Of all the members of Slaughterhouse, Joe Budden has arguably always been the most underrated. If his impressive work ethic is any indication of that, then Budden will be damned before he succumbs to the media rumors. It seems like playing the role of the underdog has always been content with Joe; it supplies him with an endless motivation to defy skepticism.
This year appears to serve as Budden’s magnum opus in regards to his career with Slaughterhouse’s major label debut. Now, he presents a solo effort of his own, A Loose Quarter.
When listening to a genre that’s saturated with as much testosterone and over-compensated egos as hip-hop, genuine honesty is always appreciated. And that’s precisely what Budden delivers on nearly every track, fortunately not at the expense of the listener’s interest. Since Joe has never been one to be verbose, he simply vents about life in such a way that doesn’t require a tiny violin playing in the backround the whole time.
Whether it’s attempting to meet the demands of the various people in his life, the woes he’s experienced in the industry or trying to maintain some kind of stable relationship with his father, it’s all told with a candid disposition. It’s a fine balance between vulnerability, masculinity and confession that Budden executes quite well which makes the mixtape all the more enjoyable.
He also gets Ab-Soul, who makes a monstrous cameo on “Cut From A Different Cloth,” which is extremely appropriate due to his tendency to be overlooked amidst all the hype from other Black Hippy members. Speaking of which, everyone is still waiting for that Slaughterhouse/Black Hippy collaboration. We all know it exists.
The Lana Del Rey sample was a nice touch as it proved how versatile Joe Budden is sound-wise. Although, I could have done without the slightly excessive amount of relationship songs, and Emanny really doesn’t need to be featured five times. The combination of the two breeds monotony.
If anything is taken away after listening to A Loose Quarter, it’s the progression of Joe Budden, not only as an artist, but as a person. The growth of his discography parallels his journey to a place of contentment in his life.