Going into business with friends is almost always a recipe for an ulcer or seven. I’ve experienced it first hand in many of my own professional pursuits, and it’s quite clear that rapper-turned-media personality Joe Budden has experienced much of the same with his podcast, The Joe Budden Podcast.
For the past two months, the former Slaughterhouse member has been ensnared in a cold war with his co-hosts Rory Farrell and Jamil “Mal” Clay. Details have been murky, but as we previously reported at The Root, it would appear that the root of their acrimony mirrors The Lox’s debut album: money, power, and respect. As such, Rory and Mal have abstained from appearing on the show for weeks now, while substitute teachers Ice and Ish have filled in admirably on the fly.
All of that changed on Wednesday, however, when this happened:
Oh shit. Is that...Rory and Mal?
Why yes, it is.
And in their first episode back in the booth after a lengthy hiatus, appropriately titled “Shaking the Tree,” the two made sure to address the elephant in the room.
“Me, Mal, and Joe met last week,” Rory says. “There was a lot of grown man feelings, it was a little uncomfortable. It was a lot of feelings for three grown-ass men in a living room.”
Joe then admits that their friendship was taking a backseat to the podcast, which Mal believes should take precedence over their mutual business interests.
“For me, it was like, ‘Yo, is there still respect as friends here?” he asks. “Fuck performing and entertainment. As friends is there still respect here? Because if there’s not, we can go our separate ways as men.”
Mal also admitted he felt some type of way about Joe’s decision to continue on with the show without him and Rory instead of resolving their issues.
“The business is the business. We can fix that, or we can’t. But as long as respect is still in play, me personally, I feel like anything can be resolved,” Mal says. “But if there’s no respect, then there’s nothing to talk about. [...] Does the show go on without trying to resolve something first? I felt some type of way about that because to me it’s saying something. It’s saying like, ‘Yo, you’re replaceable.’”
He continued, “That was part of the conversation Joe and I had when I left. I felt like there wasn’t any respect. So let me remove myself, cause I don’t know what this is anymore. I don’t know if I’m talking to my nigga or a nigga I just met. The more important thing as men is to sit down and get your feelings out.”
They also expressed their surprise at so many people openly hoping for their downfall.
“To see how certain people were reacting from the things that they were saying, I was like, ‘Oh yeah. This is why I don’t fuck with people,” Mal says. “This is why I stay to myself a lot. I don’t really be in the mix because y’all sit here and act like you fuck with us, and the first sign turmoil it’s like, ‘I knew that wasn’t going to work. I knew them niggas was finished.’”
“There’s a lot of that,” Rory replies. “There’s a lot of people praying on the downfall of the JBP, I’m sure.”
Twitter is overjoyed at Rory and Mal’s return and made the podcast a trending topic on Wednesday. Some fans, however, are unsure if the rift between co-hosts will ever truly be mended.
Let’s just hope they keep their friendship at the forefront this time around.