And now for my thoughts/review on Joe Budden’s debut album, Joe Budden.
Joe starts off his debut by announcing that his arrival. He mentions that he wouldn’t be here without the support he received from his fans. The fans helped him get a deal by referring to him as a poet who could’ve been on Def Poetry. He mentions its “a seventy minute mixtape” aka the music fans fell in love with.
In his lone verse, he mentions he is the next great rapper because he possesses similar qualities Jay-Z, Tupac and the Notorious B.I.G. had. That is, a lyricist that could rap about circles around you as well as provide introspective raps.
Fast-forward to the present and we see that Joe was right.
“#1” is an interesting song. The song’s concept is dope. The song has Joe rapping about the past, including his childhood and pre-Millennium hip-hop. He references “Back To The Future,” one of my all-time favorite movies, and takes the movie’s premise and goes back in time to look back at the progress in hip-hop and his life. From wearing gold chains to Kangos to breakdancing on cardboard, Joe mentions different things that are affiliated with the essence of hip-hop culture.
FUN FACT: One of Joe’s first Transformers punchlines appears.
“Pump It Up”
Joe’s most famous record, it was everywhere. It was featured in 2 Fast 2 Furious, and Madden 2004. Hell, it’s still being used today. Nowadays, some people only know of Joe because of this record. His fans give him shit for it because it’s his most recognizable mainstream record but I doubt Joe cares especially when he sees that royalty check.
The song spawned a freestyle by Jay-Z where some subliminals were said which caused Joe “to take the beat back” and send some shots of his own. Great “subliminals” between the two that would lead to even more subliminals as the years went along.
As far as the track goes, it was a good single for Joe. The song was overlooked for its sexually meaning. If you listen to the lyrics he mentions receiving head but I won’t go into further details, just remember, “you can do anything if you put your mind to it.”
FUN FACT: Jay-Z originally passed on the beat.
This track is a street record, street life at that. From the gun talk to pushing work to those “tough guys,” “Pusha Man” delivers what happens in a neighborhood.
In every neighborhood, there are drug dealers who protect themselves with guns and Joe is describing, hypothetically, what would happen if he was a known dealer. He would under cut his competitors by selling at a lower price and use shotguns rather than hand guns to get his point across.
“U Ain’t Gotta Go Home”
First off, I’m feeling the beat, its different but Whiteboyz Noize delivered. The track is aimed at two types of people: the hater and the easy girl. Basically, Joe is telling them they have to leave. For the hater, that means stop hating on Joe’s new found success, he should prepare for Joe’s longevity. If he continues with his hating ways, Joe might have to do something or call someone to silence them.
As far as the girl goes, Joe is going to question her morals if she is too easy to fuck. He’d begin to question her past and wonder how many dudes were allowed to hit rather easily. Thoughts run through his head about her and her potential promiscuous ways but he stops himself because he ponders the question: if he doesn’t fuck her, she will like him more because unlike other dudes, the opposite of what she accustomed to.
“Walk With Me”
One of Joe’s best song. You already know how I feel about this song.
FUN FACT: I remember playing Def Jam: Fight For NY, where Joe was a character/fighter and this song was featured in the game’s music.
“She Wanna Know” feat. Lil’ Mo
The quintessential rap/R&B record, just pictured a early 2000 Ja Rule song. I’m surprised this song wasn’t pushed towards the radio. It sounds a lot like what was big in 2003/2004. “She Wanna Know” has Joe rapping about his girl and being together. She shouldn’t worry about Joe because will be faithful.
The song has Joe going back and forth with Kiyamma Griffin, singing and rapping about survival. Joe is talking about surviving his hood and surviving his depression. He still battles with it for the next few years.
On the track, Joe battles his depression in order to survive. He contemplates different methods of coping with it: suicide, smoking, drinking but doesn’t. He doesn’t have anyone that could understand what he is going through and if they did understand, they’re in the same boat as Joe. Nobody is going to have your back like you but Joe hopes that God can help a bit, give him some advice, show him a way.
As he reached his newfound success new “friends” or “snakes” started to appear, ready to latch onto Joe but he doesn’t want them. It takes a toll on Joe. Who can he trust? He can’t trust these “snakes” because they popped up when everything was going well and weren’t there for Joe’s darker times.