Joe Budden set the record straight on a recent Flip Da Script podcast appearance. When his introductory single “Pump It Up” smashed airwaves in 2003, the New Jersey native says he wanted JAY-Z to appear on the remix. However, Budden claims that Hov charged a hefty fee for a verse, which was $250,000 at the time.
Although the fee was pricy for Budden, who was a then-newcomer in 2003 with his eponymous debut album, the rapper says that Hov’s price was valid.
“I don’t think it was a big number. I think that was his number,” Budden explained. “It was just big in my world, but it wasn’t a big number … Listen, I’m super young in that moment. I wasn’t in the studio when they [Jay and Budden’s A&R, Skane] had the conversation. I knew that they had some type of relationship. It was a Just Blaze beat, and I was green behind the ears. I mean, just thought that it would get done.”
Budden added that the verse was “unattainable” at the time, but it made him privy to the music business.
“That was par for the course,” he continued. “It was, like, normal. ‘Oh this is what you want? Yo, ’cause you’re my man, I’m having this conversation; otherwise, I wouldn’t be having this talk …’ It was big to me because it was unattainable. It was outside of my budget, but the blessing was that he gave a number. If there was a way to get it, maybe this gets done. Maybe the start of your career goes different if you can find that money. But no, we didn’t have that.”
Ultimately, Jay dropped a freestyle over “Pump It Up,” which appeared on his 2003 mixtape The S and was later featured on 2010 compilation Jay-Z: The Hits Collection, Volume One. Although there was speculation about Hov taking a jab at Budden in the opening line of the freestyle (“Gimme that beat, fool, it’s a full-time jack move,” Budden embraced the freestyle.
“Loved it. He went crazy,” Budden said.
Hov, who recently appeared on the second season of Kevin Hart‘s talk show Hart to Hart, told the comedian that his days of charging for a feature are over.
“Yeah. Mostly relationships … It’s actually always been mostly relationships. Sometimes it’s talent.” he explained on the Peacock series. “Pretty much every song that I’m on, I’m asked to be on. I don’t ask people to be on their songs. I never charge.”
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