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Joe Budden

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Jersey City, New York NJ, United States (2002 – present)

Joe Budden (born August 31, 1980 in Spanish Harlem, New York) is a rapper from Jersey City, New Jersey. In recent years he has come to prominence as one of the most skilled and sought-for rappers in the game, despite his best work being on the internet mixtape circuit.

His music initially gained popularity on New York City’s famous mixtape circuit in 2002. Although his biggest mainstream hit to-date is 2003’s up-tempo “Pump It Up,” Budden is known for his reflective and often insecure lyrics. He is widely considered one of hip-hop’s most gifted lyricists, thanks largely in part to his numerous works on mixtapes by such DJ’s as DJ Clue, Clinton Sparks, DJ On Point, and DJ Envy.

On one particular mixtape song, called “Crosscountry Connection”, Joe started a feud with the G-Unit camp. The Game took offense to a line where Joe claims that gangsta rappers should “be in a G-Unit video with all the gangsta actors”, obviously claiming G-Unit are fake gangstas. Unbeknownst to Budden, The Game had just recently signed with the G-Unit camp. The Game and G-Unit fired a few diss songs Budden’s way; he replied in kind. The feud was ended when The Game and Budden met in a club in New York City and put the past aside.

During winter and spring of 2005, through Joe Budden mixtapes and hip-hop rumor mills, it was said that he departed from Def Jam to Roc-A-Fella Records with CEO Damon Dash. In reality, Budden was legally obligated to stay with Def Jam.

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