access that night that I couldn’t pay for. So boom, I’m the best photographer on earth according to me at this point. But really, who but me matters? (Still) Anyhow, I did the thing, and was about to leave. Next thing you know D. Parris grabs me like, “How much I owe you?” I’ve never been paid for my pictures yet, so a nigga from my hood to pay me was big. I said, ‘$75” but D. Parris gave me $300! Nigga, FUCK ALL OF YOU!!!!! I’m never doing shit for free again; humble beginnings, big payoff.
I was doing NUMBERS after that; not social media numbers but I was getting money, nobody could short me on my paper; but I was making “eh” money; until I met Joe Budden. I get it, you don’t like Joe because he tweets amongst us, and you think he’s like us, but he’s special. Forget rap for a second; no I will never rank Joe above Jay-Z, but as far as people being good people to me? Joe Budden is top 5! We were at a Lil’ Jon and/or Petey Pablo concert but this is 2003/4; I’m 19 or 20 years old and Joe Budden is Pump It Up Joe Budden. I’m working taking pics or whatever and I’m on stage, backstage, then I see Joe and he looked like he didn’t want to be bothered. And dig this, I hate being bothered so I understood the non-look “look” he gave me. Then it happened! Joe asks me, “You What’s Poppin, you too good to take my picture?” For the record, everyone called me “What’s Poppin”, anyway I went over and took Joe’s pic but he KNEW me. Not me personally but he paid attention to what I did, and the website. Boom, I took pics backstage, on stage, and did my fucking job that I knew would pay off in $ one day. So bet, I got outside, and I’m about to walk to the after party, and Joe Budden says, “Nah What’s Poppin, roll with me!” I’m 19, there’s no social media, there’s not SnappyChatty; it’s you and your reputation outside.
Bet! Joe had an H2 Hummer, I’m 19 my niggas, this is me with a rapper in his car and we rolling around NYC. So the spot we went to was a regular Thursday spot for me.; meaning the bouncers/security knew that’s where I belonged but walking it with Budden? I looked like a SOMEBODY! So as we walk in, I’m doing my flick it up thing, but Joe was handing out my Whatspoppin cards, and rocking with me like it was his site. That’s the night my site, and more importantly me, became someone important in NYC.
I get why Joe Budden is a punch line on social media, twitter aims high, and not only is Joe good at what he does rapping; he’s a better person.
One day 3 years ago, I’m at this brunch spot, and one of my “party” is a HUGE Budden fan. I ask Joe if he would take a pic with him, and Joe doesn’t hesitate. That’s not to make me seem important; that’s to show how in tune Joe is with people (not to say he’s perfect but show your hands if you are) EXACTLY!
Joe made me feel important as a 19-year-old BROKE ass nigga, and he had no reason to. I will always appreciate Budden for that, and will always wish him success but he just can’t write better than me cuz I’m me.