At its best Hip-Hop is driven by strong, unforgettable personalities that present as three-dimensional artists. For 15-years, Joe Budden has always personified the phrase “an emcees emcee” and brought his own unique brand and vision to the culture. While he has expanded that brand over the years from music to television, video games, podcasts (his groundbreaking I’ll Name This Podcast Later), battle rap and social media ingenuity, Joe Budden’s trademark has always been music; music rooted in honesty and fueled by interpersonal relationships—and always presented with elite bars. The Jersey City Slaughterhouse contingent has amassed a cult following and career out of slicing his life and soul open for all to digest. Some call it Mood Muzik, Joe Budden simply calls it his life.
Authenticity—true authenticity, is the purest form of trust an artist has with his or her own audience. Back when artists were afraid to show vulnerability, Joe outspokenly rapped about addiction, his estranged father, depression and relationship woes. Joe puts his life between the papers line and lets you digest it at your own discretion; no judgments— and his audience has always had a front-row seat. The results of that musical palette encapsulate the entire spectrum of our daily existence; beautiful, complicated and yes—sometimes very messy. But at its core, Joe’s musical catalog (past and present) has always been a tapestry specifically devised to evoke human emotion; an invaluable trait that has become especially difficult to master and communicate in a digital age.
In the studio and out, similar to Tupac Shakur—another pioneering emotional emcee, Joe Budden puts himself out there (scars and all) speaking his mind any chance he gets as he refuses to be a predictable, conventional celebrity. Eschewing conventional thinking, Joe engages with fans and haters alike on various social media platforms regularly. His weekly podcast episodes, I’ll Name This Podcast Later, (which frequently clocks over six figures in streams) gave him yet another outlet to directly reach and interact with his fan base; and for a celebrity who is regularly in the headlines and enjoys being a vocal fan and cultural participant, the podcast has been a vehicle in which Joe is unafraid to speak openly and subjectively about those around him—at any cost. Those same rules apply to Joe himself, as when he has had a confrontation, or some crazed teenaged trespassers have shown up at his residence, it is captured, analyzed, and dissected. Similarly, Joe has used network television as another medium to further his connection with fans; spending two seasons as a vital cog on VH1’s Love & Hip Hop: New York reality series and became a network mainstay with Couples Therapy Season 6, alongside Dr. Jenn Mann. The artist who’d been making therapeutic, self-analytical music his entire career put his couples counseling sessions on one of the VH1’s highest viewed shows. At the same time he led a Rap renaissance, Joe put his life in front of lenses—for all to see.
In 2016, Joe Budden’s brand has never been bigger. Throughout the summer he dominated headlines and timelines via an open and running dialogue with Drake, a dialogue that has resulted in millions of Soundcloud and Youtube streams. With momentum at its peak, Joe Budden returns with his highly anticipated new solo album Rage & The Machine; which will be released on 10-21-2016.
Primarily produced by araabMUZIK (The Diplomats, Slaughterhouse, Cam’ron, 50 Cent, A$AP Rocky, Jadakiss, Swizz Beatz) Rage & The Machine’s lead-single, “Flex,” featuring Fabolous & Tory Lanez is the first of many shining moments from the project. For 15-years in a career of chutes, ladders and no shortage of excitement, Joe has been anything but an average and Rage & The Machine is the culmination (which includes a Grammy nomination) of his confessional style of songwriting, convicted deliveries, complex rhyme patterns, vulnerability and aggressive vocals. “I’m thankful to still be passionate about Hip-Hop, but even more thankful that Hip-Hop is still passionate about me; soon we Rage” Joe states. “Working with Joe on Rage & The Machine was like being in a documentary movie” araab declared. “He literally poured his heart and soul into this project and used me as an instrument to help paint the canvas. Joe was born to entertain.”
© 2016, Niyah Nel. All rights reserved.