Joe Budden – Say Dat Then: Best of Joe Budden (Slaughterhouse Edition)


This song has hit me hardest the past few years. In that time frame, I’ve dealt with death more than I experienced growing up. It seems as the people I’ve known for years, directly and indirectly, have passed away in back-to-back fashion.

It hurts.

From the woman who babysat me during my pre-teen years to my closest aunt to a family friend and college roommate’s mother, it didn’t seem to stop. Death was taking people left and right within a short seven-month span. It hurt.

When I first heard the House Rules mixtape from Slaughterhouse, I wasn’t able to see the genius of “Say Dat Then.” It took a couple of listens for me to finally fully understand Joe Budden’s tremendous verse. No disrespect to the rest of Slaughterhouse, who delivered great verses, its just that Joe’s verse stood out.

The way his verse starts off is intriguing because you know you are about to hear some personal things but what could it be?

Once that second bar comes in you know its about to be a “family truth” as Pusha T said.

As Joe continues his amazing personal verse, I start breaking down. One truth follows another that I cannot believe he’d share such personal things. His sharing shouldn’t surprise me, but it does. Every. Time.

Those first six bars are hard to digest.

Joe tells us that if you’ve never had a love one that goes through cancer, you wouldn’t understand. You can start with hope but eventually as the diagnosis worsens slowly start losing hope. I can’t imagine how that would feel. Losing any glimpse of hope and just accepting imminent death is crazy.

He comes right back and drops the bombshell of his uncle and aunt doing shady things as their father is near his demise. One is stealing, while the other is making changes to his will. I’m not sure which is worse, the person stealing now or the one that’ll steal later. That is something I can relate to, so you can imagine how that hit me when I heard it. Some crazy things went down when my mother’s father passed too.

By the time he says the dying or killed line, I’ve shed at least one tear. That chunk of the verse has a high volume of things, personal things, that it’s hard not to show some emotion. I’m sure there’s something in those raps that everyone can relate to.

These family truths are too much. They are too personal. I’m glad he shared them with us but should I be hearing this? I find myself asking this question often in Joe’s music. There’s some stuff you keep within the family. Joe’s never been that type and I applaud him. I am not like that. I’d keep such truths to myself.

Although Joe and I would do things differently, I can relate to that verse in a way.

I lost the woman who babysat me when I was an adolescent. I wasn’t told about her death until a few days later. My dad let it slip out. Apparently my mother didn’t want me to know as I was dealing with a bunch of things at work. When I heard the news, I was stunned. I didn’t know what to do.

On the drive to work, all I could think about was her. When I got to work, I told my boss about it and that I would be physically at work and be able to work but my head would be somewhere else. I was sad all day and night but I didn’t cry. I wasn’t sure why I wasn’t able to cry, this lady helped raised me.

The fuck of part of this was that a long time ago when she babysat me, she told me that when I landed a decent job, I should bring her to the taco shop we frequent while I was younger. I responded with a rude comment. I told her by that time, she’d be death. I was a young child that didn’t know better. I have regretted that comment ever since. She never forgot that comment. I felt like shit about that comment since she passed.

So just like “Inseperable,” this shit hit home. Although I rarely show emotion, I like to say I’m numb to emotion, the words in the second verse of “Inseperable” and Joe’s verse here got to me. The theme of death was just too familiar with me at that time.

With all that said, Joe’s verse is a fucking amazing one. It is a dope Slaughterhouse record. Each time I hear it, I have to play back and sing along with Joe’s verse because it is too good, and it sort of heals wounds that I may or may not be aware of.

That verse is an incredible, to put it in a few words.

(Photo Credit: Joe Budden’s Instagram)


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