Podcaster Joe Budden has fired his co-hosts and friends, Rory Farrell and Jamil “Mal” Clay, according to social media posts and audio leaked online. The former rapper and “Love & Hip-Hop” star has made the dynamics of the show’s main talkers a focus of recent episodes, as noted by a recent Variety article expounding on a late April pod-turned-therapy session titled “Shaking the Tree.”
In episode 437 of the popular Joe Budden Podcast, which counts nearly 1 million subscribers on YouTube and can also be heard on Apple and other audio platforms, the titular host is heard loudly berating Rory and Mal, as the cohosts of the six-year-old pod are known: “Y’all will not continue to treat me this way. Y’all not going to continue to treat these people this way. Y’all take that fuckin’ dark energy, that arrogance and entitlement somewhere else. I say all of that to say, we gonna do this since Rory feels like he has so many options.
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“Somehow he still feels he’s running the show,” he continued. “He still feels like he has choices and options. He feels like he’s entitled to more. Rory, you are in breach of your contract and from this point forward, you are fired! And you’re not welcome back…. Mal, I’m the person that has to say that. The gall of you to think you are deserving the way that I am.”
He later repeated those words in social media posts.
Along with those sudden firings, a more pressing question arises: did Budden also just quit his own podcast? Several tweets in the wake of the news suggest as much.
“The Joe Budden Podcast” is beloved by fans for tackling sensitive subjects within the Black community and getting into the weeds of hip-hop and basketball, but there were clearly dark clouds ahead when Rory and Mal were absent from a handful of the streaming production’s weekly editions. Though the specific business issues between Budden and his co-hosts were never aired on the podcast, social media suggested that equity and pay were the main issues for Rory and Mal, as each believed he was an equal contributor to the success of JBP.
“So this whole podcast beef has been @JoeBudden refusing to give them Equity ? While steadily increasing the work load?” wrote Sample the Kid on Twitter.
Printed elements of the leaked audio found Budden ranting: “You n—s ain’t brought shit,” while daring Mal and Roy to get their own broadcasting deals and advertisers. “You n—-s can audit, you n—-s can sue … You’re gonna lose,” he said adding that he has long “overpaid” and “overprotected” Farrell.
Another point of contention may very well be Budden’s rekindled friendship with his one time “Everyday Struggle” Complex network talk show co-host, DJ Akademiks, a beef discussed by Akademiks here:
Akademics promised that he will have more to say on the subject on Wednesday, with “See y’all on twitch today at 3 PM. Classic stream incoming. I promise,” although he merely posted footage of him yelling insults over past Budden podcasts.
No doubt the next widely available JBP (Budden allows early access to episodes for Patreon patrons) will rival previous episodes featuring Nicki Minaj and Pusha T when it comes to tune-in counts.
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