Average Joe? Hardly.

In its 25+ year history, SOB’s has hosted some of music’s most legendary and promising acts. The downtown venue has been home to artists at the height of their careers and served as a starting ground for acts on the road to stardom. Through the years, SOBs’ stage has seen countless memorable performances, from The Roots to B.o.B when he had the number #1 song in the country; from legendary acts like Kanye West and Cypress Hill and to rap phenom Drake. With such an impressive list, you’d expect any one of these artists to hold the record for fastest selling show; and that’s where you’d be wrong.

Joe Budden, an artist whose last mainstream hit was six years ago (2004’s Pump It Up), holds the record for fastest sell out of any SOBs show in recent memory. So how has this underdog managed to beat the odds and edge out even the most buzz-worthy of artists? By cultivating a unique artist-fan relationship based on personal interaction; using home-made videos (part of his JoeBudden TV free form web series) and Twitter, Budden has invited his fans into his life and created a brand that they are incredibly loyal to.

Using the web as a means of gaining exposure is commonplace for artists these days, but no artist has harnessed the communicative powers of the web like Joe Budden. Over the years, Joe has released a steady stream of music , much of it free, without the encumbrance of a large record label. Even with countless mixtapes and independent releases, Budden has been reaching out to fans in a completely new way.

Joe Budden Fans Line Up Down The Block
Joe Budden Fans Line Up Down The Block

Anyone with access to an internet connection knows free music is hardly rare. What makes Budden successful is his highly active account on Twitter (@mousebudden). Of course, many impressive acts have gained their fair share of followers on the site, but none of them have used this medium to connect with fans the way Budden does. In a world where tour receipts are dwindling, and the changing industry has left many artists wondering how to stay in the game, Joe Budden’s strategy offers some valuable lessons.

Budden has taken the concept of a ‘reality show’ and made it more sophisticated and intimate; releasing unscripted videos and uncensored Twitter messages without the need for a major television network. An important quality of Joe’s ‘Reality Show’ (for lack of a better term), is that it feels completely genuine. ‘The Joe Show’ has no producers or no writers, just Joe himself. The viewer gets the undeniable feeling that this is true glimpse into how actually Budden behaves; that he’s not putting on a show for the camera or Twitter audience. It’s this sincerity which makes Budden’s persona sso fascinating and rare. He is unapologetically himself at all times and honest about his faults – sometimes to a fault – which makes his fans love him more.

Budden has created one of the most loyal fanbases in Hip Hop through the use of the social networking site Twitter. For fans, Twitter is an easy way to get a little bit closer to artists, actors, and public figures that catch their interest. Most of the time, however, fans end up getting the short end of the stick.

Sure reading P Diddy’s shameless promotion of his vodka brand is cool but has he ever invited fans to play kickball? Of course not, most celebrities wouldn’t. And that’s where Budden has the upper hand. Amongst a bevy of rappers and celebrities on the site, Budden is able to break through the clutter by not just communicating through tweets, but using them as a means to eventually communicate face to face; tweeting specific locations and dates where fans can have a little fun with the rapper himself. Budden may not be as well known as Bun B or Common but the chance to have a water gun fight with him, partipate in some part of the lifestyle means much more to fans than sifting through the generic and/or gloating tweets from even the biggest of stars. It’s this personal connection, Budden has proved, that translates into a loyal fanbase. Win their hearts on the courts and they’ll have your back in the clubs.

Candace ‘Killa Can’ Silva, Alainna Lynch & Kozza Babumba

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5 Responses to “Average Joe? Hardly.”

  1. Great article. I completely agree… Very hard to find an artist that cares enough to interact with his fans and allow them into his personal life as much as he does.. It may be unprecedented. That’s why we’re so loyal… Ad to the fact he’s just mad talented.

  2. dont forget women (tahiry, somaya) helped make this guy famous lol most people watched his joebuddentv videos because of tahiry, not joe, unless u one of his stans lol…….

  3. I feel like your saying Joe has a loyal fan base because he’s on twitter, when in reality people only follow him because of the realness of the music. 90% of fans were there before JBTV and twitter because there is truth in his words and he writes for himself, not a label. Your materialism is very obvious as you assume that he has fans because of his promotion and not because of the quality of the product he delivers.

    • Not at all! The music, undoubtedly, is what gets him the fans – we’re just intrigued by his masterful use of the internet. He has an amazing ability to keep peoples’ interest and break through all the online clutter.

  4. joe budden top 5 die or alive.. i am def in that mood, just waitin for 4!!!!

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