This that shit I don’t like. So much so that I had to emerge from a six month hibernation to rant about it. I was in a cab ride home last night, minding my own business when Hot 97 had to fuck around and play this piece of shit song. This is depressing on so many levels. As bad as the Slaughterhouse project may be, as grating as his personality has been, and I have about a million hilarious Joe Budden is an asshole anecdotes, I always held onto a begrudging respect for Joe. Until now.
There were two facets to Joe’s style: First, the New York mixtape punchline rap he was a vetted practitioner of. Joe managed to work his way from out under a million Block Gang/Paul Cain/Ice Shuler freestyles to earn notoriety as a DJ Clue protégé along side fellow Desert Storm artist and equally mind boggling why-is-this-guy-still-getting-regular-Hot 97-spins rapper Fabolous. And later, as a fairly compelling confessional rapper, sort of a northeast Z-Ro, putting his personal struggles front and center without sacrificing his talent for turning a phrase — the highlight of this approach unquestionably being his (still classic in my ipod) Mood Muzik 2: Can It Get Any Worse?
Well yes, yes it can get much worse. What’s a more awful proposition, that Drake wrote Joe’s verse or that Joe wrote such a blatantly awful knock off? (I’m leaning toward Joe wrote it. Drake has been killing guest spots all year and this uninspired half baked club dreck is beneath him) Also. Tank takes hook duties. Fucking Tank, who has been working at a Chik-Fil-A in Bethesda since he burned through that “Maybe I Deserve” money in 2001 (way to date yourself asshole.)
There’s a T-Minus beat that sounds like Drake producer, 40, trying to make a completely derivative “I’m On One”. Oh yeah, and Joe probably sold his house for a Lil Wayne cameo, I can’t comment on it because I can’t bare to listen for this long enough to get to the verse, but I bet it’s a bunch of lazy punch lines about cunnilingus with a Trukfit shout out. Remember that song “Clubbin” where Marques Houston did a note for note Kellz impression? Joe rapped on that.
Remember those asshole anecdotes I mentioned? I remember when the Roots stopped touring to do Jimmy Fallon, kind of as a wink and nod to their fans that they would still and always be the Roots. They took up residency at the Highline Ballroom in Chelsea, doing a year’s worth of these $10 shows. They were incredible, not playing any actual songs but instead, free flowing jam sessions punctuated by random Black Thought verses. There was this totally unpredictable element to the shows — you never knew what insane Miles Davis session player, R&B diva or West coast gangsta rapper was going to show up. I went to about 20 of them.
My favorite cameo was the night Joe Budden showed up. He ambled on stage and started running through a few standards off Mood Muzik 2 and his self-titled major label debut, but he kept looking back at ?uestlove and saying, “turn my mic up.” This went on for a while and finally, he just demanded the Roots stop playing. ?uestlove was shocked by the audacity, and he along with the whole band walk off stage. Joey launches into a vicious acapella that lasts for about 5 minutes — a classic self indulgent trap certain to alienate whatever audience you’re delivering it too. But he was landing haymakers and incredibly enough pulled it off. By the time it was done, the crowd was eating out of his hands and ?uest and Black Thought were standing off the stage with their arms crossed and incredulous, admiring smirks on their faces. They actually had to take the mic out of his hands before he stomped offstage to riotous applause.
This is Budden in a nutshell, the self-destructive Jersey asshole and the beguiling talent that you can almost see in the right light. It’s what made him great and probably what led to the desperation necessary to make “She don’t put it down like you”, a song that actually makes the world a worse place to live in. Life is sad. we’ll miss you Joey, Rest in Peace, and Happy Holidays.