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Drake vs. Joe Budden: No Shopping, Afraid & some background on the beef

Toronto, ON – As the internet weighed in on Drake’s diss to Joe Budden, by way of his verse on French Montana’s new single, “No Shopping,” Mouse (Budden) was uploading the response he had prepared weeks in advance: “Afraid.”

Drake vs. Joe Budden: No Shopping, Afraid & the background on the beef -

Having the advantage of a “No Shopping” snippet making the rounds on social media, it was clear that Drake’s “Pump, Pump it up” lyrics were directed at him. When taken in context of recent events involving Drake and Budden, it’s hard not to think he was the target. If you’re just finding out now about this Drake vs. Joe Budden drama, we’ve prepared a brief summary that should get you caught up to yesterday’s events. Here’s Budden’s latest tune, “Afraid,” and keep reading for a history of the beef.

Drake vs. Joe Budden: No Shopping, Afraid & the background on the beef -

Background Views

Drake’s fourth studio album, Views, was released on April 29 and held the No. 1 spot on the US Billboard 200 chart for an impressive 9 weeks 10 straight weeks (as of July 17), while the album’s single, “One Dance,” was Drake’s first Billboard Hot 100 No. 1 hit, spending 14 weeks on the chart’s lead spot.

Joe Budden, well known for speaking his mind and being vocal, gave a scathing review in Episode 64 (“I’ll Name This Podcast Later”) podcast, The Joe Budden Podcast. He criticized the album’s content and accused Drake of being uninspired when recording it, among various other remarks. At the same time, he acknowledged the magnitude of Drake’s star power and the album itself, pointing out that it had overtaken Beyoncé’s Lemonade as focal point of discussion. He even makes a point of stating how big of a Drake fan he is, and that Drake’s well-aware of Budden’s love for him. But the fact remains, Budden isn’t feeling Views and he has no problem explaining why. “Drake has a greater responsibility to the culture,” than what he feels Views brings to the table. That’s really just a sliver of what he says on the subject, but we missed out writing about it when the iron was hot, so there’s no point getting too deep into it now. This is just a summary, but you can listen to the full episode here:

One thing we can say though, for an album that almost spent 10 weeks at No. 1, and spawning his first ever No. 1 hit (at least as the lead artist), if Drake was uninspired when crafting Views it obviously didn’t impede on his continued success.

The reception of the Budden review from the OVO camp wasn’t entirely clear, but you can imagine it leaned towards sour, if not downright bitter. Joe Budden was openly supportive of Drake’s initial come-up on the mainstream, but the podcast and other situations have clearly changed the dynamic of their relationship.

Rumours began to circulate that Drake would reply to Budden through his appearance on the new Montana single, but at that time only a snippet had been heard. Before that track would surface in its entirety, Drake replied in the form of new freestyle altogether.

4PM In Calabasas

Fast forward to June, and once again using his OVO Sound Radio as a jump off point to declare war, Drake released the hard-hitting “4PM In Calabasas” produced by Vinylz, Frank Dukes and Allen Ritter. The general consensus was the song targeted more than just Budden – Puffy and Chris Brown among others – but Drake addresses the Budden podcast right from the start:

All you self promoters are janky. We established like the Yankees. This whole fucking game thank us. We movin’ militant but somehow you the one tankin’. No limit to where I can take it.

And while Puffy told Charlamagne Tha God and The Breakfast Club that he hadn’t slapped Drake over a dispute about a beat, and that Drake was his friend, Drake’s aggression seems to peak as the song’s focus shifts to Diddy. As Parfit from AFH noted:

He sends rapid fire shots at Puff for over a minute intricately weaving in references to Diddy’s songs, lyrics, artists and colloquialisms in the attack.”

Making A Murderer Pt. 1

Not being one to back down from a challenge, and even perhaps looking for a way to goad Drake into a bar-for-bar battle, Budden reportedly recorded three tracks in anticipation of the feud to come. The araabMUZIK-produced “Making A Murderer Pt. 1” is a top notch display of skillful lyricism, leaving many to point out that Joey is a much stronger opponent than the likes of Meek Mill, and topping the Slaughterhouse vet would be no easy feat for Drake. The accompanying artwork featured a bloodied OVO owl leaving little doubt that the song was aimed directly at the 6 God.

Along with the track, the following explanation was provided for fans on the SoundCloud upload:

If you’re reading this it’s too late…. On the May 4th, 2016 episode of his I’ll Name This Podcast Later, Joe Budden said the following about Drake’s latest release Views. ‘I think that kid on that album (Views) that I heard sounds real fuc*ing uninspired. That’s what I think. I think that the music is real good. You can’t fool a real ni*ga. That music sounds good and I enjoyed it. 40, you sound amazing, 40 continues to progress. Drake, you do not.‘ Further, in a follow-up post to clarify, Joe explained that he didn’t think the subject matter between So Far Gone and Views has differed very much and wondered why Drake now sounds so unenthusiastic about achieving all the goals he envisioned upon arriving on the music scene.

In context, Joe’s comments took place during an open conversation amongst friends and fans, one where he gave an honest appraisal of Drake’s latest work; but like most things Joe does or says, his comments ended up becoming a trending topic on twitter.

Perhaps, coupled with Joe’s rather innocuous (and still complimentary) comments about Views and the less than stellar critical reception the project received struck a nerve in the 6 God? That said, it’s still quite a bit of hubris over a comment made on a Podcast. Drake went Platinum in one week; why is he so in his feelings and so distracted by Joe Budden? Please allow us to elaborate….

Drake vs. Joe Budden: No Shopping, Afraid & the background on the beef -

Throughout the course of his career, Drake has made many references to ‘Energy.’ ‘Energy’ is a living organism, a live wire, ever present. At some point, we are all held accountable for our actions and the energy we put out into the world. In laymen’s terms, there are levels to this shit. A pecking order if you will. And in that quest to be ordained, someone who was once considered a friend becomes foe and tension (real or otherwise) always permeates.

Joe Budden believes in energy. His energy is just different. Joe gets enough attention; he is not looking for it; and certainly not from Drake. This ‘beef’ started in the 6 and now we here. While the industry seems to lack and hold Drake accountable for his energy—Joe Budden embraces the challenge!

Lots of different views, this is Joe Budden’s. You can thank him now, or you can thank him later.”


With the Meek Mill beef, Drake released his infamous “Back To Back” diss along with a shot of Drake’s Toronto Blue Jays winning the World Series over Meek’s Philadelphia Phillies, winning their second consecutive championship… or in this case, Drake releasing his second consecutive dose of Ether on the MMG rapper. Now comparing it with this new situation with Budden and we’re seeing some similarities, and Budden employing Drake’s own tactics against him. Tired of waiting on a reply to “Making A Murderer,” Mouse teased social media with word of a new record before ultimately pulling the trigger on it. Along with the song, the track came packaged with it’s own Blue Jays inspired artwork featuring Rougned Odor punching Toronto Blue Jay Jose Bautista.

“Wake” continues on from where “Making A Murderer” left off and essentially lyricalizes much of what Budden was saying on his podcast, just harsher and in the form of a declaration of war. He said he was Drake’s biggest fan during that podcast, but after two straight diss you have to wonder how likely that remains to be the case. The track gets quite personal. It accuses Drake of stealing other people’s flows (“Bodied Versace flows, copy, that he stole / Ay dios mio, sorry Migos, adios amigo“), screwing over other artists by not appearing in their videos (“Why you ain’t do that vid with Fetty but you hopped on the song?“), holding his own team back (“No really, we want a Party album, But you keep stealing all of Party’s album,“), referencing artists he no longer works with (“The Weeknd just hates you“) and more… and that’s in just the first half of the song. “Wake” was also produced by araabMUZIK. Guessing we won’t be seeing any araabMUZIK/OVO collaborations anytime soon.

No Shopping

So yesterday, OVO Sound Radio premiered new music from French Montana’s MC4, including the full-version of the previously heard “No Shopping” snippet. There was now no doubt that Drake’s verse was targeting Budden with his “Pump It Up” reference, and he seemingly name drops him towards the end of the song. Unlike “4PM In Calabasas,” this new verse leaves no doubt that Joe Budden is his intended target.

Drake vs. Joe Budden: No Shopping, Afraid & the background on the beef -

“No Shopping” was yesterday’s Song of the Day on HipHopCanada. You can find out more info in the song post, but you can listen to the song below. You’ll receive the song as part of the pre-order for Montana’s MC4, which is available here.


With three songs recorded in advance, it didn’t take long (hours) for Budden to strike back at “No Shopping,” adding up to his third Drake diss song in under a month. Sampling Drake’s 2010 record “The Resistance” (off Thank Me Later), and with a burning CN Tower serving as artwork. The track starts off by Budden letting Drake know that he broke a promise to him, likely referring to Drake becoming a different type of the artist or person than the one Joe Budden originally co-signed in 2009. He references being familiar with Drake as far back as his Jimmy on Degrassi days, and claims he misses the Drake that once gave BlackBerry’s a popularity boost by using one during a freestyle on a Funk Flex radio show.

The specific example is used to emphasize Budden’s love for the type of artist he perceived Drake to be at that point in time, essentially saying he’s no longer the same person.

He analyzes Drake’s emotional outpouring on Views and relates it to the reasons he’s “losing all [his] friends.” More than just coming across as angry and an opponent, on all three records, including “Afraid,” Budden comes across in spurts as feeling hurt and like he lost a friend. In all, the diss track was well received and Budden fans are claiming victory, but Drake is the top dog in the game, and has proven on more than one occasion that he’s capable at taking on high caliber competition: taking the throne in the process. If he’s afforded the view that he can go head-to-head(s) with Jay Z/Kanye (Watch the Throne is considered by many to be one long Drake diss), then Joe Budden should maintain a degree of respect for Aubrey’s undeniable capabilities as an MC.

Back-to-Back… Summers

All-in-all, it seems Drake is up for another summer of beef, except his opponent seems much more prepared than last time. Of course, Drake already let us know he’d be out for blood, “all summer 16,” so this challenge shouldn’t come as a surprise. With “No Shopping” released, Drake could consider himself done with the beef and shift his focus back to other matters. He doesn’t owe Budden anything, and can certainly stand by what he wrote in his lyrics:

I’m not a one hit wonder, they know all my stuff. You let me turn into the nigga that you almost was.

Budden has made it big, but by no means Drake big. You could argue that Drake has nothing to prove or gain from promoting his name further. But for the sake of hip-hop fans, let’s hope this isn’t it. Let’s be clear, hip-hop beef started on wax and it needs to remain that way, but this beef seems to have so much music more to offer despite already being almost 5 songs deep.

Budden’s latest tweets indicate that he’s not impressed with what “No Shopping” brought to the table, and has essentially proclaimed himself the winner. He’s also made use of memes to take jabs at the Toronto star, again paralleling moves from Drake’s own battle toolkit. His latest tweet, at the time of this article being published, confirms that he is still in fact a Drake fan.

Ideally, we’ll see the next installment of the story from Drake before the “No Shopping” and “Afraid” chatter dies down. If there is going to be something, we probably won’t need to wait long.

So no Drake at Bluesfest. But we do have new music from Drizzy: No Shopping

No Shopping: No Drake at Bluesfest, but we do have new music from Drizzy & French Montana -

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Twitter: @JoeBudden | @Drake

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Jesse Plunkett

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