And to think, all it took was a pandemic to bring Joe Budden out of retirement with a potential performance of “Pump It Up.”
Unlike ninety-nine percent of his fellow rappers, means it when he says “I’m retired.” But despite having made one of the biggest about-faces in modern media, from lyrical elite to a prominent voice in hip-hop media, it’s not easy to forget Budden’s roots as an emcee. It’s a problem he has faced on many an occasion, especially when it comes time for him to play the role of critic; no look following an admittedly scathing review of A Written Testimony. And for those who take back to rap, it always returns to “Pump It Up.”
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For better or worse, Jumpoff Joey will be forever associated with his breakout hit. Unfairly labeled as a one-hit-wonder, Budden’s catalog stretches far beyond the 2003 -produced single — and yet it has somehow come to define him as an artist. Yet anybody who has watched Budden on one of his various platforms knows the man is as self-deprecating as they come. It’s no wonder that upon finally reaching his breaking point, no doubt incited by an expansive stretch of quarantine-induced boredom, he returned to the place it all began.
“I’ve watched 7 movies and 3 docs & I’ve been to the fridge 9 times… I think it’s time i give y’all a live performance of Pump It Up on Instalive,” he teases, Twitter, much to the delight of his fans. We can only hope that Joe isn’t merely pulling our strings — it goes without saying that the antics induced by seeing Joe Budden perform his iconic hit on Instagram Live would go a great way in boosting collective morale. Do it for the people, Joe.