Back in February 2015, Joe Budden launched the premiere episode of his I’ll Name This Podcast Later, a venture through Peter Rosenberg‘s then Rosenberg Radio. The earlier episodes of the podcasts were essentially one-hour to 90-minute episodes of Joe alongside co-host and media personality Marisa Mendez discussing sex and relationships, in addition to a few round-table discussions on the state of hip-hop.
The since-renamed Joe Budden Podcast wrapped up its “world” tour this past Sunday evening in Greater Boston’s Arts at the Armory venue in Somerville, after three years of changing hosts, moving to different studios, and countless memorable moments all throughout. The show kicked off with the audience reliving the hilarious “Hard-Nosed Vet” and “Neo-Soul Joe” moments of previous podcasts through Sam Castillo’s animated shorts playing on the backdrop. Friend of the show and former recurring guest Ice was in attendance, sporting a can’t miss baseball jersey +fitted combo akin to the early 2000s style of fashion he ever so dearly misses.
First of the podcast’s hosts to touch the stage was Parks, who unsurprisingly received little to no reaction from a majority of the crowd, since the YouTube viewership only ever sees him in the few seconds Erikson decides to pan over to him each podcast. The three primary hosts walked onto the stage a shortly after to a roaring applause; as Joe welcomed the crowd he made sure to point out the fact that Rory’s dad was actually in attendance, very fitting for Father’s Day.
It was amazing to see how seamlessly Joe, Rory, and Mal began the show, as the authentic nature of the podcast was apparent from the very get-go. Because of the time they were allotted by the venue, they were only able to cover two topics: first, a comparison of Nas’ Nasir album to The Carters’ Everything Is Love; and then after an analysis of the Rich The Kid home invasion story.
The first topic obviously began with jokes about why Mal kept the big Roc Nation news to himself, before turning into a conversation about how fans are getting cheated with these 7-track Kanye West-produced “albums”. After this, they spoke on the “Two Birds, One Stone” manner in which Hov may have dissed both Kanye and Drake on Everything Is Love‘s “BOSS“, although the allotted time may have robbed us of another memorable lyric-breakdown from Joe.
Soon later the audience was fully-integrated into the show, as couples were brought up to the stage to play Truth or Truth, which just so happened to have led to two relationships ending in previous stops. It’s possible that the game may have ended another relationship at the Boston show, as the first couple nearly brought the place down when the woman began her question by stating that her boyfriend had actually been with her best friend before her.
— El Fuerte 💪🏼 (@BEEASTMODE_) June 18, 2018
The last portion of the show was a Q+A session, with questions seeing the podcast’s hosts turn introspective and altogether informative. Among the more notable questions asked include whether or not the guys would at some point release playlists featuring the sleeper picks which appeared on previous podcasts. It’s no secret that a number of artists have seen their stock rise after being featured on the podcast, and that music labels have been tuning in to each sleeper segment in attempt to “discover” new talent. Joe initially jokingly deflected the question off to Rory, whose curation of a couple playlists last year for Elliot Wilson and Tidal in the past drew endless jokes and jabs from Joe. Joe later responded by saying that if a sleeper playlist were to arrive it would be the result of exchanges with each artist that are 100% authentic, as opposed to how A&Rs may pay streaming services and publications to have their artists featured in playlists.
Later came a question about the podcast’s lack of sponsors, which had been a subject of contention for the guys anytime they found out other podcasters (Brilliant Idiots…) brought it up in attempts to belittle them. However, Joe was quick to let the audience know that not only have sponsors been reaching out nonstop, but also that there was no sense in bragging about sponsors if you consider the little amount of money these other podcasts are actually making off them.
The final question asked was why Joe even began podcasting in the first place–a question which may harken back to the Rosenberg Radio days–yet Joe elected rather to explain the importance of his open-mindedness. “You just gotta try shit, you can’t just stay in a box”, he says, while also reflecting on how podcasts have enabled him the luxury of context, the one thing he’s wanted people to afford to him for years. Joe isn’t nearly the polarizing figure he once was, yet he has never ceased in his sincerity and has always remained true to his values and integrity.
It’s been remarkable to witness the way in which the podcast has developed since its 2015 debut, and it was truly a treat to see the hosts finally getting the chance to connect and speak with their fanbase on each tour stop. Who could have seen this coming back when I’ll Name This Podcast Later only had three mics (the third being Rosenberg from outside the booth whenever he wanted to butt in), and when Rory essentially played the intern role that Savon does now? The podcast obviously improved considerably with the addition of Rory and Mal, and arguably improved even further with the addition of Parks and his wall paintings. At one point Joe mentioned how even his own mother can’t believe the heights his podcast has now reached, saying:
“My mom still can’t believe that I can sit on a couch and do this podcast shit, and….rapping is over.”
With their ever-growing audience of avid listeners whose weeks are made by tuning in every Wednesday or Thursday, it shouldn’t come to any surprise if their next tour includes stops in several other cities. And with Joe’s spirit of creating endlessly, it’ll be interesting to look out for how the podcast will further evolve in the future.