On March 9, The Joe Budden Podcast with Rory & Mal aired its “Leftover Lust” episode, in which Joe Budden made a disrespectful comment about women who participate in Carnival and the Carnival events. He expressed, “These chicks can’t wait to put on these Carnival outfits and be hoes.” This was followed by massive backlash from the Caribbean community.
The rapper made the comment when his co-host Rory reminisced on TLC’s Chilli being his first crush. Mya, Lil Kim and Chilli were spotted in Trinidad together during the Carnival season for their future reality TV show “Girls Crew.” Additionally, the R&B singer Ashanti was there.
Following the crush confession, Budden asked, “What’s up with Mya?” Rory implied that Mya was, “doing that little Carnival shit. She looked aight,” to which Budden laughed and responded, “These chicks can’t wait to put on these Carnival outfits and be hoes.”
The conversation went left after Budden expressed those thoughts; he was called out by his co-host for them and hit with, “And what are you saying?” “You mad?” and “I have yet to see a problem.”
The commentary began to surface on the internet when many West Indians and women were upset about Budden’s ignorant comment on the Caribbean Carnival culture. With the push from such great backlash, the rapper went to social media to apologize on his derogatory comments:
“On my most recent podcast we were having a conversation about ‘other’ [people] appropriating Culture they weren’t apart of (as we normally do). We were not discussing Carnival, Caribbean Culture or anything of the sort and never would as I’m well aware of the strong and proud history & heritage,” Budden wrote in a now-deleted Instagram post. “To anyone who heard that conversation and felt offended I’d like to humbly apologize, that’s just never my intention. To those of you outraged by this 7 second clip of audio being matched [with] pictures of beautiful women to push a narrative we aren’t adding to let me say, I didn’t publish that, those are not my thoughts or sentiments and I don’t feel that way. I can assure you your anger is misplaced. That isn’t journalism, it’s cheap clickbait to weaponize emotions to push an agenda.”
However, the apology was not good enough for people to forget, including myself. I understand as a blogger that some blogs do malicious things to get attention, likes and views, but the joke was disrespectful toward women. He also tries to cast blame on journalists instead of taking responsibility for what he said. Additionally, since he deleted the post, this raises some doubt on the apology.
Men in general should not joke or comment on a woman’s personality based on what she wears. Clothing does not define us, personality does! We should wear what we want freely without having to worry about random slut-shaming and ignorant commentary on who we are. Furthermore, a woman should not be sexualized based on how she dresses. Just because she is showing a lot of skin does not make her a “hoe.”
Situations like this occur when we lack the education on the cultures of other black diasporas. If Budden understood Caribbean culture, he would have known that Carnival is a celebration of life and not just some random event that happens every year for women to show skin. This is all culture, more specifically black culture, and we should make it our duty to respect and embrace that culture.