Review ·

"Development hell" doesn’t even begin to describe what Joe Budden has gone through. Since the rapper released his debut album in 2003, he’s endured enough industry torture to write his own version of Dante’s Inferno. Budden’s self-titled album performed respectably for Def Jam, spawning the good-time summer hit “Pump It Up,” but the label stifled his follow-up at every turn. It certainly didn’t help that, by most accounts, label giant Jay-Z just didn’t care for the guy.

Six years later, a beaten and bruised Budden has finally released that sophomore follow-up on a small independent label. In a sign of just how much he’s matured in the interim, however, it’s surprisingly devoid of axe grinding. The closest Budden comes to addressing his major-label past occurs as part of a series of fleeting dreams on “On My Sleep”: “Met a bum with a mansion/ Invited me in/ We politicked, about politics/ Said something about Def Jam/ I didn’t acknowledge it.”

As the cover image of Budden bound in a straightjacket suggests, Padded Room is less interested in industry politics than it is Budden’s inner demons. Here Budden battles with his temper and frets over fiancees. On one track he loses sleep over his girlfriend’s double timing, then, a few tracks later, unrepentantly confesses to cheating himself. Personal failures and failed relationships haunt him. “She be calling me name,” he sings on “Exxxes,” “Screaming real loud/ I would think she in pain/ Niggas try to tell me her head was insane.” He reluctantly confides to a therapist -- "Look, I never thought I’d be here” -- and when that fails turns to God on the album’s penultimate track, “Pray for Me.”

 

But peace doesn’t come that easily. Rejecting one of hip-hop’s sappiest conventions, prayer doesn’t absolve the troubled rapper. Instead, God responds furiously to Budden’s requests, berating him for his selfishness: “I blessed you with health, family and wealth, but all the blessings that you’ve received you still always want help.”

Budden has grown immeasurably in the half decade he spent in purgatory, where he honed his skills on a series of mixtapes and online-only releases. On his 2003 debut, he was arrogant and scattered, too often losing his train of thought and reaching for throwaway puns. The Joe Budden on Padded Room, however, is focused and hungry, spinning dense, psychological yarns that build for dozens and dozens of bars. Budden scratched and clawed for his second chance, and he hasn’t squandered it.

 

  • Now I Lay (Intro)
  • Touch And Go
  • If I Gotta Go
  • Don’t Make Me
  • Outcast
  • Blood On The Wall
  • Dreams (In My Sleep)
  • Couldn’t Help It
  • Do Tell
  • My Life
  • Better Part Of Me
  • Just To Be Different
  • Angel In My Life
  • Pray For Me
  • All Of Me (Reprise) [Bonus]
  • 1 Night Fuck [Bonus]

Six years after his self-titled Def Jam debut and breakthrough smash, "Pump It Up," Jersey MC Joe Budden finally releases his second official album, Padded Room, on independent label, Amalgam Digital. While Budden has mostly disappeared from the mainstream, he has kept busy with his Mood Muzik mixtapes, a beef with former Just Blaze protegè Saigon, and most recently forming the underground hip hop supergroup Slaugtherhouse, with Joell Ortiz, Royce Da 5'9" and Crooked I. All throughout, he has displayed the same rugged, streetwise flow that has made his follow-up so anticipated. The album features production by Blastah Beatz, The Klasix and an appearance from The Game on the lead single, "The Future."

Isis - Wavering Radiant MC Lars This Gigantic Robot Kills
Sponsored Content

im really looking forward to hearing the new album(padded room). i have heard some recent mixtape tracks and blood on the wall(prodigy diss) and he is really putting in the work. you have to really listen to the lyrics. he is one of the few rappers that isnt talking about gucci this prada that and all that other commercialized bull s*** that floods the radios nowadays. he is very underestimated in my opinion. i agree the last album wasnt all that but i think alot of it was because the execs just didnt pick the right songs for the album. i think this album will be the one to put him on the next level. he has the potential.

chris

The Future(produce by Fyu-chur). Joe Budden ft. the Game is the single off of Padded Room. This tracklist is old. This was the October 28, 2008 tracklist. Since then the official tracklist was released Dec. 18, 2008.

Joyce

Joe Budden is the wackest MC in da game right now.

Sam

Muthaf*ckas like this "Sam" dude(above me) is the reason hip-hop is in the state that its in now! Joe budden is far from being the "wackest MC in the game right now." Joe is completely the opposite, he is one of the most talented! So big ups 2 Joe Budden and the release of "Padded Room" and muthaf*ckas like this "Sam" dude Shut the F*ck Up please! 1.

Vinyl

Joe budden the truth

Me

I so agree wit Vinyl cuz I got both of his albums and all da mood muziks includin Halfway House, when u can put a track together dat comes wit so much substance like Exxxes, The Future(Mood Muzik 2) and All Of Me including spittin for ten minutes, 10 Min. on da first album then you can make a comment. Don't pull da faggot ass Gangstalicious ass Lil Wayne out ur ass too, just to make it a comparison to a real lyricist........SAM U A PUNK ASS HATA!!!!!

Duece

Joe Budden is NOT the "wackest" rapper in the game. It just shows that you don't know real hip hop sam. Like my man duece jsut said "spittin for 10 min." on a song is unheard of. even the great LL cool J hasn't done that. (and for those ll Haters.gotta give him props he is a legend. no ? asked) But my manz Budden is ice and flame. the dude is sic. Loved the last album and on my way to the store now to get the next one. Peace.

c.l.d

Find us on Facebook

Latest Comments

    Recommended