A Loose Quarter – Track by Track Joe Budden review

Our Joe Budden Loose Quarter  Album Review

After the release of the Slaughterhouse album, the four horsemen of rap have been relatively quiet apart from a few freestyles here and there. Not one for the mute button though we have seen Joe Budden make a slow transition with how he presents himself. More composed and back in love, Budden has released A Loose Quarter, and though not in the same vein as his Mood Muzik series, this mixtape introduces what his current tour suggests, “The Second First Impression.”

Here’s the Loose Quarter track by track breakdown:

1. Intro- Disappointed because it wasn’t the beat that fans were expected that he played on his YouTube video (look up “our first again”).

2. Words of a Chameleon- The 1:52 track length suggests that Budden might have flirted with the idea of making this the intro as the title also fits his career. AraabMuzik blesses Budden with a beat that gives you that 90’s feel when beats made you make your face up and want to punch a random person.

3. What Y’all Want- Budden rhymes about his current zone, one of confidence, being in a better position and demanding the respect he deserves.

4. Cut From a Different Cloth (Featuring Ab- Soul)- Ab-Soul starts the track off with a now famous catchphrase from a Loaded Lux battle “Look At Me King” then spits royalty over the beat. Budden once again raps about his place in Hip-Hop and how others don’t compare to him.

5. Through My Eyes (Featuring Tsu-Surf)- Retired battle rapper Tsu-Surf pumps some life into the mixtape (I actually wanted to hear him do the whole track and for Budden not to come in) with a small detail of his life experience – Budden comes through and spits what I feel is his first quotable of the tape, “If I found a genie it was hiding in a coke bottle.”

6. Momma Said- FINALLY A SOLID TRACK! As personal as Joe Budden is on his records, he always finds a way to give more, as “Momma Said” is a conversation with his mother about the life he now lives and also his relationship with his father. A smooth song that takes you back to the days of his first album with “Ten Minutes,” “Momma Said” sets the tone for the rest of the album and also fades out with words about his ex-girlfriend Tahiry, which leaves us wondering if there will be a pt.2

7. Off 2 The Races- Trying a seamless approach, “Off 2 The Races” is about…. Tahiry. Though it is a solid track, it makes you say “again?” when Budden spits “remember our bad break up I rapped about it on Downfall “ it just put it all to the forefront – why rap about it again? It has been over three years since Tahiry and Budden have been together and the only one who is still talking about the situation is him, but the track makes it seem like she is the bitter one.  (Though she did reportedly reply on twitter.)

8. The Helmet (Interlude) – A two minute interlude about putting the tip in…… maybe in 2000 this would have worked, but it isn’t working here.

9. So Good (Featuring Emanny) – I swear I’ve heard Emanny throughout the whole mixtape, but this is the first song it says he is featured on. “So Good” is a nice radio joint about Budden’s relationship with his current girlfriend. Nice Spring/Summer vibe to it.

10. So Hard (Featuring Emanny) – Though this is another track about the current relationship between Budden and his current girlfriend Kaylin, it felt like he was able to combine the elements of the first half of this tape with the second – Budden continues his infatuation with electric guitars, but this one needs to be smashed before it was even played.

11. Dreams (Interlude) (Featuring Trev Rich) – Budden pulls a Jay-Z move and allows Trev to have his own song on the mixtape. I was feeling it for about the first minute or so, then I was like “alright next track.”

12. Pain Won’t Stop – “Don’t know if I’m fighting my demons or going to dinner with them” wooooooo! Feeling this song as Budden sifts through his ups and downs in life with help from a Keyshia Cole sound alike.  Amazing song.

13. All In My Head (Featuring Royce Da 5’9’’ and Kobe) Wait is Budden actually rapping? Is it because Royce is on the track? A two solid track streak occurs with “All in My Head,” as everything works, the horns, the concept, the hook by Kobe, the feature, and with that, this makes the first song on the mixtape that I actually hit the rewind button to.

14. More of Me (Featuring Emanny) – In my top 10 all time Joe Budden songs sits the original version of this song, “All of Me” so when I first heard the beat and Emanny singing I was like “nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo.” It’s growing on me though, and it breathes life back into the original version – the part where he speaks about Kaylin’s upbringing and why they work so well together reminds me of the television show Dexter and how he is most comfortable with women who are as broken/twisted as he is. Hopefully their relationship doesn’t come to an end because Budden is laying it all out, way more than he usually does.

15. Now or Never (Featuring Emanny) – This track shouldn’t have been released now… or ever!

Overall, A Loose Quarter is nowhere near his Mood Muzik tapes, which may or may not be a bad thing. I take it as his first effort in being the new Joe Budden and we will see a much stronger version when he releases his album in January. I struggled at times looking for something positive to say about songs that were average, and that was it, a lot of the songs were just average. It took too long for a standout song to arrive, and it was missing his dependable punchlines/quotables, his wittiness and songs that make you say “this is why no one can mess with this dude.” The songs that do work though definitely shows potential on how successful this new version of himself can be if his current and new fans gravitate toward it.


A Loose Quarter
receives a PAR

 

Rating:
P…Horrible
PA…Tolerable
PAR…Good
PARL…Kinda Great
PARLÉ… Classic

Also Check Out:
Food and Liquor 2: The Great American Rap Album Pt 1 – A track by track review
Slaughterhouse – On The House mixtape download 

Kevin Benoit

Kevin Benoit is the editor of Parlé Magazine. He founded the magazine while in college and continues to run it today. Follow him on IG: @parlewithme Read more articles by Kevin.

Kevin Benoit has 1810 posts and counting. See all posts by Kevin Benoit

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