Rage & The Machine (8.5/10)


If only he focused on music and nothing else… Joe Budden would perhaps be recognized as one of the coldest MCs in the game. The unfortunate truth however is that Joe Budden seems to be unconditionally devoted to social media in every format, and no matter if it’s Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Reality TV, or Joe Budden TV - Joe Budden is everywhere sharing his opinion on anything and everything all of the time.

In other words Joe Budden is clearly addicted to fame, or at least the need for attention and the desire to be a part of every moment - even if it has absolutely nothing to do with his craft. Take his podcast for example, where if Joe wants to be an active artist involved in media than that’s perfectly fine (it’s definitely working for N.O.R.E. - even if he’s further out of his prime), but it’s what Joe’s podcast is about where it ultimately goes wrong, as it’s essentially both an ego trip and a biased current event blog; a platform where Joe either rants about the quality of Drake’s album when it's really an issue over an ex-girlfriend, or he offers a review on J Cole’s album by saying a month after it's release that he still hasn’t heard it - incredible content - clearly Joe just likes to hear himself speak.

Nonetheless it’s all the disposable content that has oversaturated his brand throughout the years, where beneath all the noise he’s put out a ton of quality music that’s basically gone unnoticed, and only his loyal following (mostly his Mood Muzik fanbase) has made note of all the gems he’s dropped. How about ‘Immortal’ or ‘Unnecessary Pain,’ or even more recently his ‘Freedom Freestyle’ or the ‘Wake’ diss record??? Joe Budden has a ton of 🔥🔥🔥 to his name, and if he ever finds the strength to disregard trending topics - he just might one day get the respect he truly deserves.

If you’re looking for Cyn Santana updates check VladTV, yet for anyone who cares about the MUSIC first - his 4th studio album is titled Rage & The Machine and it’s critiqued track by track below:

Three

“Indeed it be the God, if Fetty is the face of New Jerz, then you see how badly we needed I (eye)” The intro is super tough even with the mental breakdown in the middle, as Joey’s lyrics are on another level than most - and this production by AraabMuzik is otherworldly - ‘on neighborhood’ this is a real good record for the intro and it perfectly sets the tone for what’s to come #Jersey

Uncle Joe

“I used to drive around the tunnel in the Lexus with the snub, before Power 105 was sneaking breakfast in the club” Joe absolutely snapped on this record… all bars and it’s pure flames over a fire instrumental from AraabMuzik (who produced the whole album to great results), that Joe absolutely coasts on talkin bout… “Y'all hear Post Malone and think of "White Iverson,"I think of Karl and how he could've got the title won, I keep my life off Instagram like my private some, I open albums for the credits, y'all just Tidal 'em” … nevermind the fact that the IG lyric is disingenuous cause the delivery is immaculate, and Joe deserves a lot of credit for maintaining himself as one of the last great spitters of the era.

Serious ft Joell Ortiz

“Round up all the hostages, bum stiggity bum, stiggity bum, hey, I mean a lot of them, shit be soundin like Das EFX” I appreciate the lyricism and creativity involved but this one is a swing and a miss… SKIP!

By Law ft Jazzy

“One life, so son live it, I'm committed, never did it and wish that I undid it, young kiddies listen, the one talkin' ain't really with it, just forget it, would they be talkin' if they was really with it, come visit and see that the loudest one ain't the one with it, and the one with it is the last one you want with it” 🔥🔥🔥 Joe is spittin per usual and this is a money hook right here… very good album cut that got the video treatment.

Flex ft Tory Lanez & Fabolous

“the text read ‘at my place you wanna meet?’ her mouth saying hello, her legs were saying peace” this is a cool record but Fab needed to do more on this… although the singing at the end of his verse was a nice touch. Decent record but not a classic.

Forget

“I'm on my third passport, I can't remember these *****, like all the faces is blurred of most these industry *****... The drugs over these years made its way to my mental, pardon if I don't remember when you gave me a demo” AraabMuzik flexes on this again with a mean Stylistics sample and Joe does it justice. A decent interlude that sets up the next record perfectly.

I Gotta Ask

“Bad strippers, and fraudulent hourglass figures, got every bartender thinkin' she'll get a glass slipper” the Hard Knock Life sample is effective but somewhat generic at the same time… a decent album cut nothing more nothing less.

Time for Work ft Emanny

“Been thinking about you for quite some time, and you ain't seen crazy quite like mine, nah I've been occupied, sike, I'm lying, you know how the saying go, out of sight, out of mind” A fun record about the women in Joe’s life, with a familiar sample in the hook that makes you feel good for a moment - even though this is arguable album filler after more than one listen.

Wrong One

“Scooped them from the Bronx, in a small bed and breakfast fam, what was ironic was these bitches couldn't put egg to pan” the 2nd verse is decent but honestly… this record didn’t need to happen. It’s not trash but nah..

I Wanna Know ft Stacy Barthe

“I said my 20s flew by with no control of the shit, her next sentence swear that I’ll forever hold with a grip, she said it go by even faster as the older you get” now this is more like it… on this smoothed out introspective record Joe spits with a message, in the first verse talking about past infidelities and breakups (his wheelhouse and I’m not mad at em, let em cook) along with sharing wisdom from his mother that’s always been a trademark of his music - followed by a second verse dedicated to his teenage son - essentially speaking from his soul in a way that Joe does best. Easily one of the best records on the project.

Idols

“Look, long live your idols, may they never be your rivals, Rakim was like Jesus, Chuck D wrote the Bible, G-Rap was God, I learned to punch from Kane, lived in Queens so on Farmers we would see Todd James” (Todd James as in LL Cool J, who he goes on to delineate about as the verse continues) Either way notice the J Cole influence with the opening bar, followed by his 'Big Brother' flow in which Joe pays homage to all the great MCs before him… meanwhile the Tevin Campbell sample is perfect and this was a great record to close the album.

Overall Rage & The Machine is definitely another solid project from one of the most underrated MCs to ever touch a microphone - and as far as active MCs he’s debatably Top 5… he’s that nice with it… and that’s only talking music… (the rest is just an ego trip that does nothing for his artistry or his legacy), where ultimately nobody could ever take anything away from his lyrics and delivery. On this album the standout records are ‘Uncle Joe,’ ‘By Law,’ ‘I Wanna Know,’ & ‘Idols’ - all of which are nothing less than Hip Hop in it’s absolute purest form.

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