"I was asleep the other day, and I woke up to a text message saying, 'Big Joe, what up? This is Game,' " Budden said Wednesday (August 27). "I was like, 'Oh, somebody is playing on my phone again.' I hit him back with a bunch of question marks, and he hit me back with 'This is Game.' Still, I wasn't convinced yet. Then I started checking my messages, and apparently he was on [a New York radio] morning show and asking if anybody had my phone number and [said] he was trying to reach out to me. So I eventually called him. We had a great conversation, talked about a lot of things. He invited me to come to his show, come kick it. I took him up on it."
Joey Jump-Off jumped onstage with Game on Tuesday night during the Compton slugger's concert at New York's Irving Plaza.
Budden and Game were embroiled in a back-and-forth on the mixtape circuit in the mid-2000s, but that was never quite settled — at least, not in the public's eyes.
"Me and Game never really had an issue," Budden said. "It was more so a Joe Budden vs. G-Unit thing — which, at the time, [Game] happened to be a part of. So, I mean, it wasn't anything personal between myself and him. And it was so many years ago, and I think we both grown and gotten past all of that verbal bashing. I thought [Tuesday night's show] was great for hip-hop."
Budden and Game even appeared in a photo together during the height of the lyrical tension, but continued to dis each other.
"The picture was more so to say, 'We'll dead the beef, but we don't necessarily need to care for one another.' The situation last night was totally different. He showed me a whole lot of love. Him and his people. It was altogether a great experience. I was standing there [during the show] like a fan. Dude brought out Dana Dane, Kool Herc, Maino, who is like family to me. Rae and Ghost. I think all these people, who I am all cool with, were shocked to see me. But the energy in the building was great."
Joe performed "Pump It Up" and part of a record that had the whole Internet talking: "Who." In the song, he gives the fans evidence and suspects in search of the people responsible for the death of hip-hop. The record — close to 16 minutes in total — was broken down in three parts upon its initial release. Some have called it the hip-hop record of the year.
"I think so," Budden said, unabashed. "I think it's great."
Despite the track's length, the Jersey native said the song didn't take particularly long to write.
"Not too long," he divulged. "When you're writing something you're passionate about it, it doesn't take long," he said. "Three hours total. That was just the writing process. No, I'm lying. It might have been just four to five hours. The recording process was a whole separate issue."
"Who" was inspired by people asking Joe his opinion on the state of hip-hop, and he takes us through several eras in rap, name-dropping events like Game and Young Buck
"The funny thing is, my memory is normally horrible," he laughed. "I have a hard time remembering anything. But I wanted to make a timeline where certain events in hip-hop would act as photographs. Even when I said, 'Master P and them ugly-ass album covers,' it wasn't to say anything negative about that. But I think everybody in hip-hop remembers when, every other week, Master P was putting out an album with those funny-looking covers. I wanted to bring people back to a certain place and jog my memory as much as I could without going overboard. Remaining unbiased."
Budden's next album, Padded Room, comes out on Amalgam Digital on October 28. He'll be releasing at least one mixtape prior and says that collaborating with Game on a song or freestyle is a strong possibility.
"It's likely," he said. "You can never say."