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Hip-Hop News: Jersey Cities Joe Budden Target Of Gunman
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Posted by Robert
Rap News Network
11/6/2003 4:35:58 AM

Tags and topics realted to this article include Joe Budden and 50 Cent.

An up-and-coming Jersey City rapper was the target of an attempted drive-by shooting last month, and police say the would-be gunman was arrested that night after he tried to hide - in a police station.

The incident occurred on Oct. 17, just weeks after a gun was fired outside a waterfront hotel while rap superstar 50 Cent was inside the lobby, but police didn't release information about the Budden incident until yesterday, saying they didn't want to jeopardize an ongoing investigation.

Joe Budden, 22, a Jersey City native whose self-titled album was released on the Def Jam label in June, told police he was driving his Humvee with two passengers. He said he was stopped at Gifford and Bergen avenues at about 1:30 a.m. when a man on a bicycle pulled up alongside the front passenger's window.

The man, wearing a ski-mask, pulled out a handgun, pointed it at the passenger and pulled the trigger, but nothing happened, Budden told police.

The man continued to pull the trigger, but the gun only clicked and didn't fire, he said.

The masked man then turned the gun on Budden and pulled the trigger several more times, but again the gun only clicked, Budden said.

The man then said, "Ah, I'm just playing," and rode away on his bicycle, he said.

But Budden followed in his Humvee, getting close enough at Brinkerhoff Street and Bergen Avenue to see the man's face - he had pulled off the ski mask - but then lost track of him on Communipaw Avenue near Crown Chicken, a half block from the West District police station.

The man apparently realized Budden was following him and jumped off his bike, dashing through a nearby doorway to hide.

However, the alleged gunman - Joshua Robinson, 23, of Park Street in Jersey City - was soon arrested because the building he'd run into was Jersey City's West District Police Station.

Police found Robinson crouching inside the doorway and took him into custody, reports said, adding that the officers then found a 9 mm handgun - with a bullet visibly jammed in its chamber - in the garbage can at the top of the police station's front steps.

Police also recovered the ski mask and the bicycle he was riding, and Budden later identified Robinson as the gunman, according to reports.

Attempts to reach Budden yesterday were unsuccessful.

Robinson has been charged with aggravated assault and weapons charges, but the Hudson County Prosecutor's Office may file additional charges against him, police said.

Later that same day, Jersey City Mayor Glenn D. Cunningham gave the key to the city to Budden, whose real name is Joseph Anthony Budden II.

"Jersey City is all I know. My mom's out there. My son's out there. My favorite cleaners, my favorite stores. So really, where do I live?" he said at the time.

Budden has had recent run-ins with the law himself.

Spending his early years in Queens, Budden moved to Jersey City when he was 11. A former choirboy who played the piano, drums and saxophone, he said he became addicted to angel dust as a teen and dropped out of high school in 10th grade. For the next few years, he was in and out of rehab and psychiatric institutions, but he continued writing poetry and rap lyrics.

He recently entered the pretrial intervention program because of an indictment for criminal contempt, terroristic threats, burglary and stalking, and is currently out on a $10,000 bail bond.

The incidents, involving a Jersey City woman, go back as far as September 2001, Hudson County Prosecutor Edward DeFazio said yesterday.

Budden's self-titled debut album released in July established him as a rising star. When Def Jam released the single "Pump it Up," fame came quickly and Budden was compared to rapper 50 Cent, another underground artist whose success on mix tapes and troubled past catapulted him to stardom.

Budden laughs off

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