Joe Budden spent a good chunk of his July 4, 2018, podcast discussing Drake’s new album Scorpian, providing great, in-depth analysis of several songs on the project. You may not agree with all his conclusions, but there’s no denying given his background as a rapper and his ongoing (often messy) relationship with Drake and company, Budden is qualified to give his opinions.
In a second segment on Nicki Minaj, Budden went in, emphatically declaring she’s on drugs and in need of an intervention. “Let’s all try to guess the drugs Nicki Minaj is on. Someone should watch her usage. Nicki Minaj is 100-percent on something,” he stated, adding, “I think someone should intervene. I think it’s getting progressively worse.”
Unlike rap analysis, however, Joe Budden absolutely is not qualified to draw conclusions about Minaj’s behavior based on online behavior. Even among professionals, the American Psychological Association’s ethics code states: “It’s unethical for a psychiatrist to offer a professional opinion unless he or she has conducted an examination and has been granted proper authorization for such a statement.”
But even putting aside a code of ethics created by professionals, Budden’s evidence for accusing Minaj can be best be described as a joke.
Budden started his argument by pointing out Meek Mill was addicted to pills during the time he and Minaj were dating. Putting aside Mill describing the end of their relationship in January 2017 as “a loss,” in an interview with “The Breakfast Club” in May 2018, Mill said he battled with an opioid addiction, which began when a girl game him a Percocet. Mill mentioned the pressures of stardom as a factor in his drug use, but never mentioned Minaj as impacting his usage for better or worse.
The podcast host/ex-rapper also pointed to an Instagram video of Minaj happily opening a box of Chanel bags as more evidence she’s using drugs. Looking at the video, yes, Minaj is excited about the bags, but her behavior seems very normal given her frequently-stated appreciation for the luxury label.
And while it’s true she can afford to buy as many Chanel bags as she pleases, receiving a gift from one of the world’s most high status luxury brands that’s known for its stingy gifting policy is a form of recognition and her wanting to celebrate the moment is understandable.
In a third point, Budden criticizes Minaj for getting into a heated Twitter DM exchange with a Karen Civil intern, who said Minaj was approaching 40 and needed to change up her sound. For sure, Minaj sounds angry in her response, but once again there’s nothing in her comments that indicate she’s out of control much less on drugs.
Then again, Budden piling on Minaj for seemingly no reason is not new. In December 2017, he and Charlamagne ripped into the accomplished Queens rapper throughout a Revolt-sponsored year-end wrap up segment on which they listed Minaj as No. 3 on their trash artist list for 2017. This is the same year in which she ranked as No. 50 on Billboard’s Top Artists chart and had three songs on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart.
It’s not clear why Budden finds Minaj problematic but it can’t be her drug use because his arguments are nothing less than laughable. Minaj’s biggest issue could be that she’s a woman. Budden openly has stated he’s not a big fan of female rap and then, too, has his own spotted history with women.
Of course it’s very possible it’s much more mercenary than all of the above. It could just be as a hip hop culture analyst he’s put his finger in the air and concluded that jumping on the board the Minaj “hate train” is simply good for business. Combine the appetite for negative Minaj stories with a new accusation of drug use and boom, you have a lot of extra podcast visits.
All the while, Minaj continues to work seemingly non-stop in preparation for her upcoming Queen album drop and accompanying global tour, all of which involves not only her own efforts, but overseeing a very large staff.
And still, it’s okay that Budden weirdly hates Minaj so much so that’s he’s inspired to concoct a drug problem out of thin air, but it just says once again we need more prominent female voices in social media. As stated in our critique of Budden and Charlamagne’s show in December, if a woman occupied Budden’s seat, for certain she wouldn’t have spent the majority of her on-air minutes taking down rap’s most successful and hard-working female rapper.
Check out the podcast below.
Nicki Chanel bag unboxing