Review: 3.75 out of 5
Best Song: I Couldn’t Help It, Happy Holidays, Do Tell, Blood on the Wall, In My Sleep
“Internet Soldiers” mount up! Joe Budden’s Padded Room drops today and as promised here’s our review. Now it’s no question your boy YoRapper put you on to jump off Joe Beezy right? Okay, I kid. But after giving MM3 a 5/5 we became internet famous for being Budden stans. But truth is truth, if Budden falls off we’ll say it. Now the question is how did YoRapper.com’s super hero do on Padded Room? Check the most realest rap review below!
1. Now I Lay (Produced by Blastah Beats)
I knew this was going to be a different experience than the Mood Musik series simply because there’s a chorus in the intro. As soon as you hear the opening lines, “pump it up if you came to get it crunk…” you know introspective Joe is going to go in. The only problem is this beat is way too fast to actually care. Joey’s success thus far has been his ability to relate to fans and he’s not going to touch people’s hearts over wack beats. Tell Brandon to get his beat picking skills up!
2. The Future featuring The Game (Produced by Fyu-Chur)
This is Joey’s second radio friendly attempt after the clusterfuck that was “Touch and Go”. Even though this is a “hot song” as far as radio goes and its purpose is to open Joe Budden up to new audiences, I along with Budden’s core supporters would rather listen to T.I. for this kind of swag & brag music. It’s very dangerous for an artist to go from mainstream to underground and then back to mainstream, when his fanbase is underground. If I was Budden I would just keep putting out his brand of introspective rap as in the end it is better to have thousands of real fans than have one million fickle fans (though financially Budden may disagree).
3. If I Gotta Go (Produced by The Klassix)
Didn’t Budden already use a similar concept on the song “If I Should Die” on MM2? Either way his first attempt was much more soulful. The problem with this song is the way Joe Budden shouts over a muddy sounding beat, the clash is just too much. And the chorus just makes me cringe.
4. Don’t Make Me (Produced by The Blastah Beats)
Finally a half decent beat that doesn’t clash with Budden’s deep baritone. Budden drops some gems with lines like “I talk about hard shit like I discovered it” while talking about a fallen friend.
5. Blood on the Wall (Produced by Moss)
Yes finally a beat that makes me want to punch a security guard out. Budden puts together a great concept about how certain people such as rapper Prodigy only seem to be happy until the “writings on the wall” so to speak. Aside from putting Prodigy’s ass on blast, I think this song would have been better had he just talked about all the beef he’d been involved in (i.e. Ransom, Saigon) and just do a Jay-Z “Takeover” type thing. The streets would have eaten it up.
6. In My Sleep (Produced by The Klasix)
This is Joe Budden’s most abstract record and makes for a fun exercise to decipher if he’s really saying anything or just talking some Ghostface Killah bullshit. The most interesting thing though is that he’s doing a concept song over an “Omarion beat” with no chorus. To me, this is on some new 2009 type stuff as Joey is showing he’s just not going to go in over the typical Eastcoast boom bappers.
7. Exxes (Produced by The Klasix)
Well what do you know? Joe Budden goes in over an “Usher beat”. This song should be the next single after “In My Sleep” flops because Joey channels some Tupac flows over a smooth radio friendly soundscape. He also drops a Biggie quote just to make sure he knows his zip code.
8. I Couldn’t Help It (Produced by The Klasix)
Now this should have been the intro to the album. Soulful. Introspective. Mood music. I’m going to change the order in my playlist to bump this first because this song is the standout. Joey gets into the strained relationship with his baby momma, his thoughts of aborting his son and having a threesome with a famous rapper’s wife (I’m still trying to figure out who). This song gives me the goose bumps.
9. Adrenaline (Produced by Dub B)
Now I bet the “hood” Joe Budden fans are not going to like this song and neither do I because I just can’t stand that rap/rock clash. But I bet Joey knows when he goes on the road most of the people at his shows are white boys who also listen(ed) to rock and this song is going to be fun to perform for them.
Best line: “It’s a thinking man’s world, shit is chess to me”.
10. Happy Holidays feat. Emanny (Produced by Qwan)
When I saw the footage of Joey recording this song, I thought “wow this is going to be incredible”. A concept record over a radio friendly beat for a third time? Joey playfully talks about his disdain for holidays as after all “everyday’s a holiday”. Again Joey’s lyrics shine, however, his voice as well as some of the production elements don’t mesh too well. I think if Budden is going to rap over glossy production he’s going to have to learn how to be more smooth with the flow. Maybe Emanny’s the one supposed to be providing the smooth and he does, (he’ll always get props in my books for “All Of Me” off MM3).
Best line: “They say that it’s the thought that counts, I have plenty. Like why on thanksgiving my family would never visit and even when they did it always felt so scripted.”
11. Do Tell (Produced by Blastah Beats)
Ahh some more classic Joe Budden. The second best song on the album as Joey’s saying what you’ve always wanted to tell those closet to you but don’t really have the balls to. Joe Budden stans like myself, love these songs so much, because they are not only relatable but because they make concrete, thoughts we’ve all had at one time or another.
Best line: “Tell Trae his mother is in asshole, when you get older you may understand how that go”.
“Tell my girl that she put me through it. But if I had to go through it with anybody I’m thankful it’s her.”
“Tell them stereotypes, I tried them on they didn’t fit me”.
12. Angel in My Life (Produced by Blastah Beats)
Joey goes into the real padded room, you know the one in the mental institute, to flesh out the album’s title. He takes the concept of being taking into a mental ward and having to explain his thoughts to a therapist without actually explicitly saying so. Brilliant execution that doesn’t undermine the intelligence of the listener. Bravo.
13. Pray For Me (Produced by Versatile and Dilemma)
This is a played out concept that crackhead DMX has done a million times. Making a song rapping to God is an easy introspective record to make, I think even brain dead Cassidy did one for his last album. Also if God rapped, I’m sure he wouldn’t have such a basic flow with no delivery or charisma. Aside from that, I do appreciate Budden for arguing with God and not just accepting Christian dogma.
14. Family Reunion feat. Ransom, Fabolous, & Hitchcock (Remix)
WTF? This is like taking Wu-Tang’s hardest joint and putting it over a Village People’s beat. Why would Joey put this on the album? He probably had to break off some publishing to his donnie brasco Ransom -nah his dumbass probably signed that away. Whoever convinced Joey to put this on the album should be put to sleep.
Joe Budden finally delivered a second album. Wow. I said in 2008 that Joey’s unrelenting passion to spit real lyrics is his super power. I mean what other artist gives every rhyme 150%? No one. For godsakes, you’ve got a million Juelz Santana’s writing their verse in 14 seconds and guess what the public can tell. We “internet soldiers” appreciate Budden because he actually takes time to create an expereince. I haven’t heard Budden spit one throw away in how many years. You can’t say the same for Lil Wayne, Jay-Z or Kanye. But this may prove to be Budden’s Achilles’ heal.
See Joey’s main weakness is his inability to make “listenable songs” that your girl is going to request at 8 o’clock or that you are going to bump on the way to the club. The reason why is that he’s had plenty of practice making mood music but has nearly no practice putting out radio singles, need I remind you of the disaster that was “Touch and Go”? Joey has a lot of thinking to do regarding where he wants his career to go, either he’s going to be making mood music or he’s going after Yung Berg’s fanbase.