Joe Budden – Joe Budden: 10th Year Anniversary — Background

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(Picked it up yesterday, randomly too, amazing timing.)

In honor of the ten-year anniversary of Joe Budden’s self-titled debut album, I took it upon myself to finally give my thoughts on the album. The album had two singles in “Pump It Up” and “Fire” but it also had the introspective records we love. “Walk With Me,” “Calm Down” and “10 Minutes” are among my favorite and they appear on this album.

With a majority of the production being handled by Whiteboyz Noize, a production duo of Joe’s good friend, Dub B, and his production partner Jumpshot, Joe was given a “sound.” This “sound” would lead to similar beats in the future. Just Blaze gave some beats including the two singles.

Let’s go back to 2003.

This story is a bit fuzzy with some details but the majority I remember. I was channel surfing late at night, when I stumbled upon MTV, you know that channel that used to show music videos and other music programming. They were airing a show about what’s next in music and Joe Budden featured. I think the show was called “Next,” not the other “Next.” I don’t recall the interview but they were at a basketball court in New Jersey.

I was unaware of the symbolism this show would play in my life. I never would’ve thought I would stumbled upon my favorite rapper. Later, my eyes and ears would realize Joe’s lyricism and dopeness when I discovered his freestyle over Eminem’s “Sing For The Moment” which was one of my favorite songs of 2003, as well as one of my favorite songs of all time.

In a 2003 MTV article by Shaheem Reid, Joe was interviewed. His answers then mirror today’s. Joe admits to being an addict, not just to drugs but anything. Reid’s 2003 story gave an insight to the Joe we would get to know in the past decade, an open book Joe. Apparently the album was supposed to be called “The Jumpoff,” one of Joe’s many nicknames.

In another interview with MTV’s sister-channel VH1, Joe gives honest, thoughtful and intriguing answers. Some of his responses could apply to today’s hip hop state. Coincidently, when asked about his rhyming patterns he mentions Canibus, Method Man and the rest of the Wu, all who had “beef” with Joe. Looks like everything comes full circle.

A memorable part of the interview was when the interviewer asked Joe about his “pain-raps” and being an open book with fans. His response was overwhelming. It provides an example of how music is therapeutic, for the writer and the listener. Joe responded with the following:

“I learned that the more I keep in, the more it’ll eventually hurt. Writing has always been therapy for me. It’s like with anything – you have a problem, you talk to somebody about it, you feel a little better. When people hear these songs, they say ‘Damn, you really put your business out there.’ But I’m helping me, and if you like it, cool.”

To Joe, music is a release of the pain he went/goes through. For us fans, it’s entertainment as well as a resource because we often find ourselves relating to the song’s subject matter.

MTV/VH1/Viacom when all out, they really thought Joe was going to be the next rapper to blow, joining 50 Cent, who blew up that earlier in the year. Unfortunately, the masses didn’t understand Joe, hopefully, in 2013, the masses rediscover the greatness in him.

He mentions that “Dear Angela” was supposed to be on his debut, but it wasn’t. “Dear Angela” is the epitome of a Joe Budden song. Joe spoke about his baby mother, a topic that would reappear as the years passed by.

Through Joe’s early trials and tribulations—dropping out of high school, drug addiction, rehab, jail, baby momma drama, etc.—he was able to make it to a major record label and deliver an album. Although face with a plate full of trials and tribulations, Joe continued to put himself out there in his music, giving his fans all of him, no pun intended. Which is one of the reasons why many fans, including myself, appreciate his music.

See, back in 2003, I was sleeping on Joe. I was listening to Jay-Z, who I was already calling the G.O.A.T. but everyone disagreed with me including friends in high school. Additionally, I was into 50 Cent and his movement; I was beginning to listen to T.I. with “Trap Muzik,” Big Boi’s “Speakerboxxx” and Obie Trice’s “Cheers.”

Then I heard Joe’s “Sing For The Moment” freestyle, which was released in 2003. Afterwards, I would begin the transition to becoming a fan of Joe and gradually becoming more of a fan as more music was released and I rediscovered his older stuff that I slept on.

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