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Joe Budden Doesn't Fear The Struggle

Joe Budden departs from Everyday Struggle

Photo by Brian Ach/Getty Images for Vh1

Joe Budden confirms via a series of tweets that he will not be returning to Complex’s YouTube series, Everyday Struggle. People have taken their frustration to Twitter and Instagram showing support for Budden, but why? Controversy and a strong opinion make for a good television, but there is something more about Joe Budden that makes his presence on the show valuable.


Raised in Harlem, Budden has spent his career openly addressing his drug addiction, which started at the age of 12. At 16, he checked into rehab for a year. Three years later he signed with Def Jam and remained clean for 14 years. Music became his therapy and he hoped to help others via his lyrics. After leaving Def Jam in 2007 he befriended former addict, Eminem, who became his boss in 2009 and signed Budden to Shady Records as a member of the group Slaughterhouse.


What separates Budden from other personalities is his vulnerability and authenticity, which he has shared on multiple platforms. As an artist, he spent the first five years solo before joining the aforementioned Slaughterhouse. Additionally, he was a guest on televisions Love & Hip-Hop and Couples Therapy, respectively. This exposure helped a diverse demographic support Budden for a variety of reasons.


In the summer of 2012 Budden relapsed and began taking excessive amounts of molly. During an interview with Ebro in The Morning, Joe shared that he was able to overcome this addiction and realign his focus; “I’m not doing that, back to Joe…I was probably a little overwhelmed at the time- I did a lot of drugs. They came out with some new drugs and I wanted to see what was going on,” he said in his stern monotone voice.


Social media has given everyone a platform to be a critic. The value of these accounts derives from the amount of followers one has, which by virtue of a large audience, “legitimizes” their opinion. This correlation between followers and value has opened the door for people such as Everyday Struggle co-host, DJ Akademiks.


Although professional experience in the industry is no longer required, it is clear that it is heavily valued among the audience.


Budden has always been firm and sounds off on topics where he holds a strong opinion. He has bullied DJ Akademiks on set for lack of credibility, negatively talked about guests to their face, and even walked out during the infamous Migos interview. Budden has also gone as far as chasing down the very keyboard warriors that followed him to his home.


Perhaps that is what we appreciate most about Budden is his ability to be an honest mouthpiece for the culture and defend creatives.


Today, Budden took to his podcast to discuss why he left Everyday Struggle. “Everyone will not understand what Joe fights for. I am talking to the creators,” he explained to his co-hosts Rory and Mal. “I thought that Complex would recognize what Akademiks and myself as outside entities and vendors have done for that conglomerate and at the end of the contract they would show that they have appreciated the best year that they have ever had.”


Budden then explained the valuable dynamic between him and DJ Akademiks. He explained how different their paths were into the industry. “Ak has made his empire from YouTube…to worship and idealize some of these entertainers- and to now be in a position to meet some of them. They know your name they are addressing you. That is a big thing,” Budden shared. He then makes it clear that he does not care to meet the artists. “I did not build and create this show to talk to fucking guests every day. I hate fucking guests!”


Budden has shifted his creative focus by transitioning from a product of the industry to critiquing the industry. When Budden conceived the concept for Everyday Struggle he believed this platform would alleviate the standard tropes of corporate America.


Unfortunately, he has discovered the operations of a Media Company are very similar to that of a record label. Budden will not budge until a company values his creative process over their capitalistic algorithms. “I’m one of the creators that don’t navigate with fear. I’m not afraid.” 

Watch Joe Budden explain his departure below on his podcast: