Joe Budden has voiced his skepticism of J. Cole’s claim of finding inspiration and creating a song after discovering a beat on YouTube made by an unknown producer.
On Sunday (March 5), the New Jersey rep levied the accusation that Cole was looking to generate public approval by announcing that he’d worked with the up-and-coming beatsmith on a song titled “Procrastination (Broke)” he released back in January.
“J. Cole’s pandering,” the 42-year-old said on the latest episode of The Joe Budden Podcast. “He got a bag for that YouTube trick he pulled on y’all, too. I found out that the guy who just so happened to do the ‘J Cole type beat’…He’s like the most popular producer on YouTube.” Budden then doubled down on his claim, equating the collaboration to a PR stunt meant to bolster Cole’s reputation and brand.
“This guy was him,” the former Slaughterhouse member said of the producer. “And it’s pandering. Nothing wrong. Y’all swear I hate people. I don’t. And I love J. Cole, so don’t start that. But the story that they put out versus what’s really happening. Like, stop. I’m just not stupid. I’m sorry if so many of y’all hate me because I’m not stupid. I can see through what your publicist in pumping into you. I can see what your lawyer is pumping into you. What your label, A&R is pumping in you. I can see through that stuff.”
The controversial media personality continued to question the validity of the North Carolina rapper’s account of the creation of the song, airing gripes about what he believes to be the proliferation of victimization in society. “It was a great move and great on both sides,” he added. “But what went out was, ‘Yo, I had writer’s block. I couldn’t come up with anything. So I just went on YouTube and grabbed the first beat I could find under J Cole type beats. Anybody else out there that has writer’s block, I just wanna let you know, you can do it too.’ This whole wave of victim pandering, victim powering. I don’t know. There’s some soft-ni**a sh*t going on out here.”
A beatmaker himself, Cole, who sporadically releases music, dropped the track without warning on Jan 18. The song was uploaded on the YouTube account of the producer, who goes by Bvtman and is from Brooklyn, NY, and surfaced along with a message from Cole himself detailing the song’s origin.
“This song should live on your channel and serve as a thank you to you and every producer out there cooking up and sharing their work with the world,” the message read.
“It’s a million artists out there right now just like me, hungry and searching every day for something to spark a word, a melody, a hook, a verse, a punchline, a way to vent, or a way to cut through…On a day when I couldn’t find much motivation, I was looking for anything to inspire me. Out of curiosity, I typed in ‘J. Cole type beat’ into YouTube. Yours was the first I saw. I pressed play, focused, and wrote this.”
He continued, adding, “This is some shi* that would normally stay in the vault, but I don’t want to hold onto the music like that no more. This is for you and whoever else need to hear it. God bless bro and keep doing what you do!”‘
“Procrastination (Broke)” has racked up over 3.3 million views on Bvtman’s YouTube page, which currently has over 141,000 subscribers. The track was well-received by fans and critics, who praised Cole’s lyrical performance, as well as the accompanying backstory to the song. Other aspiring producers also lauded the move, urging other artists to consider doing the same.
Listen to J. Cole “Procrastination (Broke)” below.