Joe Budden vs. Drake - Rd. 1
For weeks we waited for a response from Drake, or at least the infamous track that was alluded to in that snapchat months ago. Saturday, we finally got it on OVO Sound Radio, and it was WACK. Okay, it wasn’t totally wack, the track is solid and we’ll probably hear it for the next month straight. That aside, Drake should have done much more.
First, let’s establish a timeline for all of this:
· We’ll take this back to the top, May 4th Joe Budden dropped the podcast where he shared his opinion about Views. Nothing about that podcast was out of the norm, because Joe, Rory, and Marisa always discuss notable albums (rap, pop, whatever) when they drop. Joe is a Drake fan, and he has been for years, so he got into the album review a bit too much, probably.
· May 11th, Drake got on French’s snapchat talking about “pump, pump, pump it up.”
· June 29th, after waiting over 6 weeks for drake to drop his “response” Joe releases Making a Murderer Pt. 1
· July 6th, after waiting a few more days for a response (remember what Drake did to Meek?) Joe dropped a second track Wake
· July 16th, over two months after the snapchat, Drake finally drops No Shopping
· July 16th, a few hours after Drake dropped his verse, Joe responds with Afraid
Off top, I have to admit that Joe went a little overboard with the tweets, it was bordering on obsessive thot behavior. There’s this big misconception that Joe is doing this for attention; he is, but not for your attention. Joe is trying to get Drake’s attention, because he wants him to do better.
As evidenced by Drake’s verse on No Shopping, which Joe had heard two months ago, Joe was right to respond with diss tracks. It’s 2016, nobody says “pump it up” anymore, from the moment the snapchat dropped it was obvious a Joe diss was coming.
From the beginning of time, since MCs starting rapping, it was a well known fact that if anybody comes for you on wax, you gotta send shots back. It doesn’t matter if it’s a platinum artist, or some underground artist. Before 50 Cent was 50 Cent, when he came out and dropped How To Rob, Jay-Z heard that track and responded. The list of no name rappers Jay has dissed could be an article on its own, and if the GOAT of this rap shit can take time out of his day to shoot back, you can’t tell me that “Joe isn’t worth Drake’s time.” Rappers beef, that’s what they do. Some of the most iconic moments in rap history have stemmed from beefs, so don’t tell me that “Drake is too big to make diss tracks.”
Love Joe or hate Joe, he is still a legitimate rapper and comes with heavy bars every time. “Joe doesn’t have any hits, he’s not relevant.” Maybe you don’t realize this, because you’re a Drake fan and not a rap fan, but rap exists outside of what you hear on the radio. Joe is one of the realest MCs to ever do it, and Drake knows that. If you listened to Making a Murderer Pt. 1, then you heard that snippet of Drake slurping Joe before he really popped off and became who is today.
On No Shopping, Drake straight up says, “You let me turn into the n___a that you almost was,” and that is exactly why Joe has issue with where Drake is at right now. It is not that Joe is mad about how much more money Drake has made (newsflash, that’s not everything to everybody, some people make art for reasons other than cashing checks), Joe is disappointed in his son for the lack of growth that he is shown, and for shunning the rapper he could have been. From the beginning of this whole thing, Joe has repeatedly said that he just wants Drake to rap. Controlla is cool, One Dance is cool, and all these “bangers” that Drake puts out are cool, but he can do so much better. If Drake goes back to his roots, back to Blackberry Drake (the Drake that actually wrote his songs), the Drake we all actually fell in love with, he could be so much better. At this point in his career, Drake could hop on a track and rap about white socks (shoutout to Al Patron) and it would still ring out in every club and get spins on every radio station, so it’s not an issue of protecting his wave and cashing checks; it is just a deviation from his roots, and from this art.
All that, and we didn’t even get into the tracks. If you really listened to them, and weren’t just caping for your favorite artist, you know that Joe came at him with some real shit. When Making a Murderer Pt. 1 dropped, we were all talking about how Joe snapped and he really came hard at Drake, before everybody remembered that it’s not cool to rock with Joe like that. Same thing with Wake, he even hit him back with the same shit Drake did to Meek “I waited 5 days, where y'all at?” Finally, when Drake’s verse finally dropped on OVO radio, Joe fired right back with Afraid.
I listened to Drake’s verse on No Shopping at least 50 times when it dropped, and I swear to you I couldn’t see what everybody was saying with the whole “Drake just killed Joe, he doesn’t even need to drop anything else after this.” Do not get me twisted, it was okay. I counted 1 haymaker and 4 jabs, which isn’t horrible since it was just one verse as a feature on an album single. Drake isn’t Jay-Z, and Joe isn’t punk rapper, Drake doesn’t get to borrow what Jay did at the end of takeover and dismiss Joe on some shit like “And all you other cats throwing shots at Jigga / You only get half a bar - fuck y'all n____s.”
Drake needs to come with at least one more track. Drake needs to stop running from real MCs. Drake has a history of not trying to elevate his game when it comes to beefing with rappers that can actually come at hard. Sure, he dissed Meek, but his name is Meek for a reason. We all saw how he ran from things when Pusha T was coming for him.
Joe came at Drake with some things that genuinely need to be addressed, stuff that people have been saying for a minute now and it’s problematic. Meek was right about Drake and his ghostwriters. Equally shameful is what Joe called him out about, his hypocrisy of using people and discarding them once he’s sucked up all the energy from their wave. There is a reason The Weeknd doesn’t rock with Drake the way that he used to. There is a reason we haven’t heard Drake use a Zombie beat since Started From The Bottom, and I promise you that it isn’t because he’s not a good enough producer, because he is phenomenal. The list of people that Drake has used, and tossed, is at least as long as the list of people Jay has dissed and likewise, I won’t get into all of that here either.
If you haven’t listened to the three tracks Joe Budden has dropped so far about Drake, I seriously recommend that you go to listen to them; they are laced with haymakers, jabs, and real bars. Joe has made this about real rap, the same “real rap” that most of you have supposedly been waiting to hear again, and now that it’s here, you’re dismissing it because you don’t like the messenger – it’s not about the messenger, it’s about the message.
Drake, as a huge fan of yours, I am begging you to not take the easy way out here. I am begging you to hop on a track, your track with your bars, and get back to your roots. I am begging you to diss the living fuck out of Joe. Show Joe that he has no business talking to you like you are his son. Show Joe that the student has surpassed his master. Show the world that nobody can mess with you, and you rightfully own the crown as the king of this rap era, as you have often claimed. This isn’t beneath you, I promise; this is your right, this is your duty, and this is the only way that you can do right by the great rappers that came before you. You say that you’re “still off like the man that brought me in this thing,” what would Weezy do?