Nearly every hip hop artist who sits down for the Celeb Chop-Up starts in with their cliché bravado the second they’re questioned about their athletic background.
Most are quick to claim the No. 1 spot among rappers that hoop, but typically don’t have the resume to back up said claim.
Joe Budden never professed to be the best hooper among rappers, but the triple-double from an organized game that’s on his resume certainly gives him the ammo to stake claim.
I caught up with the hip hop star to chop-it-up about everything from his new album All Love Lost to his background as a talented post-up guard to why he stopped at four on his top five all-time rappers list.
Jason Jordan: I always like to gauge the sports backgrounds and experiences of all of my guests on the Celeb Chop-Up; what sports did you try coming up?
Joe Budden: I played basketball at Laurinburg Prep in North Carolina. I’m from New Jersey. I didn’t attend St. Anthony, but I’ve been to quite a few games and I’m really close with Coach Hurley.
JJ: How nice were you on the court?
JB: I was a post-up guard and I played inside a lot. I was great in transition and I was a good rebounder. My handles were never very good and my jump shot was always suspect. I was good. We had a great team.
JJ: Did you have scholarship offers?
JB: I had a few D-III scholarships, but that was when me and school parted ways.
JJ: Give me your shining moment on the court.
JB: I had a triple-double against this really good team. I think they were ranked No. 9 in the country at the time. I had about 12 points, 11 boards and 10 assists. I had a teammate named Curtis Smalls who was an amazing player and he was on fire that night. I credit him for the triple-double because he had about 50 that night. (Laughs)
JJ: Let’s say we decide to sponsor a one-on-one tournament involving only rappers, who do you think would come out on top?
JB: To be honest I don’t think I’m familiar with enough rapper’s games’ to say. Me and Game have played at his house and he’s got a really nice jump shot. Joell Ortiz is really nice! I know Fab is OK… I’m gonna go home team and say Joell Ortiz because he beat me one-on-one.
JJ: There it is. Let’s take this thing random in 3, 2, 1… President Obama’s Secret Service code name is Renegade; if you were President what would your code name be?
JB: Hmm, I wonder why his is Renegade… My code name would probably be Derek Jeter. I know that in itself is random, but that’s the alias that only my closest friends know I’ll use in different circumstances. They know what that means.
JJ: What competition based reality show would you absolutely win?
JB: The one where you’re naked in the woods. I would 100 percent win that game. I have no problem being naked and my survival instincts are top notch. I would certainly learn how to adapt quickly.
JJ: What’s your biggest pet peeve?
JB: Sensitivity. I don’t get along with people who are either too sensitive or people who take themselves too serious.
JJ: Give me your top five rappers of all time.
JB: Jay Z would be there, Tupac would be there, Eminem would be there, Rakim would be there… The fifth is always a toss-up; I was gonna say Biggie, but he wasn’t here long enough for me. But I’d name those guys for different reasons.
JJ: In the epic game of Paper, Rock, Scissors which object do you tend to get the most wins with?
JB: Paper because most people usually throw out the rock.
JJ: What fast food restaurant has the best fries?
JB: Shake Shack has great fries and amazing burgers too.
JJ: What was your worst pre-fame job?
JB: (Laughs) All of them. I had a seasonal job at the Post Office when I was about 15; manual labor for very long hours.
JJ: When you see yellow traffic lights what’s the first thing that pops into your head?
JB: Speed up!
JJ: What movie absolutely deserves another installment?
JB: Minority Report!
JJ: What’s the most overused slang word or phrase out today?
JB: “Lit”, people say that a little too much!
JJ: Here’s the scenario: While parking you tap the car in front of you and no one’s around, do you leave a note or do you move to a different row?
JB: (Laughs) Oh wow, if it’s just a little love tap I’ll move, but if damage is done I’d leave a note. I’ve gotta check. I believe in the energy of the universe.
JJ: If you would 100 percent get away with it which crime would you commit?
JB: Hmm, I’m not certain about that one. I would probably get tipped off like Martha Stewart did.
JJ: What sitcom intro song do you know every word to?
JB: I know quite a bit of these, let me see, Cheers is definitely one that I know.
JJ: Unfortunately you’ve found yourself in the Witness Protection Program what would your cover name be?
JB: (Laughs) Well, it wouldn’t be Derek Jeter that’s for sure. I would pick Pierre Alexander.
JJ: What random fact can you just tell me right now?
JB: Jersey City is eight miles long.
JJ: Blindfolded can you tell the difference between Pepsi and Coke?
JB: Absolutely, 100 percent; Pepsi is sweeter, thicker and fuller. I would bet the house that I could tell the difference.
JJ: Would you rather have the power to be invisible or the power to read minds?
JB: Read minds; I find that people have a hard time articulating themselves. I would love to know what’s going on in their heads.
JJ: Who would you never want to meet in a dark alley?
JB: Hmm, I’ve never really thought about that let’s see… Anybody from ISIS.
JJ: Great answer! OK, we’ve got the new album All Love Lost, we’ve got the podcast and you’re on the show Couples Therapy, talk about what fans can expect from everything you’ve got going on.
JB: OK, thanks again Jason for taking the time to talk with me. The album is out now and it’s a body of work that I’m extremely proud of. You can just expect great songwriting, great conceptuality, lyricism, wordplay; some of the things that I pride myself on. The show is on Wednesdays at 10 p.m. and that’s fun to watch so definitely tune in to that. We’re going on a nationwide tour in November so that’ll be pretty cool. The podcast is called Later and we release that every Wednesday as well and it’s really growing so I’m really proud of that. I’ve got a lot going on, I’m just trying to stay active, busy and productive.
Follow Jason Jordan on Twitter: @JayJayUSATODAY