While hip-hop veteran Joe Budden is no stranger to finding himself at the center of controversy, it appears he might have taken things too far for R&B songstress Kehlani this time around.
On the latest episode of The Joe Budden Podcast with Rory & Mal, which aired on Spotify this Wednesday (Feb. 19), Rory, Mal and Joe broke down Keh’s newest song, “Valentine’s Day (Shameful).” The SoundCloud-released track has been widely interpreted as a breakup song addressed to her (rumored) former beau, YG, amid rumors of the Compton rapper’s infidelity.
“I feel like I’ve been hoodwinked,” Joe said around the 30-minute mark before their discussion got underway. “‘Cause it was just last week we came on this podcast. Rory made me listen to a YG and Kehlani song. I hated it on the first listen and then by the second listen, I loved it. I was in. I was with this new image of YG being in love and making songs like he’s in love.”
Although Joe prefaced his commentary with the admission that he’s generally a fan of Keh’s music, some listeners found his commentary to be disrespectful towards the Oakland-bred singer. Throughout their assessment, Joe, Rory and Mal repeatedly made sarcastic comments about Kehlani and her relationship with YG, casting doubt on her portrayal. At one point, Joe commented, “Somebody explain the woman's brain to me.”
Wednesday’s episode hit a low point when Joe caustically made light of Kehlani’s past struggles with mental health, stating “Party[NextDoor] gonna try and double back now, ‘You was sh**ting on me cause I made you try to kill yourself.’”
Once she caught wind of their disparaging remarks, Kehlani took to Twitter where she called Joe Budden “a joke.” She then addressed Joe directly, criticizing the hip-hop commentator for his podcast remarks. “The amount of misinformation and lies and lameness in this episode about me and you use my face is [sic]...lol gotta love it,” she wrote. To this, Joe wrote back, “We love you, it’s jokes...feel better.”
Both of Kehlani’s tweets have since been deleted, but that didn’t stop Joe from ranting off into more criticism about the reaction. “I’m ‘bout sick of you artists…never a peep through years of praise but wanna jump outta windows when you hear something you don’t like,” Joe wrote afterward. “Newsflash, I am not friends with you n**gas.”
Consequently, fans of Kehlani are inflamed by Joe’s comments and are rushing to her defense. “Joe Budden really had the audacity to joke about Kehlani’s suicide attempt in his podcast,” one person tweeted. “Very much clown behavior.”
“Joe Budden and his minions literally picked apart Kehlani’s song and made fun of her and made all her feelings invalid,” a second wrote. “Wow, can’t say I’m surprised. Trash will forever be trash.”
See their reactions to Joe Budden’s remarks below: