The world had a front row look at the drama that plagued The Joe Budden Podcast in 2021, as Joe Budden’s professional and personal relationships with co-hosts Rory Farrell and Jamil “Mal” Clay dissolved in front of everyone’s eyes as they tried to work out their differences on the show.

The trio eventually parted ways, and Budden found new co-hosts in Parks Vallely, Ish and Ice, and it seems the switch-up paid off in Joe’s favor. The rapper-turned-podcast-host revealed on Wednesday (February 9) that The Joe Budden Podcast ranked on Edison Research’s Top 50 Podcasts In The United States in 2021, debuting at No. 37.

“Independent. No backing. Black owned. New co hosts. No ads,” Budden wrote on Instagram as he listed off why this accomplishment carried weight for him.

“No integrations placed in the audio. Opened the market. Said no to offers. Staffed over 30 through a pandemic. No loans. No gimmicks. No guests. No handouts. Just Joe. Some of y’all know who the fuck i am.”

Budden’s podcast notably beat out NPR’s Code Switch and True Crime Garage. Budden previously shared the pod’s statistics on Twitter at the end of 2021. The show received over two million plays per week for a total of 104,000,000 plays last year. Regardless of the high numbers, 2021 was a tumultuous year for the show, with Joe Budden going so far as to fire Rory on Episode 437. On Episode 438, Budden ended up issuing his own apology.

“Seeing all of this feedback and all this —I do need to apologize to Rory, as well,” he said. “Maybe Rory and Mal, too, but definitely Rory … things sound a lot spicier in the go-out. Ever since that last pod, I’ve just been having like pictures in my head of every moment that me and the guys have ever had together. When I say I didn’t ask you to do shit for me — ‘cause I don’t ask y’all to do shit for me but that’s a man thing to me.

“You just don’t ask men too much shit but when I said I didn’t ask you to do something, it don’t mean I’m not appreciative. It don’t mean I’m not grateful. It just means I never asked.”

Check out The Joe Budden Podcast’s latest episode below.