‘This Is Uncomfortable’: Co-Hosts Mal and Rory Return to ‘The Joe Budden Podcast’ with Tense Discussion About Putting Business Before Friendship

After a nearly month-long hiatus, longtime co-hosts Rory Farrell and Jamil “Mal” Clay have returned to their seats at “The Joe Budden Podcast.”

As previously reported, toward the end of March fans were shocked when they tuned into the weekly podcast to find that the two gentlemen were missing. While rapper-turned-podcast-mogul Joe Budden initially gave a vague explanation of Mal and Rory’s absences, was evident that there was some tension amongst the three and that the group was in need of a long-overdue break. Over the next serval episodes, Joe would be joined by guest hosts and friends Ice and Ish. While they were in no capacity professional podcasters, they did their best to keep the show going as the original crew sorted out their issues, and Budden routinely voiced that he missed them on air.

(L-R) Rory, Joe Budden, Parks and Mal. Photo: @thisisrory/Instagram

Fast-forward to episode 435, titled “Shaking the Tree,” and the original lineup has returned. In an unusual 210-minute episode, the group shed some light on what’s been going on as pertains to the absences and the state of their friendship and the podcast.

Rory revealed that he had spoken to Joe prior to the former rapper addressing their fan base. “Something transpired over the weekend, some misunderstandings, some assumptions. Some ideas, some male ego happened, some prideful things. Some things were said that were meant, and some things were said that were not meant, and I just stayed in Atlanta,” Rory explained. 

“Me, Mal, and Joe met last week,” Rory continued. “There was a lot of grown man feelings. It was a little uncomfortable. It was a lot of feelings for three grown-ass men in a living room.”

Near the 20-minute mark, Mal chimed in, stating, “When we had a conversation at Joe’s house, it was like, the business is the business.” He added, “We can fix that, or we can’t. But as long as respect is still in play, me personally, I feel like anything can be solved. … That was part of the conversation Joe and I had when I left. I felt like there wasn’t any respect. So let me remove myself cause I don’t know what this is anymore. I don’t know if I’m talking to my n-gga or a n-gga I just met. The more important thing as men is to sit down and get your feelings out.”

He later called Budden out for having guest co-hosts while they worked out their differences, stating, “You would rather put two people in these seats as opposed to trying to fix what happened and moving on.” Mal added, “In doing that you risk a lot, you risk what the show is and what people have come to love, and people have come to support.” Mal expressed that he disagreed with that move, and when their fourth member Parks Vallely tried to challenge that notion, stating that several weeks would’ve been a long time not to record, Mal fired back, saying, “it could’ve been resolved in a week.”

Mal also expressed that had the podcast ended, he would’ve wanted to it be over real issues as opposed to something that could have easily been fixed amongst friends. He said it was never about finance, but more so about respect. “Fam, it’s not even about that for me. I’m just talking about respect,” he said. “N-ggas is hitting my phone [talking about] ‘yo don’t f-ck up the bag’—f-ck that money, n-gga. I don’t give a f-ck about a bag. I can get money anywhere on this planet.”

Joe agreed that neither party “behaved as friends,” and it looks like the show is seemingly back to regularly scheduled programing — news that seemed to have fans of the show excited. 

Listeners, of course, took to their social media platform to voice their opinions on Mal and Rory’s return, including one Twitter user who wrote, “Rory and Mal are back, the universe has been restored!!!!!!”

Another fan commented, “Rory and Mal back on the pod with Joe and Parks be like…”

“THEY’RE BAAAAAAACCCKKKKK!!!!! I’VE MISSED YOU RORY AND MAL. It’s good Wednesday indeed 🥳🥳 🥳 ,” expressed a third. 

Surprisingly, some fans were upset and admitted to missing Ish and Ice. Check out some of the fan reactions below. 

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