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Before Joe Budden became famous for his social media antics and reality TV foolishness, the New Jersey native gained notoriety for fusing emotional depth and razor sharp lyricism. The many layers of relation produced from Budden’s pain and suffering on wax is what core fans have come to appreciate most about the rapper.

Budden’s greatest music is often his darkest and most introspective ballads, be it on his intense bouts of drug abuse or many failed relationships. And while reality television may have skewed the public’s perception of his relationship with model Tahiri Jose, the truth remains that his 10-year history with her is of monumental significance and beyond the public’s understanding.

Post breakup (a very public one at that) and following allegations of the physical assault of one lady friend, Joey returns with Some Love Lost, which debuted today. The writing on the wall in his emotionally-charged, seven-track EP—inevitably pulling from true-to-life experiences—is bound to give fans raw insight into Budden’s current world.

Hip-Hop Wired: People like to forget that you are this bonafide MC before anything else. Before Twitter, before Love & Hip Hop, before reality TV. Do you care at all about social media and the way it might have skewed people’s perceptions of what you’re really about?

Joe Budden: No. I was taught long ago that those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind. My peers know of my talent and level of ability. My label knows, my consumers know. I’m not too concerned about the casual listener or the Love & Hip Hop Joe Budden fan, or the fan of Joe Budden’s Twitter account. Those people don’t really matter, they’re not very high on the scale.

HHW: I actually appreciated your response about getting booed during Total Slaughter, mostly because it piqued my curiosity. You said rappers shouldn’t try to rap over a crowd of booing. What do you have to say to people who feel that was a copout?

Joe Budden: A copout? Sh*t, I out-barred him [laughs]. With two rounds, when there was no booing. I don’t think logic would say that that’s a copout. I am aware that that’s the way I was brought up and taught—you just should never rap over booing. You’ve been paid to do a service; you do the service and get out of there. But in battle rap, apparently, it’s different and you’re just supposed to continue to rap over booing, no matter if the people are listening, whether they hear you and what you’re saying or not. No matter what—you’re just supposed to always keep rapping. So, I mean I understand both sides of the coin, but I’ve been trained a certain way now for 15 plus years [laughs].

HHW: Are you looking forward to the next Total Slaughter? And do you plan on partaking in it again?

Joe Budden: I’m always looking forward to Total Slaughter. I have part ownership in it, so I should be looking forward to it [laughs]. You can never say never, but I honestly don’t see myself being afforded the luxury of time and preparation that you have to endure to be able to do that, anytime soon. I have a lot of projects that I’m working on. This will be a very busy year for me, in studio. And when you’re focusing on battle rap, you’re out of studio. So, I don’t want to be out of studio.

Photo: Chad Griffith

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