Joe Budden may be one of today’s most popular media personalities in Hip-Hop with his self-titled podcast. But twenty years ago, the New Jersey rep was one of the hottest prospects in the culture. One of the highlights of Budden’s career was his 2002 hit single, “Pump It Up,” produced by Just Blaze. The record placed him as a newcomer on the trajectory to stardom. The single was so big that it beckoned an unofficial remix from Jay-Z, who famously hopped on the track and levied what many perceived as lyrical jabs directed at Budden.
During an appearance on the Flip Da Script Podcast, Budden spoke about his dealings with Jay at the time and revealed that the rap icon requested a fee of $250,000—more than half of the allotted budget for his Def Jam debut—to appear on the official “Pump It Up” remix before leaking his own to the streets.
“I don’t think that was a big number. I think that was his number,” Budden says when asked if he felt the price stemmed from any animosity between the two. “‘That’s my number to rap on this new artist’s remix.’ It was just big in my world, but it wasn’t a big number.” According to Budden, he understands Hov’s position in hindsight and chalks the price tag was a standard industry practice.
“Listen, again, I’m super young in that moment. I wasn’t in the studio when [Jay and Budden’s A&R Skane] had the conversation. I knew that they had some type of relationship. It was a Just Blaze beat and I was green behind the ears. I just thought that it would get done. I didn’t know anything about the business and how things like that are supposed to go. That was par the course.”
As fate would have it, Budden was unable to procure that official feature from Jay-Z, who would go on to lay his bars over the instrumental, sparking one of the more memorable verbal jousts of that era.
“It was big to me because it was unattainable,” Joe says of the Hov’s fee. “It was outside of my budget, but the blessing was that he gave a number.”
Watch Joe Budden’s Flip Da Script interview below.