Mounting tension between podcast co-hosts Joe Budden, Rory and Mal has appeared to hit its boiling point. According to a Reddit thread, Budden suggested Rory take a few shows off when fans noticed the trio — who helm The Joe Budden Podcastweekly — was noticeably lacking their usual chemistry. Budden initially claimed it “time for vacation,” but that turned out not to be the case.

On Wednesday (March 24), Budden addressed the elephant in the room during Episode 425, the aptly titled “Tea Leaves,” after the duo once again failed to show up. Joined by interim co-hosts Ice and Savon, Budden appeared confident they’d return — he just didn’t know when.

“I’ll eliminate some of the suspense,” he says around the 16-minute mark. “Rory and Mal aren’t here, but this is Rory’s seat — this is not Ice’s seat — and this is Mal’s seat. Whenever they feel like returning to their seats, then they’ll return to their seats, then I can go back to work. And then what will happen is the same thing when your star player comes back to the team.”

He adds, “Sometimes in friendship and business, everyone needs to take a step back and go to their respective corners. Sometimes everyone’s perspective and perception on how to go about that and how it should be executed is different.”

Parks then offers his own perspective and explains how friendship and business can be difficult to balance, saying, “I been doing business with Joe Budden for a very long time. I don’t come to you with business shit because we have to keep doing shit … other people should probably have somebody else to talk to you or one of your professionals.”

Later, he claims Rory and Mal’s “beef” doesn’t stem from financial disparities to which Budden replies, “It’s not a beef. Nobody has communicated a beef. What they have communicated to me is something is wrong. Whether that be in our friendship, how we’re speaking to each other, the respect level.”

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Elsewhere in the episode, Budden said he loves when podcasts go through “turmoil” because it “shapes character.” But longtime listeners of the podcast aren’t so sure. Twitter erupted with reactions to Rory and Mal’s absence from the show with some people suggesting Budden’s ego has become too large while others just want them to quickly mend their rift.

“Wait Rory and Mal on strike Face with tears of joy I bet they’re sick of joe budden bad bitch behavior. N-gga get a little Equity and don’t know how to act,” one person wrote, while another added, “No disrespect to Savon and Head Ice, but I watch the pod solely for the relationship between you Rory and Mal. Idgaf bout the topics. Never did. The chemistry and the history between y’all makes the show. If there’s an issue, fix it.”

As questions continued to flood Budden’s timeline, he did take the time to respond to a couple of tweets. When someone asked him when Rory and Mal would return, he replied, “When it’s right.”

As noted in the aforementioned Reddit thread, Budden believes it’s “just a miscommunication,” although he insists the perceived tension is “very real.” The former Love & Hip Hop: New York personality also claims Rory wants to fight him every week but has talked to him during his absence and it’s still “all love.”

Whatever the case, Twitter seized the opportunity to generate some hilarious memes, commentary and conspiracies on the subject.

Check some of them out below.