RUDE JUDE (SHADE 45) INTERVIEW
"Shut up, bitch! Let's go." Jude fades out Nancy Sinatra's "Bang, Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down)" as Mac Mall's "My Opinion" beat gets all the way turnt up. "I play what I want when I want 'cause I can!" he proclaims during his Pill Mix.
Notorious for being brutally honest and vulgar, Rude Jude definitely lives up to his name. Whether offering advice to callers during his "What Would Jude Do?" segment or spitting game at his porn star guests, Jude offers a refreshing perspective with his clever and humorous remarks.
As host of "The All Out Show" on Shade 45, Eminem's satellite radio station, the show has become the third most popular on Sirius/XM since its launch in 2005.
The self-described "half Italian with a touch of Irish" 34-year-old may not look like a Hip Hop guru, but his vast knowledge of the genre and culture would blow the mind of any self-proclaimed Hip Hop head.
"I could talk music all day," he says while placing down a backgammon chip on the wooden table at a smoking lounge in LA.
"I remember cats breakdancing off of Kraftwerk or 'Egyptian Lover.' Rakim and the Geto Boys. Being from Michigan we just had everything. We had the West Coast. We had Down South. We had fuckin' New York, so our taste was so well-rounded when it came to Hip Hop."
Born in Pontiac, Michigan, Jude Anthony Angelini once lived on a commune with his "hippie parents," but the family was asked to leave after his father struck one of the other resident's children.
He had a tumultuous childhood. "My parents went through a violent divorce. Cops always coming, parents always screaming and shit like that. It's typical for a lot of kids."
Raised in Auburn Hills with his two sisters, he attended the more privileged Rochester High School to get a better education while his friends went to the impoverished Pontiac Northern High. He studied Elementary Education at a local community college so that he could "pick up some single mothers" and dabbled in radio there.
1998 brought unexpected opportunity for Jude when he appeared as a guest on "Jenny Jones" and stirred up her infamous mix of makeover shows. His dashes of razor-sharp critiques and unfiltered dialogue proved to be the recipe to his success, and he became a regular. He was frequently flown into Chicago to host his "Quiz Master" and "Beauty and Brains" segments, and a "Best of Rude Jude" episode showcased his hilariously bold antics over his five-year run.
When the plug was pulled on "Jenny Jones" in 2003, Jude decided to take the commonly traveled trip to Los Angeles to pursue a career in acting, but the roles he landed were minimal and money was scarce.
Hope emerged when he asked his friend, Mikey Eckstein, to pass along his idea for a radio show to Eminem's manager, Paul Rosenberg. He took a chance on Jude and was eventually placed co-hosting with Lord Sear, but the duo endured growing pains.
"We'd be fighting and getting along and fighting some more, but we got through that shit. Now we're seven years into it, and the show's really successful...I feel blessed to be there," he says in a sincere tone as his blue eyes gaze up in my direction.
The "All Out Show" today has evolved into a comedic assortment of weekly segments that airs Monday through Friday from 4pm-8pm EST. Listeners calling to request songs are greeted with expletives and hung up on, and every show is always guaranteed to be laced with witty, uncensored commentary.
Callers confess their darkest sins to Reverend Jude who absolves them in a playful churchlike demeanor while "White People Wednesday" is dedicated to naming stereotypical Caucasian traits like "doing what Oprah tells you to" and "bargaining with your 3-year-old." Jude simultaneously seduces and offends the ladies in a sultry voice during "Sexy Talk Time" and has listeners rate songs sent in during "Hate It or Love It."
Fresh off of work, Jude keeps the dice rolling in despair. "I keep getting wrecked in fuckin' backgammon! That's the thing I like about this game. It's humbling as shit. You could play your ass off, but if the dice don't go right, you'll fuckin' lose. Or you could just be fuckin' up and totally win. It's kind of like life," he says smiling. Over time, the better player's gonna win. But today, I'm not that guy."
Dressed in a plain white tee and jeans, Jude keeps me laughing as he engages me in flirtatious banter while he bats his eyelashes and discusses his show's success, his unconventional career path and upcoming autobiography.
Andrea Aguilar: You got your start on "The Jenny Jones Show" after getting a lot of love as a guest. How did they approach you to be a regular?
Rude Jude: I did the show and then a bunch of people called in about it. This is like '98 or some shit. No one was doing what I was doing on that shit. I was going on "Jenny Jones" fuckin' wildin' out and keeping that shit like 1000 or 100. I think a lot of people take that shit for granted now in an age of Snooki getting drunk. Cats just wasn't getting down like me on "Jenny Jones," so when I did the show, it got a huge response. People either hated me or loved me, but they called in like, "This guy is fuckin' crazy." People had an opinion. So Jenny Jones called me back again to do the show, and I did it again and again. Next thing I know I'm fuckin' 80 shows into it. My shows usually ended up about me making fun of strippers.
AA: Who was the most busted guest that you can remember?
RJ: I don't remember. I just remember making fun of strippers a lot, but the crazy thing is I used to try and holler at them before the show and try to smash, and then talk shit. It was my job. Just like strippers get paid to give somebody a lap dance that they might not give a shit about...I got paid to fuckin' clown on a fuckin' stripper. I don't care about her one way or the other. Even if I call her ugly, it doesn't mean I wouldn't wanna fuck.
AA: Can you talk about a time that you felt you were at your absolute lowest?
RJ: Right before I got this job at Sirius, I burnt a bunch of bridges in entertainment...I was broke. I ain't have no money, couldn't get a fuckin' job. "Jenny Jones" got canceled. I was working as a dishwasher out here. Didn't have any wheels, taking a bus, broke up with my girl, had a bad tooth because of lack of dental insurance growing up. That shit came back to haunt me. I had a fuckin' tooth rotting out of my mouth and shit...They ended up yanking it. This is where I was at in my life. I was like, "Fuck, dude."
AA: How did you stay motivated and overcome it?
RJ: I just remember thinking about all those kids and teachers at school. I just really wanted to prove them wrong so bad 'cause they didn't think I was shit. I wanted to come out to LA and do some shit. And then it hit me one day. If I don't get it, at least I tried. Even if I have to go to Michigan with my fuckin' tail between my legs dead broke. At least I tried. At least I gave it a shot. That's more than most people do. It was like this pressure was released. Like this weight came off my shoulders and shit just started moving for me. Opportunities came and this Sirius thing came, and I jumped on that shit. My goal was to come out to Los Angeles and get paid to be myself, and I was able to achieve that...That was probably my lowest point, but I think everybody needs that shit. It's nuts...I came in here as a baby. Kinda like a young hick from Michigan...I've grown a lot in the last 14 years. You just gotta keep on trying.
AA: You have a vast knowledge of Hip Hop. How did you become so immersed in the culture?
RJ: It was always around me. We were the first generation. I grew up in a pretty integrated neighborhood at my mom's house. It was like working class, subsidized housing. That type of shit. There was White kids and Black kids...My generation jumped on rap super tough, so I was raised on that shit...This was the golden era of rap...You had like 50 awesome albums you could get into and connect with. I worked at McDonald's, and I'd be toasting buns to Smif-n-Wessun, All Eyez on Me, The Purple Tape (Only Built 4 Cuban Linx...). We'd be be hollerin' at bitches listening to Rae(kwon). I was just so blessed to be able to be able to bump dope ass rap music. That's what I get excited about. Like a lot of NY cats didn't even know about UGK until that Jay-Z song.
AA: "Big Pimpin'."
RJ: Yeah. They didn't know shit about UGK till "Big Pimpin'." They didn't know shit about 8 Ball and MJG. They didn't know shit about Poison Clan or C-Bo or Brother Lynch Hung. In Michigan, you listen to all of that shit. Everything from Organized Konfusion and Esham and everyone in between.
AA: What advice would you give someone trying to host their own radio show?
RJ: First off, you've gotta really understand what it is you're good at. If you have an interesting take...I'm not telling you I'm interesting. People find me interesting. My perspective is different than a lot of people, and I voice it...If you're interesting, be yourself. Go on there and be yourself and be honest. Have an opinion and speak it. If you're a boring motherfucker, just dick suck celebrities.
AA: You did some college. Did you ever go to school for radio? Do you think it's necessary?
RJ: I don't know. I think radio is a weird thing. There's so many ways to get into radio. You just gotta be willing to hustle, grind, fuckin' kiss ass, bang the right person...whatever the fuck you gotta do to get on. There is no surefire way. That's the thing with radio and acting class. They can teach you how to do it, but it's not job placement. I think three people on Sirius started off as receptionists which is fuckin' ridiculous to me, but whatever, dude. People are like, "How can I do this?" I don't fuckin' know. I knew the right person. You gotta have the talent to back it up.
AA: What's your favorite segment to do and why?
RJ: I really like "Hate It Or Love It." People send in their music and the callers rate it. It's the one segment where I don't have to drive it. It's a caller-driven segment, and it's fun for me to be able to sit back and listen to the interaction between the callers and the artist. It's also kinda nice 'cause I fuckin' hate, hate, hate hate when people send me their music. I'm like, "What am I gonna do with your fuckin' music?" I'm not breaking records. I'm not signing people. Even if I did play it, I could only play it like once or twice. You're just cluttering my inbox. People are like, "Aww Jude. That's fucked up! How come you not gonna look out for someone coming up? Someone looked out for you." Not really. I made my own lane. If you create a buzz, I'll fuckin' find you. I'm not here to make your buzz. Get yourself on. Like everyone's coming with their fuckin' handout like I owe them something. Like any of these DJs owe them something. Nobody owes you anything, dogg, and I hate to fuckin' break it to you. Everybody and their mom fuckin' raps now, and you all sound the same. So It's kinda nice to just hear rapper's get bodied on "Hate It or Love It". It's really kinda funny to me. It's fucked up 'cause yo, they do really put their heart out there. On the other hand, I just feel like, "Ahh, good." I'm not into over the top cruelty, but if it's true and funny, I'll laugh.
AA: What's the best part of working at Sirius?
RJ: The best part is it's kinda like the Wild West. We can basically do whatever. There's so many stations, and there's so much freedom. We have way more freedom than anyone on terrestrial radio does. We get loose. I listen to terrestrial radio, and I'm like, "These guys are so fuckin' corny," and I think partially it's 'cause some of 'em are genuinely corny, and the other part is that their hands are cuffed. We can get on there and we get fuckin' all the way loose. That's the illest shit about it...It's uncensored. I can give it you all the way raw.
AA: What's the worst part?
RJ: The worst part is that I care more about my show than any of my bosses do. The only complaint I ever had about my show is that I wanna make it better, and I'm not getting the help. We haven't had a proper producer for 5 months.
AA: You give up a lot of info about the women you've slept with...Have any of them ever gotten pissed off at you?
RJ: Yeah. It makes it way harder to sleep with women. I try to give it some space, and I'm not saying anyone's name...I'm not out to hurt anyone's feelings. Any girl that I'm having sex with, like, there's a level of respect there that I have for them. I just happen to be promiscuous...When I gotta girlfriend, I don't cheat on her, but it's really hard for me to get a girlfriend. It's hard to settle down. I tend to have a lot of sex. If the shit is interesting, I'll tell you about it. If it's something casual, whatever.
AA: You were featured on Proof's "M.A.D." What was your relationship with him like?
RJ: Proof and I were always cool. He would always show me love. He used to watch "Jenny Jones," so we were cool. We were actually supposed to shoot a video for it and everything, but he was murdered before it went down. That one was fuckin' interesting. My grandmother fuckin' downloaded it, and it's all talking about (me) going to family reunions and wanting to fuck my cousins. She was really bummed out. I was like, "Grandma, I was just talking shit to say bullshit." I was like, "I got a fuckin' song with Kanye West. Why don't you go and fuckin' listen to that goddamn song? Out all of the fuckin' songs, you gotta listen to this one."
AA: Your grandma is one of your heroes. What about her inspires you?
RJ: Just growing up...mostly my grandmother and grandfather. They're kinda like the model of a healthy relationship. Just watching them I kinda learned how to be a gentleman...Walking on the right side of a girl and opening up doors. Just like that relationships can work. Growing up around a bunch of fuckin' broken marriages, fatherless homes, cheating ass cheaters, chicks putting babies on dudes that ain't theirs...I can look at my grandparents like, "If they can do it, I can do it too."
AA: What's the most difficult thing about raising a daughter?
RJ: Not raising a daughter. Living with the guilt of not raising her...She lives with her grandparents. She seems to be well-adjusted. We talk. She visits...Thank God she's doing well. She's had a stable home that I never had. I'm sure she might have abandonment issues in the future. She's a teenager. She's a little woman. She's smart as hell, and I'm super proud of her. She's got a great heart.
AA: You stopped updating your tumblr because you said you wanted to write a book. Have you started?
RJ: I just gotta reorganize everything. That's been the hardest thing to do is reorganize everything. Writing was pretty easy. Rewriting and organizing has been the hardest thing. I'm gearing up to just finish this thing.
AA: Like an autobiography?
RJ: Yeah. Just a lot of short stories. Nothing is a lie.
AA: That would be funny. If it's like the blog, it'll do well.
RJ: A lot of the blog is like a rough draft of what I'm doing. I only have so many fuckin' stories. Something about the blog encouraged me and kept me writing, but I didn't really like half the people reading my shit. I just feel like people expect too much for nothing. What I'm doing is I'm giving you a piece of me. What are you doing? Showing up and saying it's not enough, or I don't like that story or tell me another one...It's like, "Fuck you. Why don't you learn how to write? Why don't you start your own blog and then you can figure out how you wanna do it?" It got to the point where I started writing some real shit that's personal to myself and my family, and I needed somebody that was gonna be a little more invested besides just clicking on my tumblr site. It's not even about the money. I don't care about making money off of this shit. I felt like I was candid and private already, but I get even more vulnerable, so I was like, "Nope. The blog's being shut down."
AA: What's next for you?
RJ: We just need a new producer on our show to really take it that next level. At the end of the day, you want to do a good job even if motherfuckers don't pat you on the back or give you accolades. Even if they do give you accolades, you gotta be able to look at yourself in the mirror like, "Yo, I crushed that one." Hopefully by the time you get this shit on the fuckin' site, we'll have a new producer and really get to make some more noise. Also, I'd like to get back on the television and just kinda grow. Get bigger than this radio shit. The radio shit's dope, but that's where I started, so why not go back there?