Today in Hip Hop History: August 31, 1980
Rapper and songwriter Joe Budden was born in Harlem, New York in 1980, despite being raised in New Jersey. Budden is well known for his part in the hip hop super group Slaughterhouse, alongside Royce Da 5’9″, Crooked I and Joell Ortiz. His solo career consists of 2 studio albums, 1 EP, and 8 mixtapes. Budden also co-stars on the VH1 reality show Love & Hip Hop.
Budden began his rapping career through freestyling in high school against classsmates and friends that claimed he had always won during their battle rap sessions. He eventually garnered enough buzz to appear on New York rap mixtapes featuring DJ Kayslay, Cutmaster C and DJ Clue. At the age of 23, Budden released his self-titled debut studio album underneath Def Jam Recordings in 2003. Joe Budden contained his Grammy-nominated hit summer joint “Pump it Up”. Various songs from his debut made it onto films such as 2 Fast 2 Furious, Mean Girls and Cradle 2 The Grave, in addition to video games Madden 2004, Def Jam Vendetta and Def Jam Fight for NY.
Budden’s sophomore release, The Growth, was shelved due to the label’s problems with him. Apparently the Def Jam seniors did not agree with the direction of his music and the album was never released. Continual disagreements between Budden and Def Jam forced the two sides to part ways because of his lack of creative empowerment (bold move, Joe. much respect). He then signed to the independent record label Amalgram Digital in 2007.
Budden then reached out to Crooked I, Joell Ortiz, Royce Da 5’9″, and Nino Bless for a song titled “Slaughterhouse” on one of his Amalgram releases. They recorded the track, and minus Nino Bless, felt cohesive enough to form their own hip hop group by the name of the song, Slaughterhouse. After a few releases and increasing buzz in the underground rap scene, they signed a deal with Shady Records in 2011 and released their sophomore album, titled welcome to: Our House, on August 28, 2012. The album debuted at #2 on the Billboard 200 and #1 on the Billboard Top Rap Albums, selling 52,000 copies its first week.
Budden has constantly released solo projects throughout his 12 year long rap career, in addition to moving significant copies with Slaughterhouse. As of now, the group still makes music and tours together, and dominates a niche in the underground hip hop scene.