Joe Budden’s “Pump It Up” Single Earns Gold Certification After 20 Years

Joe Budden has reached a new milestone as his 2003 single “Pump It Up” has been certified Gold by the RIAA. On Wednesday (Aug. 30), the organization announced that “Pump It Up” had officially surpassed 500,000 copies sold, making it the New Jersey rapper’s most popular musical release thus far.

News of Budden’s latest accolade received mixed reactions on social media, as some already believed the song had reached Gold certification, while others noted the fact that it took more than 20 years for the single to reach that feat.

“Ain’t no way. That song should be diamond by now,” one Instagram user wrote. Another joked that Budden’s career in media is more successful than his previous one as a rap artist. “Gold in 20 yrs. Music ain’t ya forte big dawg, stick to podcasting.”

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In 2018, Budden spoke with Billboard about the making of “Pump It Up” in celebration of the song’s 15th anniversary. “To be perfectly honest with you, I had never had a huge single,” the 43-year-old admitted at the time. “I didn’t know the workings of a huge single. I didn’t know what it took to create one. When I picked that beat, I was really just trying to be true to the essence of Hip-Hop, with the A Tribe Called Quest “’Scenario (Remix).’”

He continued, “All the samples that were in it. I was just like, ‘Let me do some sample-heavy, New York, fast-tempo sh*t where you could just spit.’ My goal was just to spit over an up-tempo beat. I had no idea it would eventually turn into a club record and a radio record. Trust me, I didn’t know how to even try to go about making that.”

Joe Budden attends the 2012 BET Hip Hop Awards at Boisfeuillet Jones Atlanta Civic Center on September 29, 2012 in Atlanta, Georgia. Chris McKay/Getty Images for BET

“Pump It Up” was released on March 24, 2003, as the lead-single from his self-titled debut album, which was released on June 10 that same year. Produced by Just Blaze, the song was a fan-favorite, peaking at No. 38 on the Billboard Hot 100.

The track was such a strong hit that it even spawned a response from JAY-Z on the same instrumental, resulting in a lyrical exchange between Hov and Budden that is still talked about decades later.

In 2004, “Pump It Up” was nominated for Best Male Rap Solo Performance at the 46th Annual Grammy Awards, ultimately losing to Eminem’s “Lose Yourself.”

Watch Joe Budden’s “Pump It Up” music video below.


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