Hip-hop artist and media personality Joe Budden is going through some changes — on his podcast, that is.
He parted ways with Spotify in 2020 and now he’s fired his co-hosts.
Budden apparently fired former friends and co-hosts Rory Farrell, 29, and Jamil “Mal” Clay, 28, from his “Joe Budden Podcast” on the air during a since-deleted episode, The New York Post reported.
“From this point forward, you are fired and you’re not welcome back,” Budden, 40, allegedly told his ex-podcast partners during an episode that fans claim aired earlier this week. “Y’all take that f–king dark energy, that arrogance, and that entitlement somewhere else.”
The dispute appears to be over upcoming contract negotiations with the podcast’s former platform, Spotify in a deal rumored to be worth $100 million. Some assume DJ Akademiks could be involved (and not Clay or Farrell) as Akademiks and Budden helmed Complex’s “Everyday Struggle” podcast for three seasons.
Leaked parts of the episode and unofficial clips of Budden’s on-air rant flooded Twitter and went viral, raising questions about whether he may be abandoning the podcast, according to a series of cryptic tweets by Budden.
“Helluva run!! God bless,” Budden said, adding, “Take care.”
Budden later tweeted, “Friend or not, I’m NEVER funding someone’s sabotage of me, that will NEVER happen… i get far away from the threat…. You can think piece until your face turns blue”.
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Budden was roasted on Twitter.
kiveon @averymillz called him out, tweeting, “the hypocrisy of you preaching every pod, but when your ‘friends’ wanna know the details of their contracts they’re fired…”
NICE UP VISUALS OUT NOW @officialtiatw tweeted, “Legally it’s not a partnership… but does it right ?Joe Budden had no integrity … partnership or not them niggas was solid dudes, loyal 6yrs. joe is mad cause they asked to see the contract … how can you be mad at that .. after you complain about Spotify hiding things”
Others stood up for Budden.
Pooh Shifty @Lette411 tweeted, “Joe did what needed to be done. Those two should have been fired prior to the hiatus. Mal thinks his shit don’t stink and Rory…ugh. It’s only so many times a person gonna want to fight me sitting next to me.”
In October 2020, Budden’s podcast became part of his new online media network, Joe Budden Network. Since November 2020, the network and the podcast have been distributed by multiple platforms, primarily YouTube, SoundCloud, iTunes, and Google Podcasts.
The podcast launched in early 2015 with Farrell and Marisa Mendez. Clay joined the team on Episode 77 after Mendez and Budden had fallen out over Budden’s beef with Drake.
The ousting of Farrell and Clay may have been brewing since March 2021 as the two were noticeably absent from several of the streaming show’s weekly editions.
Budden took his podcast off Spotify because the company was “pillaging” his audience, the “Pump It Up” artist claimed.
Budden complained that although his show exceeded Spotify’s audience reach expectations by 900 percent, he had never received a bonus, and the company wouldn’t allow him and his team to take vacation days on Christmas and New Year’s Eve, because that would have required them to miss two episodes, The Verge reported.
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When Spotify offered the podcast crew Rolex watches instead of bonuses, Budden claimed the platform told them the watches they picked out were too expensive, and in turn, Spotify gave money away to their fans for Christmas instead.
“That was the first time it dawned on me that Spotify is pillaging,” Budden said. “You pillage the audience from the podcast, and you’ve continued to pillage each step of the way without any regard for [the fans.]”
He added, “Spotify never cared about this podcast individually. “Spotify only cared about our contribution to the platform.”