Last week I went up to Silverlake to catch the LA stop of Joe Budden’s short California tour for his recently released Some Love Lost EP. If you can’t tell, he’s one of my favorite rappers. I wasn’t going to miss this tour. I already missed his last solo LA show.
Budden came to LA back in 2012 as part of his tour celebrating the release of A Loose Quarter and the pending release of No Love Lost at the top of 2013. I had planned to attend his show but it was during my final semester of college. I was going to do everything in my power to go. I was going to drive the two hours from San Diego to LA to attend. But school got in the way—stupid, priorities.
One of my professors decided to schedule an exam the day after the concert. So, attending the show was not an option. I wouldn’t have time to study and attend the show. Time was the enemy. If I did go, I would’ve failed miserably.
I promised myself I would not miss the next opportunity to see him live. So when I heard of this tour, I knew I was going to go. The question remained, would I see him once or twice?
The show was cool.
Only a few things I found annoying. First off all, the venue was not the best choice. The stage was elevated only a few feet from the ground. Secondly, the opening acts were endless. At this show, the last opening act ending his set about a quarter until midnight. And finally, Joe’s set was too short. He rapped for about an hour and fifteen minutes.
I wished his set list was longer, and included some older stuff. I wished he performed some songs off his debut or off the first two volumes of Mood Muzik. But my friend was right. It was a show on the Some Love Lost tour. If he would’ve performed “Whatever It Takes” I would’ve lost my mind, and cried—maybe.
He came on at midnight, coming out to the intro off SLL and then got right into track two from the EP, “The Way You Love Me.” He then got into my favorite song off the EP, “Alive.” I started rapping along with him and the audience. The hook is infectious. I couldn’t help myself.
Next, he hit us with some older songs like “Russian Roulette,” “Downfall” and “No Idea” before jumping right into “Ordinary Love Shit Part 3.” Once “OLS” came on, everyone went crazy over that Tricky Stewart beat. Near a third of the song in, the beat to “OLS4” drops and the audience went crazier.
The show took a brief intermission and he talked to the crowd. He acknowledged that he was in California. He played a few classic West Coast songs like “Xxplosive,” “Ain’t No Fun,” “Nuthin’ But A G Thang” and “It Was A Good Day” to hype the crowd up. At one point, during “It Was A Good Day,” Parks stopped the song but the crowd kept rapping the verse. It was dope.
The intermission was used to bring out his Slaughterhouse compadre, Crooked I, who joined Budden on stage to perform “Hammer Dance” and “Microphone.” I was shocked they didn’t perform “Sober Up.”
He went into “Different Love” and then did the mainstream part of the show, performing “She Don’t Put It Down,” “NBA” and “Pump It Up.”
The end of the show was near. But before he closed the show, he did something that was cool. He made the show more interactive.
He brought up a dude to rap one of his songs. Budden challenged the fan. They made a money wager too.
The song was “Black Cloud.”
When the song came on, the crowd sighed, they were expecting a harder song. My friend was screaming saying it was too easy of a song.
The fan failed.
Joe tried it one more time. This second fan was ready. The same rules applied to this fan. A money wager was placed and a verse was expected.
The fan killed it. He had good stage presence too. He performed the first verse with ease. I was in awe. Everyone was impressed. He received a great ovation for his performance. Dude was/is as big of a Budden fan as I am, however, I wouldn’t have been able to rap that opening verse.
He ended the night with the very personal “Only Human.” An amazing song, I still can’t get over the fact that he was close to killing himself. Those lines give me goosebumps just imagining that.
Overall, the show was cool. It could’ve been better. But I would do it again. I would sit through the numerous opening acts just to see my favorite rapper again. Although it was short, I’m still glad I went.