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Joe Budden - Halfway House (Cover Artwork)

Joe Budden

Joe Budden: Halfway HouseHalfway House (2008)
Amalgam Digital

Reviewer Rating: 5
User Rating:


Contributed by: AnchorsAnchors
(others by this writer | submit your own)

You ever have a great story that you just can't wait to tell your friends about? Joe Budden is that story. No matter how excited you are to tell everyone about your trip to Europe or your luck in finding $100 on top of a paper towel dispenser in the 7-11, your friends will invariably be less e.
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You ever have a great story that you just can't wait to tell your friends about?

Joe Budden is that story.

No matter how excited you are to tell everyone about your trip to Europe or your luck in finding $100 on top of a paper towel dispenser in the 7-11, your friends will invariably be less excited to hear about it. For me, no matter how many friends I try to push Budden on, and believe me, I've talked to death about him, the response is less than stellar.

I've come to accept that Jersey Joe may stay my involuntarily-kept secret. In fact, I've come to relish the fact.

Halfway House is the mixtape released to preface Budden's long-awaited sophomore album, Padded Room. Even though it's only a mixtape, like most of Budden's mixtapes, it feels like an album. The length, the production value, the flow, the quality -- all indicative of a man who puts everything he has into his music.

After a brief intro and the hard-edged "On My Grind," Budden launches into the intricate wordplay and stark introspection that have made his Mood Muzik mixtape series one of the most heralded of the decade. "Sidetracked" adds a hip-hop coating to Coldplay's "Lost," and Budden glides effortlessly over the track, baring his soul and his troubles for anyone who will sit down and listen.

Sometimes I wanna make money, sometimes I ain't motivated / Sometimes I think it's overrated, sometimes I'm thinking I wasn't supposed to make it / But what I show is basic, I normally poker face it / Sometimes I wanna make music, sometimes I think it's just useless / So you don't hear a lot of new shit, clueless dependin' on what my mood is / Sometimes I wanna dress down, I mean I wanna let up but ya'll be let down / [ā?¦] / I can be so analytical, with no one to listen who am I a critic to?
As gifted as he is with his heart pinned to his sleeve, Budden's wit can turn an otherwise-common reference into a caustic punchline. "Slaughterhouse" is not only a showcase to Joe's clever pen, but to the pens of some of the best young rappers in hip-hop: Joell Ortiz, Nino Bless, Crooked I, and Royce Da 5'9" all bless the track with their unique brands, and seven minutes later, you'll be clamoring to find out what just hit you like a truck in the night.

Ortiz brings his Latin flavor and quick-hitting style in serving notice that he's firmly at the top of the game ("Never in a hundred years I knew I'd be a rapper, but in less than a hundred bars I knew I'd be a factor / I'm PS4 in HD and the screen is plasma, you Atari 2600 with a weak adapter / between us the gap so crazy, I'm Fendi and Louis V, you're Gap Old Navy") and Crooked I serves everyone notice that the West Coast is far from deceased ("I send your soul to the atmosphere, fuck outta here, end ya ringtone rap career / This is Crooked I, face of east side Long Beach, put your ear to the streets so you can hear my heart beat"). While the torrent of punchlines is mesmerizing, what Budden is about -- what he's always been about -- is being human.

That is, to say, that no other rapper is more comfortable with adversity, and no other rapper takes more pride in overcoming it. On the soul-heavy "Under the Sun," Budden looks back on a failed relationship and looks forward to the future ("Sometimes you've gotta stand by your failures to recognize your success / Still Iā??ll be the bigger man and wish her all the best") and on the smooth Motown of "The Soul," he reminisces about a career that started as anything but a sure shot ("Remember gettin' hyped off my first Casio, souped up writin' my first verse it was ass though / A capella no beat and a bad flow, damn I miss the good old days...when we had soul").

What separates Joe Budden above all his peers, though, isn't his punchlines. It isn't his crystal-clear delivery. It isn't his ability to flow on any beat put in front of him and it isn't his ability to change rhyme schemes as effortlessly as you or I would a pair of pants. What puts him on that plateau is a storytelling ability not seen since the late great Notorious one or Nas in his hey. Not since Rakim and Kool G. Rap has an emcee been as gifted in lyrically painting a picture. There may be no better evidence of Budden's lyrical prowess in his catalog than what is displayed on "Just to Be Different."

Above a gorgeous piano-laden sample, the New Jersey native wastes no time exploring his day-to-day difficulties ("See I don't trust no one, so stubborn I could dream a thousand paths wake up and walk the old one") and career pressures from all possible angles:
They said I had to make music that would keep the kids fiendin', screamin', make nothin' with a meaning so I don't know the meaning / They told me go Hollywood, for a split second thought I probably could but piled it on would I be understood? / Told me even if you not able to cop cable, any time you hit the club you better have a table / Told me they would take me at my worst, told me image is everything, told ā??em I'd obey my thirst / Told me do what you gotta once you on, hit the scene make it rain, I told ā??em I'm already in the storm / Told me everything's in an uproar, told me to front I told ā??em what for? Said it again I said fuck ya'll / I won't succumb to all the stereotypes, won't sacrifice me for what the stereo likes / They told me ā??get in when you fit in, this what's in demand now' / I told ā??em ā??why try and fit in when you're a standout?
That never-quit attitude has been Budden's trademark for years, and it makes him somewhat of an anomaly in 2008. There's no niche for that kind of approach. He's too intelligent for the gangsta-rap tag and too gangsta for the backrap-rap title. He's an East Coast rapper with Tupac's West Coast introspection. He's a Jersey City rapper with Biggies Brooklyn storytelling.

So where, in this tangled web of hip-hop, does he truly reside? Or did he put it best himself?
Why try to fit and fit in when you're a standout?

 

 
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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
rude_reckless (December 15, 2008)

Join a Hip Hop forum to review these things...
That way you talk to people who actually understand this type of music.

minus_20_scene_points (November 20, 2008)

alexwank, you might also want to check out the astronautalis. i'm really into his album "pomegranate." i think it's pretty on par with something like "human death dance."

score is for the review. well done, anchors.

alexwank (November 19, 2008)

Thanks for the suggestions. Iā??ll check em out over the next few days. I am familiar w/ a few of those mentioned, particularly blackilicious (album started off well, but my interest waned) and a tribe called quest (couldnā??t get into it, maybe cos I donā??t care much for juzz(obscure simpsons reference))
Without hearing the rest, Abdominal sounds the most promising on two fronts:- it is apparently similar to Sage, and Anchors doesnā??t like em ; )

Anchors (November 18, 2008)

Excellent, excellent suggestions by the two dudes below me. Minus Abdominal, I couldn't get into that album whatsoever.

pasha (November 18, 2008)

maybe try these:

-Common - Be
-Abdominal - Escape from the Pigeon Hole (if you like sage, you may dig this)
-De La Soul - Best of (they are a bit repetitive, but they have some mad beats)
-Oh No - Exodus Into Unheard Rythms (each songs is really different, so you may dig it)
-Pharaoahe Monch - Desire (mad music, great lyrics)
-The Roots - Things fall apart (great music, great lyrics)
-A Tribe Called Quest - The Low End Theory (it's kind of repetitive, but if you like jazz, which you may, you'll love this).

allright, hope it works! (if not, I tried..)

fallingupwards84 (November 18, 2008)

Alexwank, based on your post, i highly recommend these two albums:

Black Star - Mos Def & Talib Kweli Are Black Star
Blackalicious - Nia

Both of these albums' lyrics are definitely on point, "conscious" style. Excellent beats. You would really like it. Mos Def and Talib Kweli are staples in the "underground" scene and their collaboration album - Black Star - is a great place to start. Blackalicious is a well-respected underground hip-hop duo and the album i listed is really good. Let me know if you pick them up, I think you'll enjoy it.

balaka2 (November 18, 2008)

revolutionary vol. 3 was fucking horrible. tech made dance with the devil, so he gets respect forever, but unless he's got an ace up his sleeve, the man's going downhill rapidly. for the uninitiated, a really amazing song:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qggxTtnKTMo

alexwank (November 18, 2008)

ā??My aim in writing rap reviews is to show kids that there's a lot out there beyond punk/hardcore/indie, and if even one kid finds they actually like rap or finds a new favorite rapper, I've done my job.ā?

Alright Anchors, Iā??ll take you up on it. Except Iā??ll preface this with Iā??m not a ā??kidā?? who knows nothing outside punk/hardcore/indie. Iā??m 30 and I donā??t listen to music for appearances. I listen to it because Iā??m passionate about it and Iā??m always seeking something to stir my feet or my heart or preferably both. I must admit, Iā??m a big sage francis fan. Not because heā??s on a punk label (who the fuck cares!?), but because his last album really struck a chord with me (healthy distrust wasnā??t that great). My main beef with hip hop is, as someone on the periphery of the culture, it all too often sounds like the same syncopated beat, with minimal accompaniment and monotonic vocals rapping about superficial issues. I listen to joe budden, and the (few) songs i heard fell into at least some of these categories. Itā??s not for me.
Now I couldnā??t care less whether you think sage is lame. You opinion is not more valid than mine. Now if you say heā??s a lame hip hop artist, well then maybe youā??re right cos I donā??t know dick about hip hop. I donā??t care. But as an artist producing music, he is quality.
the reason I like the last sage record (human the death dance) so much was because each track was a ā??songā??. They were all different musically (and also generally in his cadence) and the lyrics really meant something. That leads me to my other gripe with hip hop which is as soon as Iā??ve heard the first 5 seconds of the song, I know whatā??s coming up for the next 5 minutes (yes some punk could be charged with this but not as bad as hip hop). now my request to you is to look objectively within your capacious hip hop knowledge and point me in the direction of artists who embrace this sort of varied, intricate production (if thatā??s the correct parlance).
I quite like the last brother ali record too, but it did border on being somewhat repetitious, probably by virtue of the number of tracks, but the slightly more complex arrangements than I usually hear in hip hop really helped it out.

So what artists should I check out? (feel free to mention ones you donā??t care for as it seems our tastes do not overlap). anyone else with some suggestions, please feel free to contribute.
ta

fallingupwards84 (November 18, 2008)

"To even bring legends like Pac or Big or Tribe. (and where the fuck is Dre in all this talk?), is a complete disgrace to anyone that respects hiphop. Those men had a motive outside of materialism and egotism to pick up the mics and get their voices heard. Now being that I personally do listen to most hiphop, and music in general for the lyrics, anybody whom continues to propagate sexism and blatantly disrespect and destruct their own culture are nothing more than fools."

hahahaha this account has to be a joke... he just glorified Dre, Pac, and Big, and then said that any artist who propagates sexism are nothing more than fools? Dre had a song called "Bitches Ain't Shit" !! hahahah

Anchors (November 17, 2008)

*Last mixtape.

Anchors (November 17, 2008)

Also, love Papoose, but dude has fallen off hard. His mixtape was solid, but the singles he's put out since have been complete ass. He doesn't have the fire that he used to.

Love Saigon too, but nobody needs to release an actual album more than that dude.

Anchors (November 17, 2008)

Hahahahaha man, this is good:

Posted by xshoutoutx on 2008-11-17 21:26:26
All you motherfuckers need to check yourself.


Look man, using some unnecessary SAT words and some high-horse bullshit about how rappers "destruct their own culture" makes you look like just as big a clown as Perrone. Come on, "participate in puerile debates," "paragon of hip-hop?" Did you just spend a week studying the dictionary and hop on the computer tonight to impress the internet?

Since you want to force the issue though, I find it funny that you take such issue with sexism, but you want everyone to listen to Immortal Technique, a guy who uses the word "faggot" as casually as "the."

Yeah dude, "fight the industry!!!"

Truly spoken like a 14-year-old who just found out about Crimethinc.

ibitchslappedyourmama (November 17, 2008)

Papoose is the best lyricist right now, Saigon is almost as good although both are more hardcore/gangsta rap than underground. Blue Scholars are the best hip-hop group out now. Kanye is a douche.

xshoutoutx (November 17, 2008)

All you motherfuckers need to check yourself. Listen to music that elevates your mind, not the same mundane shit that might have a slightly euphonic beat and a good flow to it. To even bring legends like Pac or Big or Tribe. (and where the fuck is Dre in all this talk?), is a complete disgrace to anyone that respects hiphop. Those men had a motive outside of materialism and egotism to pick up the mics and get their voices heard. Now being that I personally do listen to most hiphop, and music in general for the lyrics, anybody whom continues to propagate sexism and blatantly disrespect and destruct their own culture are nothing more than fools. I've never once throughout this rant judged Budden's talent, I am however decrying his inability to do something more than simply showcase his own ability as a rapper and do nothing more than glorify complete narcissism.

AND NOW FOR YOU ANCHORS... you are way too big of a wuss! People have varying opinions, quit trying to be some hiphop guru on punknews.org, and try participating in some intellectual discourse rather than puerile debates. And give up fucking trying to defend your lackluster argument, if Budden was such a paragon of hiphop, there wouldn't be this much confrontation over him. And no, it's not because you know more than everyone about hiphop you arrogant prick. SHUT UP and let the opinions roll!

... and also, LISTEN TO MORE DEAD PREZ & IMMORTAL TECHNIQUE... run your own industry, don't let the industry run you!

freesandwich (November 17, 2008)

kanye blows dogs for quarters

CCSummers (November 17, 2008)

Eh, as said below, Kanye is not a good rapper

danperrone (November 17, 2008)

the college dropout is a pretty good record

fallingupwards84 (November 17, 2008)

and you don't need to lecture me about how i need to "dig deeper" into hip hop... i'm about 95% sure i know way more about the genre (including the underground) than you do, based on posts i've seen from you in the past. know who you're talking to first.

fallingupwards84 (November 17, 2008)

I've never ever claimed that Kanye was a good rapper... however, he is undoubtedly one of the greatest producers in hip hop, ever. Even hip hop heads who hate his rapping admit that his beats are superb. Kanye's work on Common's last two albums, for example, have been nothing short of amazing. His production on Jay-Z's Blueprint was absolutely incredible. And yes, his first album, College Dropout, is pure gold from a production standpoint and a thematic standpoint. So no, I'm not ashamed to say that I really respect Kanye's work. He has helped kill gangsta rap by making it ok for a mainstream artist to rap about things other than drugs and murder, and he's made it ok for rappers to dress like normal people instead of thugs. What's wrong with that?

See you're trapped in this mindset that "mainstream" is by default bad. By that definition, then the Beatles were absolutely horrible, Elvis Presley had no talent, Metallica in the 1980s was garbage, the Ramones were pathetic pop artists, etc. Sure there is a lot of trashy mainstream music out there, but there is some good shit too.

I'm sure you listen to your own share of mainstream records... whether its Against Me or Rise Against or whatever, I don't know what you listen to. Yes, I think The Game's new album LAX was very solid. I wouldn't give it 10 stars, but I'd say its an 8/10. Its probably my favorite album this year actually.

Lil Wayne? Yea the guy can't rap, but Tha Carter II is a guilty pleasure of mine - the fact is the guy has a lot of personality and he's fun to listen to, even if I know the music isn't that quality. Its still fun. What's wrong with that?

Not all hip hop fans are content with just listening to backpacker music, as it appears a lot of you here are fine doing. I mean, its cool every now and then, but jesus christ, expand your horizons a little bit. I'll listen to The Game one minute, and then Mr. Lif the next. Or Nas one minute, and then Percee P the next. Sometimes I like to listen to "conscious" rap, and then sometimes I like to listen to Too $hort rap about bitches and being a player. Its fun. I suggest you open your mind a little bit instead of narrowing your focus on one genre of hip hop. You're missing out on some good music.

NotPatriotic (November 17, 2008)

Seriously Anchors, you say that a review is one mans opinion and then you diss me for saying I like Jurassic 5 and Wordsworth, do you not see the hypocrisy in that?

FallingUpwards you have posted before that you like Kanye West, your credibility in regards to hip-hop is zero. And don't try to argue that Kanye West's first album is great, it isn't, that album contains a couple good songs, but that does not make a great album. The mainstream will tell you that album is great because it had like 5 or 6 huge singles, so did "get rich or Die Trying," you were probably jocking that album when it came out as well. You may want to check out the DVD "Freestyle The Art Of Rhyme" I can guarantee you most of the rappers you like are not in that movie, the movie contains legitimate MCs. I'm pretty sure I remember you saying you like the Game and Lil Wayne as well, these rappers are terrible (The Game and Kanye West are pretty much the same, a few good songs along with a bunch of shitty ones containing dumb lyrics). Lil Wayne has never put out a good song with any substance. In regards to hip-hop you have to dig deep to find the real shit, same as punk.

raisedatgunpoint (November 17, 2008)

You backpacking faggots need to shut the fuck up and listen to this record. Props to Anchors for recognising real hip-hop..

And to the guy rating Sabac.. Dude is garbage now. Yeah he was nice on The Future Is Now but now he's a fucking joke..

sirens (November 17, 2008)

Bitch what do you want?

Nigga what do you need?

A rock hard bone?

A dime of weed?

Whatever it is hoe you can hit him from a phone

But if ya don't want nothin' leave him lone he be gone

See he's known for smokin' skunk and gettin' drunk without knowin'

He through about twenty bitches and hoes and he probably fucked yours

But the Dude don't disrespect but then he takes no shit

But if your bitch is in his ride then shes gettin' some dick

He moves quick real slick never been to the pen or the forum

They got stories bout the Dude the kids bragged when they saw him

And them laws he don't bomb

That nigga just keep dippin'

Early in the morning flippin'

Coffee sippin'

Dont be trippin' on niggas they see him walk in the sto'

Get him some cigarettes, cigars and a Colt 4-0

Without payin' walk out that hoe so calm and so cool

(Who's that?)

Man that's the Dude and he's a God damn fool

fallingupwards84 (November 17, 2008)

some of you freaking out about this review need to seriously calm down. this website hands out really high scores ALL THE TIME, this is nothing new. obscure bands that nobody gives a shit about receive 8-10 stars on a regular basis. but Anchors gives a rapper a high score and all of a sudden this place blows up.

its clear who knows about hip hop in this thread and who doesn't. NotPatriotic, you don't know shit about what you're talking about, get out of here. CCSummers - you have good taste in music now and then but you need to get over this "i'm too punk to listen to 'mainstream' music" bullshit. those petty high-school rules don't apply to hip hop, so don't bring it here. plus Joe Budden hasn't been with Def Jam for YEARS... he had a well-publicized falling out with Jay-Z (along with several other rappers on that label)

hip hop should most definitely be reviewed on here... rap music is more "punk" (if we must use that term) than most of the garbage reviewed on here anyway. those of you saying that only Lil Wayne does mixtapes?.... hahahah. he just joined the game a couple years ago, its been going on for decades.

so before you talk trash to real hip hop fans, educate yourself a little bit about the music, because this is embarrassing. keep listening to lame-ass Sage Francis - a man whose fans don't even like hip hop, they just listen to it because its on Epitaph and hardcore kids think its "ironic" to like him. what a great artist. Gunz Yo!!!

danperrone (November 17, 2008)

"And don't give me the whole "it's three years old, I've taken a different path garbage.""

uh, dude...i just did. too bad for you. glad you took the time to read a review that's a few years old, though, even when i told you that it would be for naught.

Anchors (November 17, 2008)

Oh, you can assure me it's not a perfect album, huh?

That's real funny, because as I understood album reviews, they're opinion-based and completely subjective. Meaning my '10' may or may not be your '10' or anyone else's '10.'

I appreciate you reaching that condescending arm out though and trying to guide me to the light. I remember you

You know, I thought your username looked familiar, and then I remembered that you were the nerd who posted an enormous load of bullshit in my Joell Ortiz review about Jurassic 5 and Wordsworth were two of the 10 best emcees/groups of all time. The fact that you let Budden's usage of the word fuck bother you enough to mention it tells me that maybe hip-hop isn't the genre for you.

NotPatriotic (November 17, 2008)

Oh man, this thread and review are hilarious. Anchors you are a joke for giving a Joe Budden album a ten. I listened to this album on YouTube (gotta love youtube) and I can assure you this is not a perfect album. The beats are garbage, Joe Budden is way more intelligent than I remember (he still feels the need to say "fuck" more than any other word), but his intelligence does not lead to memorable songs. There are maybe 3 good songs on this album. Anchors I think you need to get over your need to be "down" with shitty city rap and start branching out into more intelligent hip-hop. I would recommend this site http://www.hiphoplinguistics.com/

Anchors (November 16, 2008)

Hahahaha Perrone man, you've got some serious nerve.

You might want to check yourself before throwing stones. You shit on my style of reviewing, not just here but continually, yet you write garbage like this:

http://www.punknews.org/review/6279

And don't give me the whole "it's three years old, I've taken a different path garbage." You're the same immature jackass as the one who used to write shitty reviews just like that one. There's no semblance of continuity to that review, and your grammar rivals that of an 11-year-old. You harp on me using a lot of quotes in my review? It's called a point of emphasis. As in, I talked a lot about how Joe Budden is a lyricist, and then I show examples.

But hey, you're the guy who, by his own admission, "doesn't know shit about hip-hop."

Glad to see that hasn't stopped you from running your mouth like you invented the genre. Like your tremendous knowledge of mixtapes. You know, most people would stop after saying something as idiotic as you did about that, and being called on it, but your persistence to idiocy is really something to admire.

Go ahead and continue with your amateur hour comedy (I bet you want to lick him like a lollipop LOLOLOOLOLOL zing!!!!); just know that there's a reason nobody has stepped up to agree with you. That's because you're a complete and total fucking clown.

danperrone (November 16, 2008)

"My aim in writing rap reviews is to show kids that there's a lot out there beyond punk/hardcore/indie, and if even one kid finds they actually like rap or finds a new favorite rapper, I've done my job."

first off, excuse me while i fucking puke. people write for internet music websites because they've got big fucking egos, myself included. save the melodrama for when you cure cancer.

yeah, i think mixtape rap sucks. sure the idea and theory of a mixtape is nice and nobles and shit...i don't care. the people rhyming on these mixtapes lately are clowns like joe budden and li'l wayne. i bet you want to just lick him like a lollipop!

you keep bringing up "so and so said these guys are great!" WHO CARES! is this how you pick what you listen to...by who validates it? i don't see anything special in the numerous quotes you posted (good job weighing your review down with way too many quotes by the way).

i don't claim to know shit about hiphop, but i sure as shit think joe budden and everyone in that same ring eats it. wow, clever punchlines, guys! i don't even think there was a single truly solid album (8/10 or above) released this year. the first half of the murs album is good. some tracks on the new jedi mind tricks record are good. shit, i can't even remember anything else. i thought last year's dalek album was the most innovative thing i've heard in a long time out of ANY genre. and i don't give a shit who said it was good. i fuckin' say it's good.

i don't even care that you reviewed rap. good for you. i like rap! but giving out a perfect score to something that is clearly a piece of garbage? laughable. and for the record, your review sucked. try being a little more brief. and less quotes. AND LESS GODDAMN ANECDOTES OH MY GOODNESS. and although you will try and come back with something i wrote three years ago, might i remind you that i haven't written for this site in years and have taken different paths in the reviewing world. much better than writing on the internet getting yelled at by a bunch of dudes like me.

xote (November 16, 2008)

I think rap being reviewed on a PUNK site makes sense really. Ask Thurston Moore... Rap is pretty much 10 times more punk than most punk bands out now. ALSO this site doesn't even review punk anyway... it reviews pop half the time. Theres no sludge/noise/experimental reviews theres lots of stuff thats being missed. But thats okay! Just review more stuff and realize that being a punk rocker is exploring and re-inventing everything as we know it including our music and fashion and culture.

CCSummers (November 16, 2008)

No I'm just furious because he reviewed a hip-hop album. Not acceptable.

NotPatriotic (November 16, 2008)

It's more because he gave this record a fucking TEN. This album is far from perfect.

TROOF (November 16, 2008)

Jesus Christ, all this because dude reviewed a hip-hop record.

Anchors (November 16, 2008)

Nobody's forcing you to read anything, and if you're worried about a shift in content start reviewing what you want to see reviewed here. I still do punk/hardcore/indie stuff, but this site can only be made better by a wider breadth of music being reviewed and talked about.

In fact, I wish I knew more about Jazz/Blues and Soul/Motown stuff because I'd love to see some of the classic albums reviewed on here.

bombidol (November 16, 2008)

Yeah its cool that theres a lot more out there than punk and hardcore. I love rap and this record is good. But this is punknews.org. PUNKnews, I come here to read reviews on the new punk and HC records not Rap, hip hop and soundtracks. Thats the way its been going the last few months. Theres always some non relevant stuff being reviewed.
Stop reviewing old records and non Punk and HC stuff. Start an all encompassing review site and do everything if you want but keep this place for its namesake.
Not aiming all this at you Anchors, all involved here are responsible.

greenvandal (November 16, 2008)

Watch out! Anchors likes hip-hop an doesn't give a fuck!

You are hilarious dude.

Anchors (November 16, 2008)

Before I post anything else, let me state that I could not possibly care less about what you deem to be "credibility" on this website. I don't write or post in hopes that people like you will find me credible.

This is the third time now I'm having to say this -- you need to up your reading comprehension before posting.

1) JOE. BUDDEN. IS. NOT. ON. DEF. JAM. ANY. MORE. Halfway house is not "Def Jam shit," because he hasn't been on the label since 2005. What's hard to understand about that?

2) Nowhere did I say Def Jam is a great label or talk about anyone who's still on it. Though, since you bring him up, the new Ne-Yo album is great. I'd much rather listen to that than anything currently on Def Jux. RJD2 are good, but aren't even on that label anymore. Cage is the only dude left there I care about.

3) There's no "elite hip-hop club" but nobody I know that listens to hip-hop regularly or predominantly listens to shit like Sage Francis.

4) No one's dissing mixtapes? Perrone said, an I quote, "mixtape and punchline rap sucks."

5) You're right that mixtapes are usually not as well-composed as albums. Joe Budden's mixtapes, though, aren't normal mixtapes. There's no DJ voiceovers, no skits, no clips from radio call-ins. If I gave you a copy of Mood Muzik 2 or Mood Muzik 3 you wouldn't even know it was a mixtape. It's as professionally done as any album, and frankly, more so.

6) You can dispute my claim all you want that his Mood Muzik tapes are more lyrically sound than anything else out, but until you can name me or show me something better, my statement stands.

7) I don't expect everyone, or even anyone to agree with me. But people like Perrone who just run their mouths without knowing what they're talking about may turn kids who might check this out away. I don't want to see that happen.

My aim in writing rap reviews is to show kids that there's a lot out there beyond punk/hardcore/indie, and if even one kid finds they actually like rap or finds a new favorite rapper, I've done my job.

CCSummers (November 16, 2008)

This is what you sound like right now:
"If you're going to diss a rapper I like, I'm going to go ahead and make assumptions about the rap all of you guys like and diss all of it."

You're not gaining any credibility or protecting what you had. You sound like a kid backed into a corner.
Straight up, I'd rather listen to backpaper shit than this Def Jam shit, and maybe you should just let that drop. That label is up to it's teeth in crap. Rhinna? Ne-yo?.
Def Jux actually has solid shit. If you get "bored" by it than that's your problem. Where were you for company flow? rjd2? They have more than Cold Vein, although agreed, that shit is tight.

And stop the elitist bullshit ie " Because people that actually know hip-hop are all in agreement that those two are both garbage."
Is there some elite hip-hop club I don't know about? Because there seem to be lots of cats that can bump both the classics and Aesop. Stop writing everyone off because they have a different opinion than you.

And no one's dissing mixtapes, but it's normally agreed upon that mixtapes are just that, a mix. There not actual albums and are rarely, rarely as well composed or thought out as albums. So by giving a mixtape a perfect score, it better be a fucking amazing mixtape. And this isn't. This is Joe Budden.

"His Mood Muzik series is more lyrically sound than anything else put out this decade."
I don't think even you can believe this. That's a joke.

You can keep reviewing your brand of rap, and honestly I think the idea is a refreshing one on this site, just don't expect everyone to be down with what you considering amazing. Here, or anywhere else in life.

fallingupwards84 (November 16, 2008)

man... that was a beating

What makes you sound even more like a clown is dissing mixtape rap. Hip-hop as a music and as a culture would be NOTHING without the mixtape circuit.

exactly, thats how rappers establish themselves as true lyricists... mixtapes have been central to the game for a long long time

and Joe Budden absolutely slays that track you posted below... thanks for posting it, i'm very impressed. i'm definitely gonna pick this up. funny this is - all the people trashing your review haven't even bothered listening to it. gotta love that...

Anchors (November 16, 2008)

Oh, can't believe I forgot to mention this -- get back to me when Aesop Rock or Sage Francis can rap for sixteen minutes straight:

http://www.hiphopdx.com/index/audio/id.5291/title.jo e-budden-who-full-version

Anchors (November 16, 2008)

Oh, and in regards to Joell Ortiz, he got a 9 and not a 10.

Regardless, he's one of the best new rappers around. That's why the legendary KRS-One talks him up, that's why legends like Kool G. Rap and Big Daddy Kane appear on his mixtapes.

I'd tell you to just shut up and quit while you're ahead, but that ship has sailed.

Anchors (November 16, 2008)

Perrone, instead of running your mouth, which is pretty much all you're good for, why don't you go and try to find one hip-hop website that talks up Aesop Rock or Sage Francis. Just one.

You can't.

You know why? Because people that actually know hip-hop are all in agreement that those two are both garbage. If Sage was legitimate, he'd be on a hip-hop label and as fallingupwards mentioned, he'd be touring with hip-hop acts. He only exists so Epitaph can cash in on the booming popularity of "indie rap."

As far as Aesop, he's on Def Jux with a bunch of other boring backpack shit. That label hasn't put out anything good since Cannibal Ox's The Cold Vein.

And straight up, you sound like a clown when talking about Joe Budden, because you don't have the faintest clue what you're talking about. His Mood Muzik series is more lyrically sound than anything else put out this decade. Listen to any of these songs and try to name me one rapper who's even on this lyrical plane:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X0R7I7LjZ2A
http://www. youtube.com/watch?v=RTenSDtoC2A

The fact that he consistently puts out stuff like that AND comes hard with the punchlines gives him a versatility that, again, no other rapper comes close to.

What makes you sound even more like a clown is dissing mixtape rap. Hip-hop as a music and as a culture would be NOTHING without the mixtape circuit. That's where Biggie got his start, where Nas got his start, where Rakim got his start, it's where every rapper worth a fuck gets their start. The whole "albums are more legitimate than mixtapes" argument would only be made by somebody who doesn't know jack shit about hip-hop.

And you Perrone, you know jack shit about hip-hop.

King_Rodney (November 16, 2008)

Uh...Jawbreaker?

danperrone (November 16, 2008)

maybe you could, maybe you couldn't. you'll never know. but i'm not the one giving out generous PERFECT SCORES to mixtape rappers.

fallingupwards84 (November 16, 2008)

you aren't going to get anywhere saying you didn't know sabac because he was ONLY in non phixion. that album is fantastic and is clearly recognized as solid, whether you noticed it or not. way to be ahead of the curve. and you're not going to get anywhere dissing aesop rock, who has got one of the most ridiculous flows around, nonsensical lyrics or not.

i guarantee you that i could name at least 10 well-respected underground rappers who have put out influential records that you have never heard of. step off your high-horse.

i'll admit, its a bit odd for a mixtape to get a perfect score, but i'm assuming that Anchors meant that its a 5/5 for a mixtape.

danperrone (November 16, 2008)

you aren't going to get anywhere saying you didn't know sabac because he was ONLY in non phixion. that album is fantastic and is clearly recognized as solid, whether you noticed it or not. way to be ahead of the curve. and you're not going to get anywhere dissing aesop rock, who has got one of the most ridiculous flows around, nonsensical lyrics or not.

you've got yourself convinced that joe budden writes amazing lyrics because OTHER people think he does. read those lyrics again from an unbiased perspective. how is that anything above mediocre? i've got some news for you...mixtape and punchline rap sucks. it's not that it's "above ground" in the least. there's been plenty of great commercially recognized rap music. but dude...this shit is a joke. and the fact that you gave it a PERFECT SCORE is even more of a joke. the dude's even from jersey...and i back EVERYONE from jersey.

i get the impression that you want to look hip and ironic by reviewing mainstream hiphop on a 99.9% rock-oriented web site and giving it perfect scores. remember joell ortiz? and now you're giving out more perfect scores to mediocre trash? please.

pasha (November 16, 2008)

This record is not bad at all. He's got some tight lyrics and a pretty good flow. The production isn't my favorite, but it's allright.

On the other hand, I agree that Sage isn't a genius, but Aesop Rock is one hell of a rapper. And MF Doom isn't bad at all.

fallingupwards84 (November 16, 2008)

CCSummers, didn't you not know who Edan was a while back? Or maybe that was somebody else... point is, there are a ton of underground rappers out there, you can't just play a "gotcha" game and try to discredit somebody just based on that.

This conversation made me listen to "A Healthy Distrust" and it is just plain bad. There's no way around it... his rhymes are corny and weak (with the exception of a clever line here and there) and so is his delivery. The only people who listen to Sage are punk kids who want to earn "points" by appearing to have a "diverse" taste in music... so what they do is they go to the most familiar label they know of (Epitaph) and pick a rapper who has no credibility in the hip hop scene (and who only tours with punk acts). I've never met a hip hop head in my life who likes Sage, it just doesn't happen.

And of course mainstream rap was better in the 90s, nobody denies that. My favorite mainstream hip hop album was in the 00s though ("The Blueprint"). Frankthep ripped on Kanye further down the page, but "The College Dropout" is almost universally considered to be a classic of the 00s. Talib Kweli, Common, Ghostface, Lupe Fiasco, etc... these are guys who are all very mainstream but are genuinely talented artists.

This discussion doesn't make any sense though because a) he's not on a major label anymore; b) some of the favorite artists on this website are much much more mainstream. I guarantee you that Against Me has had more record sales and MTV play than any of the mainstream rappers I just named above.

Here's an idea - why not get over the whole "mainstream vs. underground" argument - this isn't high school anymore - and judge the artist for who he is and the music he puts out. I don't have any of his music, but I do frequent hip hop sites a lot and Anchors is correct, Joe Budden is recognize as a lyricist. Hiphopdx.com is like the punknews of hip hop and they respect Budden and said he "transcends the boundaries of the state of Hip-Hop today."

Anyway, Anchors, don't let some of the comments discourage you from more reviews, I like the idea. I'll be submitting my Q-Tip one soon.

Anchors (November 16, 2008)

Posted by CCSummers on 2008-11-16 00:27:06

Okay, somethings I gotta say before I bow out. Debating punks about rap doesn't ever seem to work out well.

We're not living in the days of Tupac and Biggie anymore. Mainstream rap today cannot be compared to mainstream rap then. It's mind blowing to make that comparison. Sure, Jay Z and Nas still got it, but you have to wade through a lot of shit to get to the good stuff in the mainstream rap world.

And no, I haven't checked this guy out after his def jam shit and judging by the extremely mediocre lyrics that are highlighted above, I don't think I will.

You can keep reviewing mainstream rap but don't pull Sage and Aesop out and claim you know that your mainstream rap artists are better, because judging by the fact you've never even HEARD of Sabac, you don't know what you're talking about.

And sorry to burst your bubble, but don't try to pull of Def Jam as being anything else but mainstream. The dudes have their own fucking line of video games for gods sake.


Reading comprehension really isn't your thing, is it?

1) Nowhere did I say, or imply that Def Jam is anything but mainstream. They're the most well-known and most mainstream hip-hop label out there. It's not good or bad necessarily, it is what it is.

2) I didn't say mainstream rap is better today than it was in the mid-90's. It's too hard to compare eras. The stuff that can be done production-wise is light years now ahead of what it was in the 80's and 90's, and that's a big factor in how a rapper comes across.

3) The fact that you're calling Budden's lyrics mediocre while claiming Aesop Rock and Sage Francis are anything other than awful, awful rappers is fucking hilarious. Go read rap reviews on any site that focuses on hip-hop; Budden is probably the most renowned lyricist of the past few years. It's what he's known for.

But hey, if Aesop's awful and non-sensical bullshit is your thing, by all means, stick with it.

4) Trying to discredit me because I don't know who one rapper is shows that you really don't have a leg to stand on. I looked the dude it up and it proved why there's no reason I should have heard of him. He's got one album and a couple albums with Non-Phixion that are only well known because Pete Rock and DJ Premier produced on them.

CCSummers (November 16, 2008)

Okay, somethings I gotta say before I bow out. Debating punks about rap doesn't ever seem to work out well.

We're not living in the days of Tupac and Biggie anymore. Mainstream rap today cannot be compared to mainstream rap then. It's mind blowing to make that comparison. Sure, Jay Z and Nas still got it, but you have to wade through a lot of shit to get to the good stuff in the mainstream rap world.

And no, I haven't checked this guy out after his def jam shit and judging by the extremely mediocre lyrics that are highlighted above, I don't think I will.

You can keep reviewing mainstream rap but don't pull Sage and Aesop out and claim you know that your mainstream rap artists are better, because judging by the fact you've never even HEARD of Sabac, you don't know what you're talking about.

And sorry to burst your bubble, but don't try to pull of Def Jam as being anything else but mainstream. The dudes have their own fucking line of video games for gods sake.

danperrone (November 15, 2008)

never heard of sabac? really?

fallingupwards84 (November 15, 2008)

i'm not going to lie, Tha Carter II is a guilty pleasure of mine

Anchors (November 15, 2008)

Notorious BIG is a perfect example. Unquestionably the best emcee of all time, and he was as mainstream as it got. KRS-One, Run DMC, Slick Rick, Big Daddy Kane, Eric B & Rakim, Tupac, Nas, Jay-Z, Tribe, Wu-Tang.. all of the genre's legends have been mainstream.

The most frustrating misconception that people who like "indie rap" have about rap in general is that if a rappers subject matter is material, it means they suck. That is absolutely not the case.

I'm not saying lyrics aren't important, they are. But

A) There's people who I listen to for intelligent lyrics, and there's people I listen to because I like the sound. Somebody in either of those categories could me mainstream or underground, have great production or have shitty production, it all depends.

B) It's not just the lyrics, but the delivery. Take a guy like Fabolous -- he's unquestionably one of the most talented guys in hip-hop today. Some of the multisyllabic bars he pulls out like it's nothing blow my mind. He's not talking about politics or anything "important," but his lyrics are still well thought out and even more well delivered.

Lastly, as far as Wayne, he's unbelievably talented first and foremost. And he puts out so much music, you've got to respect his commitment to that. Still, he's really fallen off after Tha Carter III. I just heard Dedication 3 yesterday, and it's mostly garbage. The production is great because of DJ Drama, but dude just.. doesn't rap anymore. Listen to "No Other" off Dedication 2 or "Six Minutes of Death" on Cassidy's I'm a Hustla, he's got talent, when he chooses to use it.

TROOF (November 15, 2008)

" Biggie and Pac were legendary, no matter how "mainstream" they were. They could rhyme like no other."

Absolutely, not all mainstream sucks. Jay-Z has a few brilliant albums as well. Lil' Wayne, however, is the most overrated mainstream artist I have seen in years.

On a side note, as a fan of the old school, I would love to see some classic hip hop records reviewed here.

Anchors (November 15, 2008)

Oh yeah, and that new GZA record? Incredible.

That dude has put out more consistently awesome music in the last 15 years than any rapper in the world. I'll be reviewing that soon.

Anchors (November 15, 2008)

Trust me, I am not going to miss sleep over "losing points" to people that legitimately like Sage Francis.

fallingupwards84 (November 15, 2008)

I'm all for rap reviews, but I'd prefer to see acts outside the bubble of Def Jam and mainstream rap bubble.

That doesn't apply to hip hop music... some of you guys try to apply the rules of punk to rules of hip hop, and it just doesn't work that way. There is a lot of good underground rap out there, don't get me wrong, I'm a fan of many artists that few have heard of. But the fact is, when you're talking about the best in the game, multi-platinum artists like Biggie and Pac were legendary, no matter how "mainstream" they were. They could rhyme like no other.

As soon as you come out and dismiss indie rap like Sage Francis as garbage you lose all points.

You obviously don't listen to much hip hop.
I hate to say this because I'm sure he's a nice guy and I respect him for what he's trying to do, but Anchors is right - Sage Francis is garbage at worst, very average at best. If that is the hip hop you're listening to and you think its legitimately good, then congratulations because you have a whole entire world of hip hop ahead of you that you can look forward to discovering.

I still need to hear this record, but my favs this year include GZA's new record, The Game put out a solid west-coast album, and Q-Tip, Prodigy, and Nas both impressed me as well. Looking forward to Common's new record next month.

frankthep (November 15, 2008)

As soon as you come out and dismiss indie rap like Sage Francis as garbage you lose all points. Its fine to like "mainstream" rap more but at least respect good artists. I can't wait to ready your Kayne West review.

TROOF (November 15, 2008)

Good review. This is a great record, one of the better ones this year, but my favorites for 2008 are still Nas and GZA.

Anchors (November 15, 2008)

Can you guys read?

Joe Budden was on Def Jam for three years and the only thing he released through them was his self-titled album in 2003. The only mainstream success he had was with the song "Pump It Up," which not only was five years ago, but nothing like how he raps now.

He's not Def Jam, he's not mainstream. It's pretty clear that neither of you have ever listened to anything Joe Budden has done.

And let me just say right now, a lot of what I'm going to review will be mainstream. The whole notion that "mainstream is bad, underground is good" when it comes to hip-hop is completely and totally moronic. There's great artists on both sides of the fence just as there's shitty artists on both sides of the fence.

In fact, I can only think of a couple mainstream rappers as shitty as most of the underground stuff that "punk kids" listen to -- Sage Francis, Aesop Rock, MF Doom -- that's straight garbage.

Posted by oskorei on 2008-11-15 02:31:52
Anchors, I'm all for more hip-hop reviews on the .org. Whether these people want to admit it to themselves or not, a lot of hip-hop closely parallels punk rock. You heard Sabac's album Sabacolypse?


Nah dude, never heard of the guy. Who's he sound like?

ElroyCohen (November 15, 2008)

I concur with the guy below me. I have no problem seeing hip hop reviewed. but not this.

CCSummers (November 15, 2008)

I'm all for rap reviews, but I'd prefer to see acts outside the bubble of Def Jam and mainstream rap bubble.

damnitsderek (November 15, 2008)

I haven't given this record a spin yet, but honestly, I trust your taste, so I'll have to give it a trial run.

oskorei (November 15, 2008)

Anchors, I'm all for more hip-hop reviews on the .org. Whether these people want to admit it to themselves or not, a lot of hip-hop closely parallels punk rock. You heard Sabac's album Sabacolypse?

Anchors (November 15, 2008)

Love the new Q-Tip album. Definitely would love to see it reviewed on here, too. It's all you.

fallingupwards84 (November 15, 2008)

Anchors, have you heard the new Q-Tip album yet?
its really good... thought about writing a review for it, but didn't think it'd get posted on here. i might do it now though

Anchors (November 15, 2008)

Hahahaha I remember that review.

I don't mind arguing with people, I'll do that shit all day. My issue was always not really wanting to put in the time or effort to review hip-hop if there was genuinely no one on the site who was into it.

That always seemed to be the case, but I have this one and a Nas review coming, so if it seems like people are into that I'll keep it up in addition to the regular stuff I review.

Adam_K (November 15, 2008)

Hey, I did a Clipse review once and got in an argument about Jay-Z or somethin.

fattony (November 14, 2008)

I'm liking what I've heard on his myspace, and I agree with Anchors. I'd love to do some hip-hop reviews for this site too, but I've always held back since I thought they'd get an abnormal number of negative comments.

Anchors (November 14, 2008)

If people are into this I'd love to do more. This has been an incredible year for hip-hop so there's a million things I could review, and a ton of classics I could do too.

I expect this thread to be mostly bitching though, so, we'll see.

fallingupwards84 (November 14, 2008)

Holy shit... punknews actually posted a hip hop review... finally, hopefully we'll start seeing more?

Anchors (November 14, 2008)

It was stuck in development hell when Budden was at Def Jam. It was supposed to come out in '05, but it got delayed, and delayed, and delayed some more.

Finally, Budden left DJ and that album and whatever songs will be on it have never, and will never see the light of day.

skaboom (November 14, 2008)

Whatever it Takes is my favorite rap song of all time. I don't know how you can listen to songs like that and then dismiss the entire genre.

Whatever happened to The Growth?

danperrone (November 14, 2008)

um...not a perfect album. not even close.

Rastid (November 14, 2008)

i'm all for rap reviews, but i never like the rappers you review for some reason...

Anchors (November 14, 2008)

Also, before this turns into a mess, let me just say -- I don't care if you hate rap and think no rappers have talent. No one does.

I decided to start doing rap reviews on here after mulling the idea for a long time, as I'd like to show people who may not be inclined to listen it that there really is some great stuff out there to check out.

Anchors (November 14, 2008)

Hahaha yeah, it's been a while.

I'm like Stone Cold dude, I'll just come out of nowhere with a truck full of beer and start fighting people. You won't even see it coming.

chrisafi (November 14, 2008)

Some bad typos here, this album is actually White House, by Joe Biden

asxyouxwish (November 14, 2008)

knew this would be an anchors review. haven't heard this though. score is for anchors disappearing from MUP.

someone-yeah (November 14, 2008)

what the hell

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