Song: When Thugs Cry
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“I been to jail before, I been a bum before, but a n—- ain’t never had a son before, I dealt with ‘caine and fire, I done banged with fighters, but I ain’t never changed a diaper – I ain’t ready”
An oldie but a goodie.
In this song, Budden examines the present but keeps his on the future.
In the first verse, Budden announces he has a child on the way, a son we learn in the second verse, and admits that he’s afraid. He knows that raising a child is hard, and time and money is spent exponentially. He was without a record deal at the time, so he knew if/when he got signed, he would have to sell a lot of records in order to receive more money—labels get a bigger piece of the pie. He needs to sell so he won’t have difficulties raising his child.
He compares his former life to his future one. He’s struggled severely in the past, whether that be: being homeless and sleeping in the streets, going to jail, his constant battle with drug addition or the violence he encountered along the way, he hardly took care of himself. How is he going to take care of a child? That scares Joe more than the stuff he went through, admitting he’s never changed a diaper, and isn’t ready to do so—he would need to learn, and quickly.
Joe indirectly says he wants his son to be everything he wasn’t. He hopes he inherits the good traits his mother and father passed down to him, and hopes his son never goes the path he took with the constant struggles aforementioned.
All Joe wants in the imminent future is to have a family with his girlfriend, the mother of his son. He saw his parents’ relationship diminish at an early age when Joe’s father left. He told them he was stepping out to buy some cigarettes He never returned. His mom wept. That image must have instilled in Joe’s memory to not have something similar.
His father left the family and had a second family. Joe would find out he has a stepbrother through his father’s second family. Had Joe known, he would’ve been there for his brother. To play catch with and create memories with, everything Joe missed when his father left. He wouldn’t want his stepbrother to share a similar childhood: fatherless.
He declares his love for his girlfriend—his baby momma—although she begs to differ. He wants her to stay with him, and support him as he follows his dreams of becoming a rapper. He wants her to have a relationship that is only be found in dreams.
Also, since he got signed, people in his neighborhood changed. They looked at him for help, a handout. They felt he should assist them with exposure. They feel like he made it, but Joe differs, reminding them that he’s still the same person. He’s still that addict but a sober addict. He’s sober…with addict tendencies.