Best of Joe Budden v.2: #47 Role Reversal


Song: Role Reversal

Album: Mood Muzik 4

Year: 2010

Previous: not ranked

I’ll do all the work, you ain’t gotta be bothered, you can be his dad, I’ll be his father

This song, whoa!

Another one of those recurring topics is Joe’s relationship with his baby momma and his son. Joe had a son, Trey, with an ex-girlfriend but is hardly in his son’s life, only once every blue moon.

In some people’s eyes, Budden resembles a deadbeat father but his son’s mother doesn’t want him visiting.

At the time when this song was written, Budden was in a relationship with former video vixen, Esther Baxter. She had a son from a previous relationship. As the relationship got serious, Budden began looking after Esther’s son, building a relationship with him.

Since Budden couldn’t see his son, Esther’s son would soon become a stepchild to him. He recalls a time when he went shoe shopping at the mall, looking for some new Jordans. He asked the sales associate for a specific size of the shoe before correcting himself and asking for one in his size and one in a child’s size.

In his mind, Joe tells himself to stop, because that’s not his son, which causes him to come to a realization about his relationship with his son. He mentions that once his son is older, he’ll explain to him the situation his son’s mother put him in.

Budden continues developing a father and son relationship with Esther’s son. He ends up being a father to someone else’s child than his own, hence the roles being reversal.

He provides a better life to another man’s son than his own. He has him living in a huge mansion-like home while his son is sharing a small home with other people. Esther’s son has a backyard pool while Trey has to go to a recreation center see one.

Also, Joe can relate to the father of Esther’s son. He knows the shoes the father is in, and not being able to see his son. Plus, when Esther’s badmouths her child’s father, Joe stands up for him and asks her to respect him. He’s probably been on the other side of that with his baby mother badmouthing him. Somehow, Joe sees a bit of himself in the child’s father.

However, Budden gets upset at the father as well. Whenever the child and father get to chat, a rare occurrence I bet, the father acts nonchalantly, like it had been a few days since they last saw one another. The father would ask him general small talk questions, like “How have you been?” and “What are you doing?,” all while Budden in the background listening. The session would end with the child uttering, “I love you” to him, causing Budden to get upset and angry.

Joe gets angry because the father was the one who walked away, yet he is acting like he’s actively in the child’s life. Budden would love to be able to speak to his son like this dude is allowed to. His anger takes him a step further, wanting to physically attack the dude because of the stuff he says but won’t because he doesn’t want the child to see his father in a vulnerable state.

Joe ends the song with that line from above, aimed directly at the child’s father. He can’t keep the “dad title” while Joe will do all the duties a real father does: provide for the child and raise him.

This song is an amazing because not many would put such a private thing out on a public platform but he does.


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