Hip hop collective Slaughterhouse dropped by Fuse HQ Friday to discuss their upcoming album Welcome to: Our House, but the group gave us exclusive details about member Joe Budden's arrest prior to the group's sold out show at New York's Best Buy Theater on Thursday night.
"I got arrested before the show for an unpaid traffic ticket in 2007," admits Budden (also know as "Joey"). "If I would’ve known about the situation, it would’ve been cleared up. But I didn’t; it had never popped up before and I’ve gone through the system a few times. When there’s a bench warrant, they catch you when they can catch you and it just so happens that we had a sold-out show at Best Buy Theatre."
The show went on as scheduled, though member Royce da 5'9" admits there was an element missing. "It went incredible, but you definitely can tell where Joey was missed because he adds a certain flair and humor to the show," says the rapper. "Us getting the crowd to chant 'Free Joey,' we didn’t want to tear down the NYPD and make it a political thing. We just went and did what we do."
Asked how they heard about the news, the group says they were directly involved in Budden's arrest. "We didn’t hear the news; we saw the news," says member Joell Ortiz. "Forty police officers came into the building. You would’ve thought this guy…" Budden then finishes his sentence, saying, "You would’ve thought I was [George] Zimmerman," referencing the man who shot 17-year-old Trayvon Martin.
The group was present when police arrived looking for Budden, despite, according to Royce da 5'9", the cops not knowing what he looked like. "For the record, the officers were very rude to us for no reason," says Royce. "They wouldn’t let us leave. They came in looking for Joey and had no idea what he looked like, so I guess we were all black men. It was like, 'Are you in the group? What’s your name?Well, you guys can’t leave the room. I want to see everybody’s ID.' It’s like, 'Yo, you’re coming to look for this man. At least know what he looks like. You’re asking me where he’s at like it’s my job to find him.' I’m real big on respect and I just don’t understand why police officers feel they have to disrespect people when they speak to them."
"Go somewhere and disrespect George Zimmerman," adds member Crooked I.
"It was hurtful to me because we were in the process of doing a meet and greet and fans flew in from Europe," says Budden. "One girl flew in two months ago and stayed just for this show. So I was disappointed in that aspect, especially in your hometown."
The group also questioned the timing of the arrest. "If I was a police officer, I probably would’ve been like, 'Let him do the show and we’ll get him right after he comes off the stage,'" says Royce.
Adds Budden: “You could’ve stayed right there and seen a good hip hop show.”
Slaughterhouse on Joe Budden Arrest