Budden said he was happy to be leaving Def Jam and looked forward to next steps in his career.
While Budden’s self-titled 2003 album sold over 500,000 copies, he never released another album on the label. He also scored a hit record with “Pump It Up,” which was used in an NBA Campaign. In 2005, Def jam held a listening session for Budden's second release, The Growth, but the album never materialized.
Even without a second album in the market, Budden stayed relevant by releasing several popular mixtapes via the internet and the streets, most notably Mood Muzik 1 & 2.
Def Jam president Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter said that he wasn’t exactly sure how to release Budden as an artist.
“If you just want to throw an album out there then next week, [fine]… [Then] you’re recording [songs] about how we didn’t support it. We could do that,” Jay-Z said. “We could do that tomorrow. I don’t think that what he wants. I don’t think that what he needs. Maybe…I don’t know.”
Urban legends and gossipers speculated that a 2003 lyrical sparring session might have led Jay-Z, who eventually became Def Jam’s president, to harbor resentment against the younger rapper.
When Joe Budden’s “Pump It Up,” began to gain popularity in 2003, Jay-Z recorded his own version of the song, which began to get significant radio play. Shortly, Budden recorded a verse and added it on to Jay-Z’s. In each’s verse, it seemed like they were sending subtle lyrical jabs at each other.
Jay-Z insisted that notion was completely false and backed up his statement with present examples.
“That [lyrical sparring match] had never influenced my decisions. You see Beanie has a record with R. Kelly (one of his adversaries). Juelz Santana has put and album out. I’m way too big of a person to [do that]. I would never block anyone’s blessing, because of anything personal. If I didn’t want to deal with him, there’s other people there,” Jay-Z said. “I mean, why do we have a problem, I freestyled on his record. He probably made his career off of freestyling over other people’s records. If I start freestyling over other people’s records…Lord forbid.”
Joe Budden has yet to reveal his next move, but the third installment of the Mood Muzik series has been highly anticipated, especially on the internet.