02 February 2013

REVIEW: Joe Budden - No Love Lost

What makes a great studio album in Hip-Hop? The answer to this question seems to change every four to five years as we watch artists either fade into obscurity, or find alternate routes to success in order to maintain relevance. With Joe Budden, whose debut album of the same name is about to celebrate its ten year anniversary, Hip-Hop has evolved (or devolved) into something almost unrecognizeable to the fanbase that has supported him over the years. Following the five year theory, two generations have passed since Joey told the clubs to "Pump It Up," "Focus" and "Walk Wit Me." But even after all of his personal struggles with labels, drugs, and commercial success, he finally unleashes the finale to a four part series of albums, letting his fans and haters alike all know that there is "No Love Lost."

As much you may want to reciprocrate those sentiments, after listening to the first couple of tracks featuring the likes of Kirko Bangz, Lil Wayne, and French Montana, you quickly learn that it's difficult to understand the direction Budden is going with the album. Not only are the first four tracks featuring run-of-the-mill radio artists, Budden himself lowers his own standards lyrically and attempts to match status-quo cadences similar to the likes of 2 Chainz, Juicy J, and Wiz Khalifa (the latter two also making appearances on the album).

It's clear that Budden wishes to at least catch the ear of the young generation who may not necessarily seek out quality music, but instead wait for music to come to them. The major problem with this is, there are absolutely zero hits on the entire album. Not one. Even the standout tracks where Joey is rolling solo, or accompanied by his Slaughterhouse brethren, the songs still do not shine anywhere near as bright as to be expected from such a seasoned veteran.

The album isn't all terrible though, there are several personal heartfelt records that illustrate what's really going on in Joey's life. If the autobiographical subject matter of some of his songs appeal to you more than the actual quality of the music, then maybe this album is exactly what you were looking for. If these were the only songs on the album, it would fall right in line with the mixtapes and poorly promoted albums we've come to know and love from Budden. But including so many radio rappers to boost mainstream appeal soured any possibility of this album being tolerable.

The release date for "No Love Lost" is February 5th, 2013

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  1. His mixtapes, appearances & slaughterhouse verses highlight Joey's talent as a lyricist better than his albums. I cop to support him tho.

  2. It's a theme that is common almost to the point of being cliche at this point in Hip-Hop; releasing mixtapes and independent projects that are superior to a major label project. Real Hip-Hop heads fully understand why an artist makes certain sacrifices and concessions when it comes to studio albums, it's just unfortunate when you know how strong they are as lyricists.