Joe Budden has voiced his belief that media personalities in Hip-Hop have begun to outpace the star power of the artists they cover and critique. Budden, who received the top slot in the Complex Hip-Hop Media Power Ranking, revealed he first noticed that the tide was beginning to turn when he joined the cast of the Everyday Struggle series.
“I learned that when I started working here,” the New Jersey rep explained. “Because I was coming in every morning with Ak [Akademics] and all the young people in my life were familiar with him. I wasn’t. So it was like, ‘Oh sh*t, this guy’s got some following somewhere.’ Like, let me get hip.”
The former Slaughterhouse member says the power and influence of figures such as Akademiks and himself have gotten so large that a number of artists now view them as the gatekeepers of relevance and public interest among the fans. “The rappers often will—let me find a nice way to say this—the rappers see the media people as an opportunity sometimes, and they will attach themselves or attempt to attach themselves to that person for rollout purposes,” The Podfather added.
While he’s earned himself the distinction of being one of the more powerful voices in Hip-Hop media, the lyrical rabble rouser admits he views his role as being more entertainer than journalist, an awareness he believes has allowed him and his peers to stay at the head of the conversation as the way we consume news continues to evolve.
“It’s 100 percent entertainment,” Budden told the outlet. “It’s definitely entertainment. If it wasn’t entertainment, then I would be spending the night outside of NBC trying to get on their news channel. I’d be at Vice, ‘Hey, let me be your something.’ But it’s entertainment first. It’s probably journalism second [laughs]. For me. Where I saw this thing going a few years ago was news, much like music, was kind of taking the backseat to brands and personalities. So everybody’s delivering the same news. We all have access to the same sh*t. But how? How are you doing that? Like, what makes people connect to you? What are you doing to establish a relationship with that audience? That’s been my ‘escape the room’ math equation since 2001. How do I develop this connection with a fan through music, through TV? So that’s that same sh*t today.”
Check out the rest of Joe Budden’s Hip-Hop Media Power Ranking profile here.