Tag Archives: love

Under-appreciated Greatness Vol. II: Yeah, Joe Budden is a legend.

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While some of you are ready to lose your mind, peep…

Budden came up in the last era of hip hop when bars were a necessity in route to respect. Joey stepped on the scene circa 2001-2002, the beginning of what is commonly  referred to as the “mixtape” or “punchline” era along side the likes of 50 cent, Lloyd Banks, Young BuckCassidyFabolous, the Dipset movement, to name a few. Seasoned players like Beanie Sigel, Cam’RonJadakiss, and Styles P, who were in the game for a little while, were beginning to flourish as well. This was a point in time when hip hop was changing, dudes were at eachother’s neck, turning interviews at radio stations to battlegrounds. The game was left to the wolves, whether it was Desert Storm (DJ Clue, Joe, Fab, etc), D-Block, State Property, G-Unit or The Diplomats, everyone had a team of lethal pens. Joey not only survived the times, but established himself as one of the more prominent spitters of the early to mid 2000s (hence why he’s still here almost 15 years later). He had one of the biggest hits of 2003, with “Pump it up”, which could have been a gift and curse, but that’s neither here nor there. The success he achieved in the mixtape circuit is what ultimately has defined his legacy. His “Mood Muzik” tapes, were a 4 part series that felt like it was being recorded from a psychiatrist’s couch more than a booth. The tapes were not only critically accalimed in the underground market, it also helped establish a “Joe Budden” brand, carving out his own lane of heavy-hearted and honest hip hop that you’d be hard pressed to find in any of his predecessors.

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To some of you, who didn’t really expereince the early 2000s and may only be conscious of  Drake-era hip hop (2009-current), being an emotional rapper may not seem to be anything special to you because you see it everywhere. Hip hop was once a genre based on the alpha-male and self-boasting bravado, where any type of vulnerability or fear was blood in the water to the sharks, and it could be the end of the road for a rapper. Regardless of the fact, Joe fearlessly turned inside-out, letting you into his personal space and speaking on everything from his relationship with a distant son, hatred for his baby mother, and detailed accounts of his trial and error with women, friends and family. He went into the depth of his personal demons and the likes of depression, drug addiction and suicidal thoughts more vividly than the game has ever seen. Joe Budden made it okay to be human in hip hop. Whether it was done purposely or not, this type of content helped him relate on an elevated level with listeners and gained him his cult-following.

joe early

Building even more of a personal relationship with his following, Joe was one of the first people who noticed how important the internet and “visual” accesibility was, via vlogs and youtube. Now-a-days, its a regular marketing practice. Every artist  seems to have a vlog now, because they become more “human” and tangible when fans can see their favorite artist’s activities. In the years proceeding JoeBuddentv, an artist would never let their following look in that close, in fear that it would compromise their still-on-the-corner / superthug image that they were upholding. JoeBuddenTV documented any and everything from his relationship with Tahiry (and arguments), issues with fellow Jersey-native Ransom, one of the first interviews with Drake, or just a game of monoply.

joe budden relationship

Of course that level of openness wasn’t only in regards to his own depth and personal life, he was never shy about his opinions on others. Joe Budden’s name is synonymous with rap beef, which is something that may have overshadowed his true talent. He has battled with Sean Price live on Hot 97 (& lost miserably, Rest In Peace SeanP!) and subliminally but not-so-subliminally battled Jay-Z on record after Hov tried juxing Joe for the Just Blaze produced “Pump it up” track (it became the “Pump it up” remix). Aside from that, he’s beefed with damn near everyone you can think of, from the likes of Saigon to the legendary tier of the Wu-Tang clan. Oh yeah, and Def Jam as a whole got it too (The Growth album?). Though a lot of these situations made for some classic records, they’ve also left a bad taste in the mouths of hip hop listeners and his piers alike.

joe beef 2(Copyright: Complex)

The reason why it may be tough to recognize how important Joe Budden is to hip hop, is because of unnecessary and immature antics that may have come from an honest place, but developed into a stigma on the Joe Budden brand. His unapologetic frankness, which is admirable to some (me), may have also stopped potential-fans at the door before even giving him a chance. Instances like calling out Method Man in an unnecessary fashion (also documented on JoeBuddenTv) made him seem disrespectful and wreckless. Of course, him popping up on Ustream with an icebag over his eye after  Raekwon’s people reacted, didn’t help much, either. It’s these “when-keeping-it-real-goes-wrong” impulses that have grown legs of their own and make some room to slight the Jersey emcee, regardless of his catalog and ability to push a pen.

joe budden beef

On a more personal level, his romantic-endeavors with well-sculpted Latinas were always on display for the court of public opinion. Though he’s given celebrity and careers to a lot of his ex-partners, the element of publicity in a personal relationship can turn on you, especially when there’s an ugly demise involved. There’s a trail of women, longer than any public assitance line, ready to drag Joe Budden’s name through the mud with accusations of domestic abuse, which is tough on public relations. Throw that in the pot with his denim vest collection on VH1’s “Love & Hip Hop” and the marriage prosposal gone wrong that made him the butt of memes all throughout IG, and you have a lot of distraction surrounding his actual wins.

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The open book that us Budden fans love him to be, has also made him a target and has given plenty of excuses to not recognize his caliber of artistry. All the controversy in the world, from verbal intercourse with the competition to his personal pitfalls, as well as the cliche “one hit wonder” claims, and Mr. Jumpoff Joe Budden has survived it all and remains a lot more relevant than most of his classmates (except Fab), 12 years later. The branch of emotion-driven hip-hop that he’s opened has had a major influence, whether directly or indirectly. The influence resonates with some of the biggest stars of today (He had Drake on JoeBuddetv in ’09). When the controversy quiets and all the claims against him become warn out, all you’ll have is his body of work. Remember, you can’t trust anything without a darkside…

joe

SideBar: All Love Lost 10/16 

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Retrospect In The Life of: Fuck it, Just Be Honest

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For relationship’s sake: People, including myself, have underestimated the power of being honest when it comes to our love life. There’s consequences of it, depending on what you may be hiding, but it speaks to your character as a person at the end of the day. If you truly love someone, don’t use that as an excuse NOT to tell them the truth out of fear of them leaving, but use that as your driving force to give them the truth, regardless of  how hurtful it may be. Trial and tribulation has now taught me that one. Keeping an ugly truth from someone in fear of how hurt they may become, is only prolonging the pain, making for a more severe build up, and ultimately a more severe verdict as to how the situation will be handled. Not to say honesty will free you from all of your crimes in love, but out of respect, out of character, and as testament to being a stand up person, you should be honest. People will argue, “Well, if they had respect in the first place, they wouldn’t have done what they did“, which is valid to an extent and is subjective to the individual relationship. This is where we separate mistakes from habits. Mistakes are unavoidable in a life with so much to learn, and you may fuck up more trying not to make a mistake, as opposed to just experiencing the relationship. If you make a mistake beyond the vision of your partner, when you’re not typically the type to snake around, it could’ve been an impulsive or emotional decision as a result of a bad fight (Still no excuse, keep your emotions in check). In this type of scenario, it may not go over lightly but eventually there’s a chance of reconciliation because of your track record. Plus, it’s a known fact that if they have to find out on their own, it strips you of even more credit than the mistake itself, and these things ALWAYS find their way back, that’s just the ways of the universe. Now, habits are untamed mistakes, that just become a way of life. No matter the honesty you may bring forth when admitting to your wrongs, if it’s done habitually, that’s where there is a blatant lack of conscience, and the sincerity of your “Sorry’s”, get put on trial. Every time you have to apologize for an act, the apology loses a little bit of it’s value. When you’re constantly showing evidence of uncontrolled behavior, being honest isn’t the real issue, it’s respect. Anyway, having the ability to be shamelessly honest regarding a mistake is life support to a couple in need. There’s no guarantee that the relationship lives or dies, but there is still hope, because they at least got the confession out of you, which speaks louder than you think.

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For Self: I’m speaking to the people like me on this one, the people who still maintain a conscience. Honesty regarding our relationship not only shows the other person a light in the dark but it also helps us, the offender, as a boyfriend/girlfriend, husband/wife, and just as people in general. In situations where I haven’t been honest, it eats at me, to the point that it reveals itself through my body language. Guilt is one of the most brute forces in our psyche and is as relentless as someone you owe money too. This is one of the self inflicted casualties/consequences of being dishonest about something, where you can’t even hold, kiss, fuck or look your significant other in the eye the same way, deteriorating the quality of the relationship. You’ll end up wishing you told the truth in the first place, after realizing  the guilt and attacks of conscience aren’t worth harboring the devils that you’re keeping from someone who has been there for you, when no one else was. Before you know it, your mind is racing with a mixture of guilt, and even paranoia, as you can’t even fathom the thought of your other half, being just as untruthful as you. “What if they were keeping something from me, how would I deal with it?”, looking at it from the angle of the victim, makes everything a little more clear, and starts to infect your mind, wondering if they’re keeping something away from you just as easily as vice versa. See how this thing spiral’s out of control?. Just hold up your half of the bargain in a relationship, and keep your slate as clean as possible, this makes life a lot easier. Once again, there are a lot of people in today’s world, that this type of backlash doesn’t resonate with, as long as they pull an OJ Simpson and get away with it.  But for the rest of us, just being straight up, even when you’re across the foul line, pays off when you realize that you have absolutely NOTHING to hide. The feeling that there is no dirt to be dug, no lies to be uncovered and no secrets to haunt you, is the closest human-beings will ever feel to being invincible. Yeah, the fear is real when you know you fucked up, but when you keep it hidden you still have to look a person in the face everyday, who genuinely cares about you, that alone will break you down from the inside, out. Even when it’s the hardest thing to do, admit it, out of respect for them, and to free yourself.

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Good people lie too, it isn’t only the blatant whore, scumbags and snakes who will go behind your back and keep things from you. The only thing that separates the two types of people when they’re both lying, is intent. When the scum of society are lying , it’s usually for personal gain, to see how far they could take it, or to take advantage of someone who loves the shit out of them. When a person of better nature tries to cover up dirt, it’s usually out of fear from the backlash. Not justifying it either way, it’s just to draw the line, and show that everyone is capable of keeping a dark secret. Like I wrote earlier, mistakes are unavoidable, but at the same time you can keep them at a minimum by being conscious of your actions, regardless of the weed or liquor in your system (That’s a weak excuse, fam). On another note, when you feel like you’re about to cross that line, just picture them doing the same to you. In the worst case scenario, if you do make a bad decision, the only shot left is to at least be forward about it, whatever happens after that point, happens. It’s not a fun place to be, looking into the face of that person and telling them where you went wrong, but it’s even less fun when they bring it up to you. They say the stupid man never learns, the smart man learns from experience and the smartest man learns from others experiences, with that said, I had to learn this through my own mistakes, hopefully you could live life through me on this one and take my word for it. If you fuck up, own up, simple…

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