KXNG Crooked & Joell Ortiz explain why Joe Budden’s omission on Eminem’s “I Will” was never intended as a slight.
KXNG Crooked & Joell Ortiz have earned their place at the table reserved for elite hip-hop lyricists, and as it happens, Eminem is no stranger to the seating arrangement. With both Slaughterhouse members having recently come together to drop off H.A.R.D, a collaborative EP released at the tail end of May, we had a chance to speak with Joell and Crook during a lengthy and informative interview — you can read the entire interview right here, recommended for anyone interested in the sprawling story of Slaughterhouse.
While there are plenty of gems to unpack throughout, one of the notable highlights arose when the topic of Eminem’s “I Will” came up. Seen by many as the closest thing to a Slaughterhouse reunion track in recent memory, Joe Budden‘s absence ultimately led to speculation that Em was attempting to slight the rapper-turned-podcaster. Yet as Joell explains, the song was originally written several years ago, and never had a Joe Budden verse to begin with.
“We were in Em’s studio but it was a few years ago though,” explains Joell. “I always loved that damn song. Yeah, and we got the phone call from the label that Em loves it and wants to use it for his up-and-coming project and I was like “Yo, can I hear it? I haven’t heard it in a while, can I hear it?” I loved it when I heard it again. Cause sometimes you don’t know if that energy’s gonna be there, you know what I’m saying? So I just wanted to hear it. But I loved what I said, I love how the song sounded. I was just like “aight cool, lets rock.” That’s how that really came about. It wasn’t anything new, it was something that had been recorded a few years ago by all of us actually.”
“Em makes a decision and sticks with it, like “Yo I like this, I like locking in with this,’” explains Crook. “He’s basically just giving you another plaque to hang on your wall. Just to keep it a buck, you know what I’m saying? He’s just a good dude like that. A lot of people figured since Joe wasn’t on the song that that was some kind of slight or a shot, but it wasn’t you know what I mean? When we recorded that song, Joe didn’t get on that song, you feel me? And that’s just all that was so there was nothing else to read into. I know the fans like to, you know, they like that conflict and controversy and they like to get in those chat rooms and those comments and like to you know, pump up all these beef theories.”
For more from Joell and KXNG Crooked, be sure to check out our exclusive interview right here.