Some Internet “Thugs” Harass Joe Budden In Real-Life. It Does Not Go Well For Them (Video)

Over the last several weeks, Joe Budden has been in headlines for his all-out assault on friend-turned-enemy, Drake. After a series of events between the two men, some on record, and others in life, Budden has unleashed 4 records and 3 podcasts targeting the Toronto MC. While Drake may or may not have responded to Budden’s attacks, over the weekend, some presumed Drake fans decided to take matters into their own hands, on behalf of Drizzy.

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Driving to Budden’s house, the men stood outside hurling epithets like “bitch ass,” “fucking scumbag” and “pussy.” When Joe comes outside and addresses them, however, their bravado ceases and they begin furiously running away, jumping into their car and speeding off. Apparently not satisfied, the men decided to go back and further harass Budden, as he was pulling out of his driveway. When Budden gets out of his car to confront them, they again run to their car and drive away.

This time, Budden jumps in his car and pursues them. Upon catching them at a red light, Budden gets out, rocks in hand, and begins banging on the car. The men promptly change their tune, clearly showing fear and saying “sir, that wasn’t me” and “sir, I’m sorry for that” to Budden. Unpersuaded, Budden can be heard saying “If you come on this block again, I’m gonna kill one of you little niggas” and “Come on this block again, I’ma hurt one of you little niggas. This is not the Internet. I will kill one of you.” The entire series of events was captured on SnapChat and Twitter.

Budden’s point about the Internet vs. real-life is incredibly salient. As was seen last week with the culmination of months of harassment of comedian Leslie Jones-for daring to be a Black woman in the new Ghostbusters film-leading to her leaving Twitter and the social network subsequently taking action against abusive practices toward women on the platform, things have grown wildly out of control in the digital space. Anonymity and lack of proximity has emboldened some people to lose all sense of decency and respect for the people to whom they direct their vitriolic words. Now, the years of immersion in virtual reality and detachment from actual reality seems to have caused some to so devalue others that they are beginning to apply the conduct of the virtual world in the real one. In many ways, the recent Pokemon Go craze which has swept the nation and does just that, is not the beginning of a new time in which the two “realities” are mashed together, but, instead the culmination of an existence that has been building for years. Some have become so engrossed in the digital personas they’ve created for themselves that they no longer can appropriately assess the real world consequences of their actions.

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Thankfully, this incident did not end in someone getting hurt or worse. However, rather than a source for memes and laughter, it should be seen as a wake up call and a warning that life is not a game.