“Turn Me Up in The Headphones.. “
Joe Budden might be that one watch that can take a hit and keep tickin’. With his recent release of ‘Some Love Lost’ he continued to prove why he’s one of the best emcees in the game as well as why he’s the most irritating. The weakest point of the SLL EP is that it ends. It may be Budden’s best work since his first body of work.
Prior to the release of Some Love Lost, Budden’s group Slaughterhouse suffered a setback (as far as release date) with their much anticipated album, tour canceled and then the now seemingly inevitable; highly publicized relationship issues. Let me set the table for you; Imagine being a fan of Kobe right now, yeah sure he certainly brought some things upon himself yet at the same time you watch him get beat constantly now and its borderline unbearable. It’s a champion horse with 3 broken legs. If you speak to anyone who isn’t a casual rap fan, they’ll tell you Budden is one of the best rappers in the game. One of the greatest ever. Honestly, the first time I booked Joe Budden for a show, it was because I wanted to see his show. It wasn’t for anyone but me. Infamously, it had hiccups. However while I was down on myself for what was the worst event in my legacy, other fans of Budden came to me and said “It’s all good. Shit happens. Budden saved my life. I’m just glad you brought him here for us and I got to tell him how he helped me.” I got this over and over throughout the night. At that that moment, I realized I stepped into some shit that was way bigger than myself. The sad thing is, the only thing that seems to subtract from his legacy is shit that has ZERO to do with rap. His recent run in with the law was based in false accusations but you seen people pile onto him with judgement based upon half truths mentioned in prior situations. You can’t even defend him, because again, he brings it upon himself. However at some point you have to sit back and wonder: “What keeps this guy going?”
Then you play Some Love Lost in the whip and realize that in fact, rap might be one of the main reasons he’s still alive. He gets to spill his pain into recordings that can be heard by the masses, not only the fans, but those who are fed up with his shit. We all see the surface issues, the ones he chose to show via television & social media. Yet when you listen to a record like ‘Only Human’ you realized the guy who’s saved many young lives steps into the booth only to attach himself onto life support. Suicidal thoughts alongside someone close to him dying. Combine that with someone you pull close to you then turning around and attempting to ruin you. The pain of Joe Budden provides us with vivid pictures of mental pandemonium. Those of us who are fans of his always jokingly state: “I can’t wait until she breaks your heart, we’ll get great music.” every time he starts a new relationship. The flipside of that is how much do each situation takes an irretrievable piece from the man. Subconsciously we put talented people, gifted, rich, celebs period, in a different space than those of us who aren’t. Their trials and tribulations are our entertainment, talking points, opinion pieces, news headline. Yet we hardly, if ever look into the psychological effects. The same effects we have.
‘Poker In The Sky’ comes on and you hear about how his grandpa is succumbing to cancer and personally asking Joe to be his pallbearer. As You’re listening, you’re just waiting for the 16 bars where Joe breaks down in tears. OLS4 and Different Love discusses his tumultuous relationships and failed pursuits of love. Honestly, Joe is my man 100 grand but I do feel he is a sucka for love. The type of woman his soul needs, conflicts with the type of woman he lets close. I know, because I lived this same life, I’m just not in the public eye. However, the women can see him coming from a mile away. They play the role, the facade unravels and the ending becomes messy. Outside judgment comes, social media reads his eulogy. You think “Damn, might be it for my boy.” Then he goes and enter a rap battle. A great vs. The great hype. Joe didn’t lose the battle vs. Hollow. He lost the battle with himself. He did what no great rapper should do, submit. Yes, I was let down. He let down his entire fan base. However, it was him giving naysayers that other hook to hang a hat on. “What great you know, quits?”
Joe Budden, time and time again gets himself into predicaments he should never overcome. Luckily for us, he does. Some Love Lost is an emotional masterpiece. It puts you into the mind of Joe Budden. While the paintings are so beautiful as a friend and fan you feel uncomfortable being there. It’s almost emotionally draining being there but for the sake of his sanity you accompany him on his journey. I hope he continues Self Medicating with music and prayer. He could have easily been Hip Hop’s Kurt Cobain. Thankfully, he’s just Joe Budden: The rap cat with 9 Lives.