Joe Budden Provides A Timeline Of Events For Why He Left Everyday Struggle (Audio)
In 2017, Joe Budden added a new column to his extensive resumé: talk show host. The veteran Jersey City, New Jersey MC and Slaughterhouse member had expanded his music career to reality television and podcasts in the last decade. Teaming with Complex journalist Nadeska Alexis and prominent social media influencer DJ Akademiks, Budden helped launch and co-host Everyday Struggle. Since April, the weekday Complex web series included daily discussion about Hip-Hop music and culture, often featuring well-known guests.
Noteworthy moments include a tense interview with Migos on the red carpet of the 2017 BET Awards, which led to both the Atlanta trio and Budden walking off the set. Additionally, there were memorable episodes with Vic Mensa and Lil Yachty.
In the closing days of the year, it was announced that Budden and Everyday Struggle have parted ways. On Monday (December 18), Shade 45 radio personality and G-Unit’s DJ Whoo Kid was in Joe’s seat as a guest. On Monday, Whoo Kid told concerned viewers that he was in Joe’s seat, due to the host welcoming his latest child (with partner Cyn Santana). Budden denied the accuracy of that report.
On social media, Budden made viewers and fans aware that his contract expired. Complex confirmed those reports to Billboard and announced the split. “Joe Budden is not continuing as a host on Everyday Struggle in 2018,” the December 19 report confirmed. “The show will be back in the New Year with all new episodes and guests… We love and respect him; we believe he’s terrific but the reality is we couldn’t reach an agreement.”
Budden took to his podcast to address the separation more specifically and directly. “There wasn’t very much to negotiate when I created the show, ’cause I just created a show. It wasn’t profitable at all. As a creator, I went into this venture with a vision for what it could become. What it quickly became was the best Hip-Hop show, ever—in my opinion, and I’m biased [Laughs] I don’t think ever before in Hip-Hop has their been a show where they’re just giving it up like that. I do credit that to [DJ Akademiks] as well. That dynamic of the three of us, on screen, does not exist without everybody playing a part. I think that part, from day one, was disregarded and ignored by whoever it is that is running Complex. That’s what I think,” Joe says at 15:00.
Budden goes on to allege that his dedication went unmatched by his corporate partners. He adds that three months in, a partnership with Nike led to the rapper being asked to wear a new line of sneakers. “That’s a check, people—and it’s not a small check. It is a rather large check. Complex solicits rather large checks.” Asked by one of his co-hosts (Rory and Mal) if that revenue was shared with the show creators. “No!” responds Joe. “That’s fine. Let’s put that to the side. That was a red flag.” He says that more corporate sponsorship issues persisted with Spotify trying to sponsor a talking-point. When Joe declined to participate on air (but allowed his co-hosts to persist), Spotify backed out. He adds that his vision never included guests, and producers subsequently insisted on guest features. He speaks about his co-host at 25:00, “I support Ak’ in getting every single single f*cking dime that he should from that building for the services that he rendered,” Budden says.
At 31:00, Budden says that hours after his baby was born, his management notified Complex that on Monday the host would return. Complex reportedly responded that Joe’s contract expired. He was welcomed back to the show, but at a rate Budden calls “pennies and biscuits.” He lays blame on another department in the multimedia company. “If your sales team could sell, we’d be great. We wouldn’t have a problem. Sorry Complex, you cannot continue to tell me that [sports web-series] Out Of Bounds is more profitable! You cannot continue to tell me that Blueprint is more profitable! You cannot continue to tell me that Sneaker Shopping is more profitable. Guess what? Even if it is, I don’t give a f*ck! [Laughs] It’s not my job to sell ads…we do a million a day, you can’t sell it? And you tell me it’s my fault? I take a hit? The boys club wins. Nadeska [Alexis] and all of these people up there in this exclusive club, when Joe and Ak’ perform well, you ni**as get bumps! Joe and Ak’ do not. Joe is new to this employment game, but one thing Joe is not is a f*ckin’ fool. [Laughs]” Joe says at 35:00 that there was no new negotiation. After months, he wanted a new contract for 2018. That did not happen.
At 40:00, Joe Budden says that he wanted either a lengthy contract, a raise, or equity. Those demands were not met, resulting in Joe Budden’s exit.
Budden has stated that he will continue with The Joe Budden Podcast. Last year, Joe released Rage & The Machine with producer araabMUZIK.