Way back in 2012, Joe Budden inspired me to start writing reviews. Around the time A Loose Quarter was released I found myself in the depths of depression drowning out my own thoughts with the music of rappers like Budden. I’d found solace in the Mood Muzik mixtape series, especially 4.5. At the time I was studying media at college, and rather than do coursework I started reviewing music. Its since become a career, one I owe mostly to Joe Budden’s music.
Recently, I’ve become even more inspired by Media Joe than Budden’s bars, at least in terms of my career. In my personal life Hiatus, Pray For Me and Unnecessary Pain still hit the spot as I navigate through mental health but Joe’s ramblings across Revolt, Pull Up and his eponymous podcast have been packed with gems of knowledge not just on hip-hop but in the media industry surrounding the culture too.
In the past six years, my career has been turbulent. Full of highs and lows. I’ve worked on some of the biggest platforms in the world, even spent some time actually getting paid for my writing which is unfairly an achievement in hip-hop media. More often than not I’ve worked for free, and when I’ve applied for paid work for the same employers, have been knocked back by every single one.
Still, I work for free because I have to believe it’ll lead somewhere near success eventually.
With TheRootMusic relaunch happening today, I’m hoping to cancel that attitude out. For too long I’ve curated content for other publications that could have went to use on this platform – one that I own and make profits from. Some of these other outlets have been good to me in other ways and I’m grateful for the experiences but as consequence to Budden’s musings, I’m hoping that the work I’m now focusing on TheRootMusic will lead to paid opportunities. Even if they’re unpaid, they have to be more than a false promise of “exposure” and something I’m truly passionate about.
One of Joe’s rants that has stood out the most to me is on The Joe Budden Podcast after the retired rapper severed ties with Everyday Struggle. Following his departure from the Complex show, Budden could have understandably went quiet and sunk into a state of depression – another venture people predicted would collapse early, collapsed early. I know that feeling well and didn’t react the same as Joe.
Instead of cancelling his media career, Joe persevered. Joe understood his worth. Joe knew he was the star of Everyday Struggle and could carry on without Complex – but Everyday Struggle hasn’t been the same since he left.
In his ‘Creators Create’ rant, Budden outlined how he was the brains behind Everyday Struggle and had contributed to other Complex content. I find myself in much the same situation. For all the times career opportunities have fell to pieces in time I’d be making some new form of blog, vlog, podcast, radio show, playlist etc.,.
That’s why I no longer get too attached to my ideas because I’ll have another soon enough. If one isn’t executed as planned, doesn’t pick up traction as expected or as is becoming increasingly likely in a world where no idea seems original is used by someone else I can draw for another content idea instead of crumbling under the weight of perceived failure like I once might.
So since I’ve thanked Joe Budden the musician endlessly over the last six years for inspiring my career, its only fitting as I relaunch TheRootMusic that I thank Joe Budden the media personality ahead of what I’m hoping will be a successful new chapter.