REVIEW: Joe Budden -Mood Muzik 3: For Better or for Worse

Joe Budden Mood Muzik 3

Review: 5 out of 5

Best Song: All of them.

Since the Mood Muzik series began, Budden has been slowly gaining recognition from the lower levels of hip hop as one of the best song writers in hip hop today. Having departed from club songs since his debut album, Joe Budden has stuck to the script by basically making rap music. You see since Fifty came out, the South, the Snap, the Soulja Boys, the way that even the most die hard rap fans listen to music has changed -for the worse. Rap music has dumbed down to a point where even the casual listener will be able to “get” every single lyric and “the point” of the song from the very first listen. In other words, rap has become so mainstream that it now caters to the lowest common denominator -the dumb asses of the world, whom incidentally make up the majority of the world.

The release of MM3 forces listeners, for better or worse, to actually listen and even listen again. Scary isn’t? MM3 is the first album to ever receive five stars from YoRapper and is the greatest piece of music of the decade [sidebar: Maybe we just added an extra star for Mood Musik 2]. Budden’s spits 100 bars at the most and 32 bars at the least. This is a total departure from the current two 16 bars about nothing we are used to hearing. His subject matter remains personal touching on the shooting of his brother, his wifey, his son and the current state of rap music. Oh yes and there also a few jabs thrown at Hov.

Sonically this album is a throw back to neck snapping beats, muddied vocals recorded in a basement and DJ On Point giving random shut outs at the most inappropriate times -it’s so Eric B & Rakim. To the untrained ear or the late comers, who will likely disagree with this rating, your a retard but I know you will come on board sooner or later. Let’s not even get into the punchlines…now check the break down foo!

1. Hiatus (Produced by Mellow Madness)

Album starts of with Joey checking his phone messages about his absence. And then the beat drops and you can’t help but smile, cause this man goes in. This is the best intro since Hov’s Dynasty joint, I would even say it’s better. Budden sets the mood as man that has been beaten, broken and left for dead but has come from the dead with a sick passion to prove he is the best.

2. Ventilation (Produced by Klasix)
This is in the same vein as Nas’s “Made You Look” and that Wu song where Ghost Face goes off and the lyrics just fade out. The difference is that fade out effect actually works here, because philosophically Budden’s is saying one’s problems are never over and cannot fit within a 4 minute song. I know over your head, but your a retard.

Best lines: While other artist is obsessed with more toys, like lex, coupes, beamers, benzes, they Lost Boyz.

I was at a loss for words like Fiascogate.

3. Talk 2 ‘Em (Produced by WMS the Sultan)
This is where Budden’s goes at Jay. He only really devotes the last few bars to Hov, but as far as I’m concerned Hov has been de-throned. Everyone wonders why Def Jam and Jay-Z didn’t beg Budden to stay, but do you really think Jay wants someone that can compete on his level? Would you if you were the king of the land? Budden has to start back at the bottom and is using his underdog status to his full advantage -even Weezy gets a few sublimes in here.

Best lines: Niggas a die running like Ryan Shay.

You more like a school boy, a facebook nigga.

Only religions I’m into, is a brand name.

When the New Generation Think About Jordan, All They Remember Is When Iverson Crossed ‘Em.

Are we hustling are or we grown up? / Every time I hear you you changing your tone up.

Take off the blazer and loosen up the tie / nigga fell in love and Superman died.

4. Warfare feat. Joel Ortiz (Produced by Klasix)
I think they were trying to go for a Brooklyn’s Finest feel, but I don’t think Joel can compete with Joe here or ever. Joel Ortiz got some really wack lines here, “you light like a pita” and “I could write a heater in the middle of Alaska” are few of the lines that made me cringe. Budden goes light here too. This is more of a credibility track.

5. Invisible Man feat. Emanny (Produced by Chemo)
Budden just goes off. Not that he doesn’t go off on every single song here, but this is so focused so on point, that you cannot start to draw comparisons to Eminem at his best. You see Budden’s gift is the ability to match punchlines with actual substance. Not only that but Joe is the most introspective, most personal rapper since Em.

Best lines: Even Intelligent Hoodlums become Tragedies.

I move in silence, the Jadakiss of Jerse/so when it come to Benjimens I don’t say a word.

If I was Kanye I wouldn’t have these problems, but then again I’d have Kanye’s problems.

6. Dear Diary (Produced by WMS the Sultan)
Budden expands on Nas’s “best friends become strangers” concept retelling the downfall of his close friendships and his love/hate relationship with his baby momma. He really gets personal here describing how he is unable to see his son but still pays child support like his son is some kind of object.

Best line: I was a long line away from the Tetris / You sent me the “L” that sent me to Hell.

7. Get No Younger feat. Ezo (Produced by Klasix)
This is more of a swag joint. The production makes you feel like you a pimp in the 70s riding 2 miles per hour in a Caddy. Even the hook sounds like it was crooned by the O’Jays.

Best line: Bitch don’t make a nigga better, see Fab.

8. Star Inside of Me feat. Suzy Q (Produced by Dub B)
Dub B returns and Joe Budden brings back his “Pump It Up” flow on this throwback joint. This songs a little too soft for me, but it seems like it has good mainstream appeal. It reminds me a little of Hov’s “Can’t Knock the Hustle”.

9. Killa BH skit feat. Killa BH
Yes, Killa BH is back. This dude got next. The thing I love about this Killa BH concept is the dude always parodies the wackest shit in the industry at the time. This may be a reach, but I think it’s a mock of Lil Wayne with the zany flow.

10. Send Him Our Love (Produced by Klasix)
This the Stack Bundles dedication joint. Budden keeps it deep as usual, but adds some funny moments throughout the track retelling various incidents between the two. I really wish Bundles could hear this…maybe he can.

Best line: You love Far Rock like I love Jersey, so I feel ya/ but love something too much guarantee it a kill ya.

11. Family Reunion feat. Ransom, Hitchcock, Fabolous (Produced by Shatek The Producer)
This is MM3’s “6 Minutes of Death”, unfortunately, Random and Hitchcock come off as blatantly amateur spitting some basic punches. Fab kicks ass as usual on mixtape verses and Budden well he just spazzes out.

Best lines: Tell me how you a thug and you Superman / I just seen you in the club doing the Superman. -Joe Budden

If these dudes is live, I’m the creative player. -Joe Budden

Arms start waiving like the Carleton Banks dance. -Joe Budden

12. 5th Gear (Produced by WMS the Sultan)

This is like the Batman Dark Knight version of “Dumb Out”. You can just picture Joey riding in the batmo through Gotham on this joint. The beat combines futuristic synth sounds with classical strings that allow Joe B to get really busy. Lil Wayne who?

Best line: No wonder I’m on fire, I already been through hell.

13. Roll Call (Produced by WMS the Sultan)
This is like a wrestling song. It’s something Ultimate Warrior would walk out too. It’s a one man demolition wrecking crew anthem. Joey picks apart Def Jam asking the same question I’ve been asking where’s Peedi Peedi? I’m not one to side with artist who whine about their label not supporting them because most of the time the material they put out doesn’t deserve any attention. But Def Jam fucked up.

Best line: Way too many…

14. Secrets (Produced by Klasix)
I’m not going to front, the first time I heard “Three Sides to a Story” off Mood Muzik 2, I didn’t get what was going on, mostly because I just gave it a passive listen. After I really listened, I was blown away. Nas and Slick Rick have been noted for their story telling ability, but where is Joe Budden in this discussion?

Secrets is story telling at its best. By writing incredibly detailed character sketches any English teacher would be proud of, Budden puts together a “Crash” like tale about a black girl lost, Chyna [notice the Nas reference], her unsuspecting boyfriend, Jerome, Chyna’s jump off, Dre and Dre’s wifey, Faith. The beat had me thinking I was watching a Tarantino or John Woo film and the ending will leave you in aww. You have to give this a few listens to really get everything.

15. All of Me feat. Emanny (Produced by Klasix)
Joe delves deep yet again into himself and his reasons for becoming a rap star and looking back on it as not really being worth it. He touches on his beef with Ransom from a reflective place and speaks on a girl he met who only had three weeks to live due to a brain tumor and him not being able to say goodbye. This is Joe at his best, making good ol’ fashion mood music. This is more than punchlines.

16. Folders’ Brother (Killa BH Skit)
A hilarious skit with Killa BH doing a parody of Kanye’s Big Brother with Joe in the place of Jay-Z. Funny. This maybe another reach, but I think this is a smart way of getting at Kanye.

17. I’m Serious (Long Way to Go) feat. Mr Probz (Produced by Soulsearchin’)
A folksy rap song with Joey getting his R&B on singing the bridge. This is where MM3 differs from MM2, instead of Joey being mad as hell as he was on MM2, he now seems content to “take over” on his own time -one verse at a time. He also takes a small jab at Cassidy, rapping “Fuck a drink and my two step nigga, I’m two steps from a drink”.

Best line: If I fall like Beyonce, I just get up and keep dancing.

18. Thou Shall Not Fall (Produced by Klasix)
It seems like Joe Budden has condition himself to believe he will never make it and therefore is on an endless quest to prove himself. Hopefully, he never completes his journey (at least in his mind) because songs like these only continue to prove his worth as the top lyrical giant in the industry. This is an anthem-like song, accompanied by sparse kicks and big hand claps, Budden goes in and doesn’t ever come out.

Best line: I only respect one Fab and I’m friends with him / Phonte backed out, niggas pumped sense in him / They went and pumped slugs in my little brother, but dog I still love Little Brother.

I don’t go out looking for Drama like the Feds did.

19. Still My Hood (Produced by Wyks)
This is the exact opposite of Dj Khaled’s “I’m So Hood”, where that song glorified stereotypical hood life, this song puts the hood life into perspective from all angles. Where he gets the motivation to pen songs with this much detail is beyond me.

Best line: And I rate nothing above it / I know it seems odd but I hate it and I love it / Nah, I hate that I love it.

MMM3 is the only album you need this year. Unlike other great albums of 07 such as American Gangster, Graduation and Finding Forever, this album is one that you are going to be listening to a year from now. The only minor complaint I have is that Joey is not as pissed off as he was on MM2, but hey I guess he really can’t fake it no more. Also the mixing could have been better. But this is where Dr.Dre and Eminem need to come in and sign this dude.

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