Joe Budden Rips Future’s Mask Off For Lying About Lean

Yesterday (January 18), rapper Future released his seventh studio album, Future Hndrxx Presents: The WIZRD. Recently, the maturation of Future’s music has been at the forefront of many conversations in the Rap music space, especially on The Joe Budden Podcast. However, at the same time, the Dungeon Family product appears to be taking strides with the mic, his personal growth is getting called into question.

In a recent interview with Genius‘ Rob Markman, the multi-platinum Epic Records star addressed his drug use. Specifically, the 35-year-old reveals that he no longer drinks lean, a nickname for the recreational drug mixture of  codeine and promethazine. “What drives me is living every word [in my verses], and being that same way. Just being this person, being that Rock star. And it’s hard because I’d be like, damn, I don’t wanna stop it, and have a fan stop loving me,” said the artist who released two volumes of Dirty Sprite in the mid-2010s, as well as WRLD On Drugs with Juice Wrld last year. Despite reportedly quitting lean, Future’s high-profile lyrics maintained the persona of an artist with two cups in his hand. Only now is he coming clean to the public. “I didn’t wanna tell nobody I stopped drinking lean because I felt then they’re gonna be like, ‘Oh, his music changed ’cause he ain’t drinking lean no more. Oh, I can hear it when he changed’…But it just be hard when your fan [are] so used to you being a certain kinda way, a certain persona. You be afraid to change.”

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Joe Budden is an artist who has been public about his addictions and subsequent sobriety. On the subject of Future, the retired MC is not buying it. Today (January 19), The Joe Budden Podcast released its episode, “Nadaviusss?” The title is a play on Future’s given name, Nayvadius Wilburn. The podcast team also including Rory, Mal, and Parks spends a large portion of the episode discussing Future’s new release, his current place in Rap music, and his relationship with Epic in the wake of label-mate Travis Scott’s success.

“I was staying quiet while [my co-hosts] were talking about the maturation of Future. Then y’all ended [the statement] with ‘musically.’ That may be true. But in real life, we ain’t seeing no maturation from Future!” Joe says around the 73:00. The conversation moves into a series of recent comments from Future on his son’s mother (and ex-girlfriend), Ciara as well as former mentor and employer, Rocko. Ahead of 80:00, Budden then refers to Future’s interview with Rolling Stone journalist Charles Holmes. In that conversation, Future publicly reacted to one of his collaborators, 20-year-old Chicago, Illinois’ Juice WRLD telling him that him had inspired him to try lean. “When [Juice WRLD] told me that, I was like ‘Oh sh*t. What the f*ck have I done?’ It really bothered me. It bothered me a lot—more than that I thought it would bother me when he told me that. I didn’t think I’d care about that stuff. Four years ago, I probably wouldn’t have cared if he told me: ‘Oh, that was good you was drinking.’ Now it’s like, ‘Oh sh*t.’ How many other sixth-graders did I influence to drink lean?””

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Budden condemns this comment from Future, especially in the wake of admitting that he withheld the fact that he no longer uses the deadly drug to his fans. “The way that my brain interprets the man that inspires an entire generation to do something, and then isn’t man enough to tell that same generation that he no longer does it…,” Joe begins, after reading Future’s quote. “The way that I interpret that kind of man; that’s not a man.” Joe then adds that this is part of the reason he declined to have Future as a guest on his show. While The Joe Budden Podcast has recently featured high-profile interviews with Pusha-T and Chance The Rapper, the host has publicly stated on the previous two episodes that he declined an appearance offer from Future’s team. “Why would I want to interview Future? I don’t respect you as a man. Ni**a! I just like your tunes. It’s a lot of that going on! A lot of you ni**as make great tunes, and y’all are trash humans. I ain’t gotta sit and talk to you. Now all of a sudden Future don’t f*ck with Joe Budden and my [fiancée, Cyn Santana] is bad, because Future wanted to do an interview with The Joe Budden Podcast, and Joe Budden didn’t want to do it.”

Further in the newly-published Rolling Stone interview, Future declined the responsibility for inspiring Juice WRLD to try lean. “Do I be mad about me being honest about me and being honest on what’s going on in the world and creating from it? And I thought about it. I can’t apologize for something that…I can’t apologize for being myself, but I do apologize if being myself caused you to act out of character,” the rapper said. Juice WRLD had told Vulture last year that Future “kinda apologized” after he told him about his influence. Juice also revealed that he too, now lives a more sober lifestyle. The two artists’ 2018 album was notably called WRLD On Drugs.

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The podcast taped on the fourth anniversary of the death of A$AP Yams (aka Steven Rodriguez). The A$AP Mob co-founder died of a drug overdose, and had openly stated that he used both Xanax and lean. An event in his honor happened this week in Brooklyn, New York.

Future Hndrxx Presents: The WIZRD features Travis Scott and Young Thug. Elsewhere in the podcast episode, the team discusses Royce 5’9’s “Cocaine” music video, Soulja Boy’s recent appearance on The Everyday Struggle, and the announcement of Coming To America 2 being in production.