Joe Budden – No Love Lost (Album Review)

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This review is coming from a die-hard Joe Budden fan. Anyone that knows me, knows he’s been my favorite rapper since Calm Down, 10 Min and Walk With Me on his debut album in ’03. Whatever It Takes still one of the Top 10 Budden tracks… Not Up For Debate. With the release of Mood Muzik 2: Can It Get Any Worse? in ’05, no one could tell me nothin! His deep confessionals and consistency to talk about real-life issues instead of “money, cars, and clothes” set him apart from other dope lyricists. Being able to make listeners feel what you’re going through is far more important to me than catchy punchlines. And record sales never meant shit to me. “Music is just what feeling sounds like”.

With that said, No Love Lost is upon us. With his growing popularity from Love & Hip-Hop and recent growth of his fan base from the success of Slaughterhouse, now is the perfect opportunity for Joey to be heard. And he does so in an approach that will definitely impress new fans, or those who have never heard his music before. The album starts off fun. To the surprise of us hardcore Budden fans, he has features from some of today’s biggest names in hip-hop. Now I’m not one to listen to anything unless it’s depressing, but I’ll admit the upbeat songs on #NLL are catchy. The album is well-rounded enough to be able to play a few tracks on the way to the club (or strip club), a few for the ladies, and roughly half the album when you’re alone lookin at your overdraft fees pile up while drinking & driving with your Gas light on. Of 17 total tracks, 7 still have the dark Mood Muzik feel. Add in a skit, a remix Bonus Track, and that leaves about half the album for Joe to step outside his comfort zone and have fun on a few records.

The album starts with a smooth Intro. Then Top of the World offers a hook from Kirko Bangz while Joe brags about his lifestyle, strippers and hoes. Then he gets a verse from Tunechi while Tank sings the hook for She Don’t Put It Down, a club banger that’s still growing on me. Next is NBA (Never Broke Again), 1 of 2 songs on the album I can’t tolerate. By this point in the album, I was ready to turn it off. Next is You And I, the first love record on the album, with Emanny on the hook. More about Kaylin. Again, cool for the new fans that ain’t hear this side of him yet. I ain’t mad at it. Some relatable shit on it. Tell Him Somethin is a Steal-Your-Girl record with none other than Emanny, who absolutely makes the song. Switch Positions has Maybach-O slithering his horrible vocals throughout as Joe talks about sex. And that’s the next unbearable record on the album for me. Last Day has an odd lineup. With Juicy J and Lloyd Banks, I didn’t know what to expect. But it’s another mindless song for the #NewNiggas to enjoy.

The mood switches midway thru the album. Joe reminds us why he’s the Mood God with tracks like Castles, All in my Head, Skeletons, Ghetto Burbs, Runaway, My Time and No Love Lost Outro. Which are all my favorite tracks on the album (Don’t judge us emo niggas). Runaway discusses his drug problem. Ghetto Burbs talks about the struggle in his hood over dope guitar riffs, but I would’ve preferred a singer other than Emanny (sorry fam). Skeletons offered one of my favorite verses from Joe on the album, while Joell Ortiz and Crook dropped dope verses as well. All in my Head was released on #ALQ but still one of the best on here. The verses on My Time are everything true fans expect from Joe.

Typical Budden fans will be quick to say he sold out on this one. And I can’t blame them. He’s got features from Wayne, French Montana, Wiz Khalifa, Kirko Bangz, and Juicy J. None of who are known for their lyrical talent, but all have a huge buzz in the industry today. Joe raps about money and hoes on a few tracks as well. Which his die-hard fans know he’s always mocked mainstream artists for. But when you look at the bigger picture, Joe has stayed true to his fans for over 10 years in the game without reaching the success he deserves. With his growing fan base (whether from his Twitter antics, controversial lyrics, or Love & Hip-Hop) maybe it’s about time to reach a broader audience. Most of his new fans don’t even know he’s been rapping that long. So why not take this opportunity to reach a younger crowd?

Don’t go into the first listen expecting classic Mood Muzik material. This is Joe Budden growing. Compare it today’s music. A market where Joe is “tryna maintain being unique but relatable”. Put up against some of the best album releases of last year, this album is still above average lyrically. I gotta give No Love Lost a 3.8 out of 5
– @TrisTheBarber

Make sure you go support the real!

BUY: Joe Budden – No Love Lost (iTunes)

BUY: Joe Budden – No Love Lost (Amazon)

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Album Review: Slaughterhouse – ‘Welcome To: OUR HOUSE’ by @TrisTheBarber and @Embelievable1

Artist: Slaughterhouse
Title: Welcome To: OUR HOUSE
Label: Shady Records / Interscope
Release Date: August 28th, 2012

The year is 2008 and the internet is buzzing with rumors about 4 of the most lyrical emcees alive collaborating to create a single hip-hop super-group. Up and comer Joell Ortiz is catchin’ rec on every respectable hip-hop website that you may frequent. Joe Budden has an unmatched cult following and his fans value his Mood Muzik series of mixtapes as much as they would any one of their classics. Royce Da 5’9 has proven to be one of the most consistent rappers with quality verse after quality verse for anything he may appear on. In terms of skill, Crooked I is king of the West with a flow and command of multies that any region would love.

Come 2009, the dream group is formed and the World is introduced to Slaugherhouse with a debut album that delivers everything we’d expected from these modern legends. With the hip-hop game in the toilet and a focus on whack lyrics, ice, and money, Slaughterhouse is shaping up to be rap’s savior with their Horseman formation. The album is received very well, the community is listening, and Eminem is reportedly looking to sign the group to Shady Records. The world had not seen a single hip-hop unit with this much combined talent since the Wu-Tang Clan and with Eminem’s backing, they are destined to succeed in their quest to save the genre.

Slaughterhouse, the Super Group, the Machine, House Gang… After a strong debut (to true fans, not sales-wise), would they be able to put together an equally lyrical album while trying to live up to the hype surrounding their Shady deal and still achieve commercial success?

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I approached this review in a different manner than I normally would. I figured there would be so much dopeness on this album that the best way to thoroughly review it for y’all would be to dissect each record and let ya know which Quarter of the Slaughter took each one.

Well after 2 listens I changed my mind… for 2 reasons. 1: The album wasn’t filled with the pure Slaughterhouse heat I expected. 2: Crook and Budden (although I felt Joe was shorted with verses) pretty much washed the other half of the Slaughter from beginning to end.

Now to the music… There’s 20 tracks total on the Deluxe Edition. With 2 skits, that leaves 18 songs. Of 18, there’s about 10 Standout tracks. Yes, I said 10! The group seems to shine when they discuss their personal problems, which makes sense if you listen to each members solo work. On tracks “Our House”, “Flip A Bird”, “Rescue Me”, “Goodbye” & “The Other Side”, the members describe the tough times they’ve endured, and they do so better than most. On “Get Up”, “Our Way” & “My Life”, the House Gang show us just how high the ladder to success was for them to climb. Then there’s the club bangers”Coffin” & “Hammer Dance”. Witty lyrics, dope beat and hook. Perfect song to catch the ears of the youth. “Die” is another solid effort from the group, where they get to show new fans their gritty side.

Aside from those 10 tracks, there’s still some tracks that the basic fan would enjoy. “Frat House” & “Park it Sideways” are fun. On “Asylum”, where the group does their trademark Psycho-Flow, I was a bit disappointed not to get a Budden verse. (Budden fans will see the hypocracy in that)

Every album has a track or two you have to skip. On “Throw That”, Eminem provides the hook “I’ll throw this dick on you girl” and the gang follows thru with equally unbearable lyrics to provide the worst track on the album. Today, when an album has a good budget behind it, Swizz Beatz is normally the culprit behind that track. And he succeeds again on “Throw it Away”.

Conclusion:
This album is solid whether it moves units or not. If you compare it to their debut album, you’ll be disappointed. Crook held shit down and made this album. Although Joe’s stellar performance was on par with fans’ expectations, the lack of mic time not only hurt the album, but diminished Joe’s chance to impress new Slaughterhouse fans. Joell & Royce came in a close 2nd & 3rd, which is weird seeing how Ortiz outshined everyone on their debut. Being such a big Royce fan, I was disappointed. But he reminds me why he’s one of my favorites on a few tracks. His unorthodox flow works perfectly on “Die” & “Our House”, and his passion is prevalent on “The Other Side”.

By: @TrisTheBarber and @Embelievable1

Final Grade: B

Track Listing:
1. The Slaughter (Intro)
2. Our House feat. Eminem & Skylar Grey
3. Coffin feat. Busta Rhymes
4. Throw That feat. Eminem
5. Hammer Dance
6. Get Up
7. My Life feat. Cee-Lo Green
8. We Did It (Skit)
9. Flip A Bird
10. Throw It Away feat. Swizz Beatz
11. Rescue Me feat. Skylar Grey
12. Frat House
13. Goodbye
14. Park It Sideways
15. Die
16. Our Way (Outro)
Deluxe Edition (Bonus Tracks)
17. Asylum feat. Eminem
18. Walk Of Shame
19. The Other Side
20. Place To Be feat. B.O.B.