Tuesday, November 16, 2010
A Turn 4 The Worst
Admittedly, it's taken me a while to write up something about Joe Budden's latest. Aside from not really having the time to sit down and write, and being distracted by some other albums in between, I really hadn't fully made up my mind about the project as a whole. There is some good material and some more forgettable and not very well executed songs. Though there's definitely way more good - No, make that GREAT material on this album, than the former.
The main reason that Budden seems to draw in so many listeners is the honesty he has with himself, which he chooses to fully express in his rhymes. And, not only does the audience get a real picture of what the MC is actually like as a person, Joey's rhyme style and storytelling skills have a way of relating his own experiences to a broader vision of what life is like for the common man.
By far, the best track on MM4 is "Role Reversal". I haven't heard a concept-driven song this interesting in...I don't know when. The song finds Budden being a father to another man's son, while at the same time filling that man's role, to some extent, with his own boy. He hates the father of this child but, at the same time, relates to him, knowing that he's perhaps been placed in the same situation that he, himself, is in. Because of the lack of relationship with his own child, Joe makes up for it in his mind by offering this other guy's child the most of everything, and the advantage of having a real father. I get more and more out of this track the more I hear it. It actually may be my absolute favorite of the year by any artist.
The interludes on this mixtape are completely useless, annoying, and unnecessary. Nothing else to say there. Also, there are a few rhymes with wordplay that should have been left on the cutting room floor (i.e. "avoid calendars, cause all his days are numbered"). But, the the only real downfall to MM4 is the uneven and, at times, incomplete sounding production. I just wish there was more there to listen to as a backdrop to Budden's rhymes. It's hard to explain, but listening to some of these tracks, it sounds like Budden has to rescue it with his lyrics to make the track worth listening to, instead of everything meshing together. The beat doesn't do it's job often enough of keeping me engaged.
However, overall this is another gem in the classic mixtape/album series that is Mood Muzik. I don't think it's too much to say that this is the best mixtape series of its kind to ever come out. I don't want to get caught up in trying to add some quotables because I'll literally be here in front of my PC all night. And, instead of one hot line here and there, Budden's clever prose blends together seamlessly, making it necessary to quote an entire verse, instead of a bar or two, to really paint an accurate picture of his talent.
Mood Muzik 4 is an amazing album, with unlimited replay value for any listener. Budden has the voice, the delivery, the rhymes, and the honesty to make him one of the main MCs carrying the torch for Hip Hop these days, and truly pushing it forward. If you're not up on him you are really missing out on one of the perennial voices in the culture. Pay attention.