Joe Budden Criticized Drake's 'For All the Dogs’ Album—But He Also Praised It

Drake responded by calling Budden "the poster child of frustration"—but he may have only seen one highly critical viral clip.

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Drake's new album For All the Dogs has gotten a lot of people talking and chief among them is Joe Budden. Drake and Budden have a complicated history, though Budden has maintained that he's a big fan of Drake's music throughout his career.

On Episode 664 of The Joe Budden Podcast, the rapper-turned-podcaster and his co-hosts delved into their thoughts on For All the Dogs. A clip of Budden specifically calling out Drake's performance on the immediate fan favorite "First Person Shooter" featuring J. Cole went viral. After the clip started to circulate online, Drake reignited his issues with Budden by writing a lengthy Instagram caption aimed at the podcaster that opened with, "You have failed at music" and eviscerated Budden's rap career.

It's possible Drake only saw the viral clip where Budden was highly critical of Drake's output and did not watch the entire episode because not everything Budden had to say about Drake's album was negative. At various points in the episode, Budden said Drake was "really rapping well" on "8am In Charlotte," that he "loved" the single "Slime You Out" in the context of the album, and called FATD Drake's best album since Scorpion.

He also criticized the album, calling the second half "a mess," saying he never wants to hear Drake rap in Spanish again, and wondered why Drake decided to supposedly diss Rihanna and not go after Pusha T. Ultimately, Budden maintained that he "likes" For All the Dogs as an album, but he was "still let down."

Here's a rundown of most of Joe's thoughts about the album—the good and the bad.

He thinks "8am in Charlotte" doesn't live up to the rest of Drake's time stamp series

Ahead of the release of the album, Drake shared the second single "8am in Charlotte," the latest in his beloved time stamp series of tracks. While Budden admitted to being a fan of some of the past entries in the series, he seemed less than impressed with the latest installment.

"If this was 8 a.m. in Charlotte, it had me ready for 8:45 in Raleigh," he said around the 17:30 point of the podcast. "Whenever he got out of Charlotte I know he got in his bag, but whatever he stopped for gas in Charlotte. In Charlotte he just stopped at the gas station, had a little store rest stop. ... Drake, get the fuck out of Charlotte."

He went on to say that the If You're Reading This It's Too Late cut "6pm in New York" was his favorite entry, but then changed his mind after "5am in Toronto" was brought up. "Listen, he lost me on '8am in Charlotte' when he start talking about, uh, '21 wherever you go I go we Yugoslavian,'" he said, calling various bars on the track "unacceptable." He agreed that Drake was "really rapping well" on the song, but he didn't quite fit the mood or temperament he expects from the time stamp series.

He also questioned the decision to release it as "the precursor to the album, coming off of the SZA record," which he said he didn't like much as a single but "loved" in the context of the full album.

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Budden wanted "Virginia Beach" to be a Pusha T diss record

"See, when you say For All the Dogs, I think that you should start with Pusha T smoke," he said around the 22-minute point of the episode. Despite his belief that Drizzy should've gone all out on dissing Pusha he still praised the song. "That beat is incredible to me. It does start like a Drake album is supposed to start," he continued. "He could've took this beat and went absolutely bonkers, where nobody stood a chance. But I like what he was talking."

He doesn't get why Drake seemingly took shots at Rihanna

One of the most talked about songs on For All the Dogs is "Fear of Heights," which many have perceived as a diss directed at Rihanna and possibly even ASAP Rocky, the father of her children. Budden also thought the song was about Rihanna, but he's not sure why he's going after her or ASAP.

"Why's he shooting at them like this?" he asked around the 28-minute point. "What is Rihanna and ASAP doing to him where he got to do this? ... This is petty. I like my Drake petty. I like petty Aubrey, but this is fucked up... She ain't put an album out in seven years and he shooting at her..." Despite the confusion at Drake's decision to go after Rihanna, he called the beat switch in the song's second half "insane."

Budden said that "First Person Shooter" with J. Cole exemplified his "overall issue with Drake"

"This song is a big part of what my overall issue with Drake is, I think," Budden said around the 33:40 point. "Mistake number one for Aubrey: Not only did you let his voice be the first voice we hear on this song, but you see what he did, he left about a half-bar beat before he got right to it. Mistake number two: No it's not just two guys."

Budden suggested that the song shows Drake acting like Cole is "his man" but on the record, he thinks they're anything but. "That's not your man," he continued. "I hate to tell you rappers, [but] these are not your mans. That is a trained assassin! A murderer! A killer of all kinds. He has been on a spree, a murdering spree. Killing all of our favorites, like one by one, lining them up. He was waiting for you."

Overall he thinks the song does nothing to highlight Drake's qualities because in comparison to J. Cole he thinks he fails to rise to the occasion. "Mistake number three, you still thinking about them," he said. "Aye Drake, you thinking about the wrong n***as right now. ... You fucking motherfucker! You can't hook your way out of this! ... It was dope, but not in this arena, not next to him and not on this beat. ... You still got the nerve to shout this n***a out, you ain't heard the fuck he just did?!"

Budden liked the beat switch-up at the end, but concluded, "Drake did go crazy, but just not the type of crazy it needed to be for this."

He never wants to hear Drake rap in Spanish ever again and thinks the second half of the album is "a mess"

Drake raps in Spanish on the Bad Bunny collaboration "Gently," which Budden thinks wasn't executed all that well. "I never want to hear this n***a rap in Spanish ever again," he said around the 46-minute point. "This like when he started singing Happy Birthday. ... This the worst run ever. 'Gently' into 'Rich Baby Daddy' into 'Another Late Night' into 'Away From Home.' This is, like, the whole Yachty portion of the project for me, and I'm like, 'If this is what you doing every time you get a SZA feature, stay away from SZA too.'"

He suggested that not even Sexyy Red's presence on "Rich Baby Daddy" was enough to save that song for him, even though he's a big fan of her. He described the second half of the album as something of a "mess," but wrapped the discussion by saying he still considers himself a Drake fan.

Budden called the album Drake's best since Scorpion but also said that might not be saying much

Near the 50-minute point of the episode, Budden said For All the Dogs was Drake's best project since 2018's Scorpion. His co-hosts suggested that it's not saying much to say that, which prompted Budden to say that he'll likely stop reviewing hip-hop albums going forward.

"This might be my last rap album review," he said. "I think I'm done... All of you rappers sound, at least 98 percent of y'all sound uninspired. Y'all do sound low effort. There's no new, exciting creative energy on the way. All of y'all sound like y'all trying to sound like the artist that you like a lot. None of y'all seem to be trying to innovate. Y'all are letting the tech outpace you."

He questioned where those verses Lil Yachty praised are

"I knew that this Drake wasn't going to be a Joe Budden Drake when [Lil] Yachty said all that shit that he said, and now that we have this project where is that verse?" he said at the 54:50 point, referring to comments Yachty made about For All the Dogs having one of Drake's best verses yet. "Where is the verse that Yachty said is arguably one of the best verses Drake has ever written? It's nowhere on this project."

He said after listening to For All the Dogs, he realized he had to "let go of" his idea of Drake. "The Drake that I love was the best hook creator, maker, loner-outer in the world," he continued. "What is the last memorable hook you've heard from Drake? I'm not trying to shit on him, that's my man, but I want to open up the discussion. Even when he used to do features it was his dominant hook. I haven't heard a dominant hook from Drake in a long time."

Budden said the project sounds like Drake "rapping for the children"

As the conversation was winding down, Budden said that he thought the project sounded like Drake "rapping for the children" rather than his longtime fans. "Yo dog, I had to look up how old this n***a was when I finished listening to the album," Budden said. "You are 36, your birthday is in 20 days. I Googled that, too, you will be 37 years old. Get the fuck away from some of these younger n***as and stop fucking these 25-year-olds."

By comparison, he said that he saw J. Cole mature from rapping about losing his virginity to topics that really impact adults. "I want to hear adult Drake rapping for adult people," he said. "That's my issue with him today. He rapping for the kids, the streams, the Instagram comments, and the algorithm." Budden suggested that Drake has already accomplished so much, so even if he never made another song, his fans will remain "well fed."

"He did it already," he continued. "It really shouldn't be on Drake. It shouldn't be on him. In 2024, we should not be looking to Drake to continue again to set the standard and the sound and the premium and the bar moving forward."

Budden thinks Drake could do with some time off

"I for one, I'm really happy that he's going away. I'm really happy that he's taking a break," Budden said, referring to Drizzy's recent admission that he's going to "lock the door to the studio" for at least a year while he focuses on his health. One of his co-hosts chimed in to say they think Drake could stand to take a year or two off between albums, but Budden added, "I was about to go even further than that, but we'll discuss it later."

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How did Drake respond?

When Drake caught wind of Budden's criticism of the album, he shared a lengthy comment on a post from DJ Akademiks.

"You have failed at music," Drizzy wrote. "You left it behind to do what you are doing in this clip cause this is what actually pays your bills. For any artist watching this just remember you are watching a failure give their opinion on his idea of a recipe for success…a quitter give their opinion on how to achieve longevity…"

He continued, "You switched careers cause the things that pop into your brain had you broke living cheque to cheque and the raps you write had 450 men showing up to your shows in dusty Enyce jeans to screw up their face to Mood Muzik 29 and pretend you are the goat."

He then gave advice to other artists, whom he told to avoid repeating the career path of Budden.

"Pls to any artist that's doing what they feel is right don't let these opinions affect your mindset after the fact…this guy is the poster child of frustration and surrendering," he wrote. "You retired and we never hung up your jersey we don't even remember your number. We know you for doing this…you withdrew from rap not cause you accomplished all you need to it's cause it wasn't working for you." 

He continued, "I never want anybody in the generations to think that the whole "everybody's entitled to their opinion" is a real thing…this is a man projecting his own self hate and the fact I did and continue to do everything he wanted to do for himself. If you need it put in simpler terms I own a 767…he owns a modest house in the 973 and flies first class on special occasions."

Drake's response

— Complex Music (@ComplexMusic) October 7, 2023
Twitter: @ComplexMusic

Drake continued to blast Budden on social media. He shared a picture that appeared to be a section of an old photo of Budden with a hat case. “I thank god for this life and not having to come to rushed conclusions on Best Buy podcast mics,” he captioned the post.

Watch the full episode of the podcast above via YouTube, or listen via Spotify here.

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